Interim dean’s message: Race-based mass shooting in Buffalo
Dear School of Social Work Community,
This weekend while our community celebrated new graduates and change makers, we were also faced with unspeakable violence. We join the world in grieving for the families of 10 victims who lost their life in a racially motivated hate crime.
I write to express my grief and anger, as well as my sympathy for all those affected by the shooting in Buffalo. Issuing a statement in the face of ongoing hate-motivated acts of violence in our world feels inadequate. It nonetheless reminds us of the importance of our ongoing solidarity in fighting against hate, prejudice and violence. We must grieve together, and we must also continue to work together to dismantle the racist ideologies that feed domestic terrorism, of which this weekend’s mass shooting represents one instance among many.
Everyone copes in different ways, and I encourage you to take good care of yourself during this time. Below are some ways that you can help along with resources that you may find helpful.
Our colleagues at the University of Buffalo School of Social Work have issued a call, in collaboration with the Buffalo Urban League, for Black social workers who can assist local families and communities. If you wish to help, the Buffalo Urban League contact information is (716) 250-2400.
Saturday’s tragic incident, in addition to causing grief and pain among the community, has resulted in food insecurity since the Tops grocery store was the only place for many in the East Buffalo community to purchase food. Organizations where you may donate to help include Feed Buffalo, Rooted In Love, Inc. and Colored Girls Bike Too.
You may also find this information from Child Mind Institute on talking to children about grief to be helpful. Additionally, the Anti-Defamation League resource Empowering Young People in the Aftermath of Hate may be helpful.
As I continue to process and grieve, I am thankful for my community of social workers. I am grateful to you all for the hope inherent in the work that we do to eliminate racism, oppression and hate.
Rebecca Gomez, Ph.D., LCSW