On Wednesday evening, June 17th, nine lives were taken deliberately by a young, white supremacist, while they prayed and engaged in Bible Study in the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC.
We know that this hate-filled act greatly impacts our country and our campus community, even though in these summer months, many students, staff and faculty are spread out in many different places of the country and world. We also know that no matter where we might be physically, we do come together as part of the interconnected U of M community in the aftermath of yet another, senseless national tragedy
We remember and speak names of the lives lost.
Ethel Lee Vance, 70 yrs. old
Tywanza Sanders, 26 yrs. old
Cynthia Hurd, 54 yrs. old
Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, 49 yrs. old
Pator Clementa Pickney, 41 yrs. old
Susie Jackson, 87 yrs. old
Myra Thompson, 59 yrs. old
Daniel L. Simmons Sr., 74 yrs. old
Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, 45 yrs. old
To borrow from the words of President Obama,
“to say our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families and their community doesn't say enough to convey the heartache and the sadness and the anger that we feel. Any death of this sort is a tragedy. Any shooting involving multiple victims is a tragedy. There is something particularly heartbreaking about a death happening in a place in which we seek solace and we seek peace, in a place of worship.”
The collective exhaustion that permeates so many of our lives, especially those within our African American communities, can only be soothed by all of us standing together and saying “no more” and collectively raising our voices and engaging in actions, that repel racism whenever, and wherever we can--on our campus, in our classrooms, in our homes and in our workplaces. The fight for social justice needs all of us to prevail.
During this time of stress and upset, we encourage you to reach out to each other, actively engage in self-care activities, and maybe even limit how much television you watch or social media you read that might contribute to feelings of hopelessness, sadness, or anger and leave you feeling overwhelmed. So, please, try to take care of yourselves and each other.
Also, remember that we, the staff at CAPS, continue to strive for inclusion and acknowledge the multicultural struggles that may impact students, faculty, and staff. If support is needed from CAPS, please let us know by scheduling an appointment or utilizing our counselor-on-duty service.
Article published in June 2015