Disturbing Losses and Fresh Challenges

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Please note:  We invite Columbia students, faculty and staff to join in an Open Space to Connect, Reflect, and Heal, together with Columbia’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, this evening (Thursday, Sept. 22) from 5pm - 7pm at the Intercultural Resource Center, 552 W 114th St.

Many of us here and in communities across the country have watched and reacted in shared grief at the most recent fatal shootings by police of black men in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Charlotte, North Carolina, and the violence in the aftermath of otherwise peaceful protests. These incidents follow other police shootings of numerous unarmed men and women of color, targeted shootings of police, and other acts of violence both here and abroad. 

These deeply disturbing losses of life are felt just after the discovery of several bombs planted in Manhattan and in New Jersey, with one that injured dozens in New York, and others that were discovered and removed safely by law enforcement.

While it is increasingly difficult to repeat and relive what many of us may be feeling – anger, sorrow, disbelief or profound frustration – it is important that you know of multiple resources for community and support on campus. These include professional counselors on the MorningsideMedical Center, and Barnard campuses, and multi-faith advisors with the Office of the University Chaplain.

The Office of University Life also strives, through its work including with members of the Race, Ethnicity and Inclusion Task Force and with students from all schools, to create University-wide spaces to surface and address these issues of inequity, injustice and violence together with values of inclusion and belonging, from combating Islamophobia to supporting first-generation students, military veterans and so many others who comprise our vibrant community.

In coming weeks, two Office of University Life community-oriented events may also be of interest to you – you are invited to participate, or just listen:

StorySpace @ Columbia – Thursday, 9/29 @ 6:30 pm – a special storytelling evening for the Columbia community, with students from undergraduate, graduate and professional schools sharing personal short stories about identity.

AWAKENING OUR DEMOCRACY – Wednesday, 10/5 @ Noon, with lunch for registered guests – our panel will look sharply at the implications and ramifications of today’s politics and political parties on the upcoming presidential election.

Details for these events can be found here.

Our hearts may be heavy, but there is also great strength, and room for hope, when we come together as a community.  Please join us.

- Office of University Life (universitylife@columbia.edu)