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Another Mass Shooting Jolts Our Nation

By Office of Communications & Marketing | May 16, 2022

This past Saturday, the nation and the world witnessed yet another senseless mass shooting. But, this time, it was right in our own backyard—here in upstate New York—with Black people as intended targets.

This tragedy is also incredibly and personally painful. Although born in New Orleans, I spent many years of my childhood in Buffalo, where one of my three sisters was born during our late father’s surgical residency training. The shooting took place a short 10 minutes away from where we lived on the east side of Buffalo. As a result, I often reminisce about my early years in Buffalo.

We stand in solidarity and prayer with the entire Buffalo community, the victims, and their families. We offer our prayers and support. At the same time, we grieve as a nation once again shattered by such senseless acts.

As we learned of the horrific shootings, we also learned that the killer had driven several hours from his hometown directly to Buffalo specifically to kill Black people. For too many of us, this brought back the 2015 tragedy at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, where a gunman took the lives of nine Black worshippers.

Yet another perpetrator with an abhorrent ideology of grievance has carried out a horrific hate crime causing immeasurable suffering for the victims’ families and the survivors—not to mention the millions of others, regardless of race, who are once again traumatized by such hatred and violence.

The last few years have seen too many acts of domestic terrorism. But unfortunately, with the pervasiveness of ideologies spewed by hate groups and individuals—including irresponsible and uncaring lawmakers—these behaviors, acts, and gestures of white supremacist domestic terrorism continue to go largely unbridled and openly encouraged by those who subscribe to such hatred, racism, bigotry, and xenophobia.

The Downstate community echoes the statements of President Biden, Governor Hochul, Interim SUNY Chancellor Stanley, and the SUNY Board of Trustees. President Biden stated, “Racially motivated hate crime is abhorrent to the very fabric of this nation. Any act of domestic terrorism, including an act perpetrated in the name of a repugnant white nationalist ideology, is antithetical to everything we stand for in America.”

I applaud Governor Hochul for her supportive statement and pledge to address white supremacy head-on. She stated, “Such hate-filled rhetoric has no place in our state, which prides itself on being known as America’s melting pot, where individuals of all ethnicities, races, beliefs, orientations, and backgrounds are welcomed and celebrated.”

Interim SUNY Chancellor and the SUNY Board of Trustees issued a statement yesterday supporting the Buffalo community and decrying the act of violence intended to bring further division to our nation. Downstate stands with SUNY System leadership in supporting each other.

We must continue to make our voices heard. Hatred and killing must stop!

If you are having difficulty and would like additional support resources, please contact the Employee Assistance Program at (718) 270-1489 or email Magda Alliancin, Ed.D. magda.alliancin@downstate.edu. All calls and emails are kept confidential.

If you feel unsafe, DO immediately call University Police at X2626 or 911 if there are any safety threats to you or your fellow students.

You may also reach out to the Office of Student Life & Services at (718) 270-2187 or email studentaffairs@downstate.edu. All calls and emails are kept confidential.

Further, any individual who believes they have experienced discrimination should immediately contact the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at (718) 270-1738. You may also email ODI at AskODI@Downstate.edu.

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Contact: Dawn S. Walker
917.439.9666 | 347.533.2071
dawn.walker@downstate.edu

About SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University is the borough's only academic medical center for health education, research, and patient care. It is a 342-bed facility serving the healthcare needs of New York City and Brooklyn's 2.6 million residents. University Hospital of Brooklyn (UHB) is Downstate's teaching hospital, backed by an outstanding medical school's expertise and world-class academic center research facilities. More than 800 physicians, representing 53 specialties and subspecialties—many of them ranked as tops in their fields—comprise Downstate's staff.

In addition to high-risk neonatal and infant services, pediatric nephrology, and dialysis (kidney diseases)—and offering the only kidney transplantation program in Brooklyn, among many other distinctive programs—Downstate also sponsors a major learning center for young children with developmental disorders and disabilities. In addition to UHB, Downstate comprises a College of Medicine, College of Nursing, School of Health Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, a School of Public Health, and a multifaceted biotechnology initiative, including the Downstate Biotechnology Incubator and BioBAT for early-stage and more mature companies, respectively. For more information, visit www.downstate.edu or follow us on Twitter at @sunydownstate.