Supporting Our Community in Wake of Tragedy in Buffalo

May 15, 2022

Dear Members of the George Washington University Community,

I am deeply saddened to address you today in the wake of the horrific mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, which appears motivated by hate, violence, and racist white supremacist ideology that has no place in our society. I offer my condolences to the many families of victims and members of the community who are suffering after this despicable act of domestic terrorism, and I reaffirm our university commitment to supporting our community during this challenging time.

While this tragedy—yet another case of mass gun violence in our country—has left all of us shaken, I recognize that it is impacting members of our Black community disproportionately. The violence perpetrated by the attacker, and the vile rhetoric espoused, adds to the fear, worry, and pain many suffer each day.  

Every member of our university community deserves to feel safe, no matter their race or identity. This is one of our most basic human rights. It is especially difficult to learn of this tragedy on a day that should be about celebrating our graduates and their accomplishments. Despite how difficult it is, we all must take a moment to pause and consider how we can strengthen our personal and community commitment to continue the important teaching, research, and service that condemn and fight racism and hate.

Please know that the university is here to support you. I encourage you to seek university resources, such as those available through the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement; Counseling and Psychological Services; Advocacy & Support; Student Affairs; Human Resources; or Faculty Affairs.

Sincerely yours,

Mark S. Wrighton