Dear Members of the University of Miami Community,
One week ago, University of Miami students and Marjory Stoneman Douglas alumni presented “This is America - Mass Shooting Memorial,” an event created to honor the victims of mass shootings in the US and to educate our community. I was deeply moved by the immersive and interactive experience, which featured images and stories of the victims of horrific tragedies that have impacted the world and shaken our communities.
Saturday brought news of another attack at the Poway Synagogue in California. This latest act happens in the context of rising anti-Semitism and on the heels of attacks against Muslims in New Zealand and Christians in Sri Lanka. Violence rooted in intolerance has become so widespread it can feel overwhelming. But we are not helpless in the face of these atrocities, nor should we be hopeless.
It is important to note that what recent attacks have in common is neither the weapon of choice, nor the religious beliefs of the victims targeted. Rather, at their core, these tragic and detestable events are an expression of all things antithetical to our values at the University of Miami.
At the U, we live and learn together in an extraordinarily diverse community. We ’Canes view difference as a source of strength, and this strength is part of what makes each of us better. As a campus community, we do not dismiss perspectives simply because they are different from our own. We listen, we discuss, we debate, we research, we engage.
In the face of hatred and bigotry, I urge us all to stand firm and cling to these values. Let’s show the world our resilience and the renewal born from tolerance and embrace of difference. Our hearts go out to the victims, we condemn violence and intolerance in all forms, and we re-commit to carrying our values out into the world.
As the semester draws to a close, if the sorrow of these losses is weighing on you, help is available through the Counseling Center on campus.
We are one U,