Muhlaysia Booker

On the same day that Judge Hector Garza rejected a defense attorney’s effort to dead-name her murdered daughter, Stephanie Houston announced Thursday, Aug. 29, that she is launching of the Muhlaysia Booker Foundation, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to providing housing, advocacy, emotional support, counseling, employment resources and training to transgender women.

“We strive to inspire, nurture, and provide a safe haven to this community by addressing acts of violence, homelessness, sex work and suicide,” Houston said in the press release announcing the new organization and her role as its executive director.

Ahmad Goree, elected as president of the board for the foundation, said he is “honored to have the privilege” of being the foundation’s first board president and helping set its agenda.

“I look forward to working with this progressive board of directors and Stephanie Houston. We are committed to honoring Muhlaysia’s legacy through meaningful work to an extremely marginalized segment of society.”

“It is most appropriate that I honor the legacy of my daughter by creating this foundation, which can help young women like Muhlaysia to feel loved, be safe and be greater,” Houston said. “I have chosen to be proactive rather than reactive in helping to save these young women. The brutal assault and murder of my daughter will forever leave a hole in my heart, but it will also serve as motivation for myself and others to fight the current government agenda against transgender women and the increasing acts of violence.”

Goree said that an event is being planned to launch the Muhlaysia Booker Foundation, with more information coming soon.

In April, video went viral of Booker being assaulted following a minor fender-bender accident in the parking lot of the South Dallas apartment complex as onlookers laughed and jeered. Edward Thomas was arrested and charged with aggravated assault in connection with that attack.

A month later, Booker was found shot to death, her body left lying in the street in East Dallas. In mid-June, Kendrell Lavar Lyles was arrested and charged with her murder.

Booker is one of three black transgender women murdered in Dallas since last October. The murder of Britney White remains unsolved, although police did initially name Lyles as a person of interest in her death. Chynal Lindsey’s body was found floating in White Rock Lake on June 1, and Ruben Alvarado has been arrested and charged with her murder.