May 17, 2022
Unfolding is the grief, tragic loss, fear, anger, and pain from witnessing the racially motivated mass murder in Buffalo this weekend. We begin as we simply can - even when words fail to capture our feelings - by supporting one another, and by embracing our Western NY to world families left now to confront the horror of this act.
One man's hateful deeds tear asunder the life, love, peace, and justice due to each victim, their loved ones, and community. Such acts can be met with resolve - to care for oneself and one another, to honor and protect every life by working against racism, and to breathe intent - individually and collectively - into actions that work towards eradicating the targeted perpetration of violence in Black and Brown communities.
As we gathered at ROC the Future's all-day retreat on Monday, we began with a moment of silence for all victims. This reminds us of how intentional reflection in the days ahead is a way to begin to support the communities to which we belong. For instance, it can take the form of pausing to mourn and give reverence for those affected, or of guided introspection about how everyday activities can be a life-or-death situation in Black and Brown communities because of bred racism. It can come by seeking out counselors or caring adults with whom we can safely share our thoughts and feelings.
And so, we go - forging foundations for restoration and justice. Sharing resources from the Anti-Defamation League:
• How to talk to children about what happened in Buffalo
• Empowering young people in the aftermath of hate
U of R President Sarah Mangelsdorf shared resources for the university community as well on Sunday in her message: "...if you are in need of support, there are campus resources available to you, including the UHS Counseling Center, our campus Faith Communities, and the Employee Assistance Program. Please seek help if you need it; you are not alone."
We must look within and across our communities for where there are places to assure, support, and affirm immediately available. We must come together – we were a targeted community; his plans were stopped in Buffalo. Acknowledging our community members were a target of this actor – and working to bring safety – is the urgency ever present.
–Ann Marie White, Ed.D.