School of Social Work

No. 28 M.S.W. Program in the U.S.

Dear SSW community,

Dr. Aaron J. Hart, VCU vice president for student affairs, has outlined resources (below) to our community during this time as we await the release of video around the death of Tyre Nichols.  I ask that as you process your feelings that you reach out for support. 

Be sensitive and mindful to your needs at this time, and be kind and compassionate to each other.  I have witnessed our community hold each other up during painful times. I know that we will be there for each other, but I join you in feeling deep pain and anger that we once again must join together following unspeakable loss.  

Rebecca Gomez signature

In Community,
Rebecca Gomez, Ph.D.
Interim dean and associate professor
VCU School of Social Work

Message from Dr. Hart

Dear VCU community,

This evening, authorities in Memphis will release video from the tragic death of Mr. Tyre Nichols. Five Memphis police officers are charged with second-degree murder for his death.

Memphis officials have described the video and circumstances as “horrific.”

President Rao and I have spoken at length about this painful situation. It is senseless and heartbreaking that another African American has lost their life at the hands of those who had a responsibility to protect and serve them; not to cause harm to them. 

It is natural to hold feelings of outrage, anger, pain and even disbelief over this situation. It also revives memories from the past few years that can be hard to cope with and to comprehend. For those of you who need them, VCU has resources to support you – please visit University Counseling Services or TimelyCare. VCU faculty members and staff can access a list of support resources on

We truly care about you and each of your lived experiences at VCU. We are here to support all of our students, faculty and staff in the coming days.


Aaron J. Hart, Ed.D.
Vice President
Division of Student Affairs
Virginia Commonwealth University

Categories Community, Faculty and staff, From the dean, Students
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