Standing with our Black community after racist Buffalo shooting

May 16, 2022

Vice Chancellor for Equity & Inclusion Dania Matos sent the following message on Monday, May 16:

Dear Black leaders on campus,

The news of the anti-Black mass shooting in Buffalo this weekend is shocking and horrific. I imagine many of you felt deep sadness or anger as you watched the news unfold. I know I did. I still do.

I thought especially of our Black graduates, who were celebrating at commencement on Saturday when the news first broke. A time for student celebration, agency and empowerment was clouded by white supremacy, racism, gun violence and xenophobic hate. This should not be. It reminds me of how far we have to go.

I, and all the leaders on Berkeley’s campus, stand shoulder-to-shoulder in solidarity with the community in Buffalo and all of you in the struggle against anti-Black racism. The values embodied in our Principles of Community are our guiding light to a “safe, caring and humane environment” where we can all thrive.

Buffalo was not the only community to be harmed by gun violence this weekend. HoustonChicago and Orange County, all saw mass shootings.

Please take time to care for yourselves and your loved ones. Seek the help and support you need to process this news. If you are struggling, University Health Services Employee Assistance offers no-cost, confidential counseling for faculty and staff. Students should contact Counseling and Psychological Services.

If you aren’t already involved, you may also find support through identity-based organizations for faculty and staff or students.

If you need other support, please contact the Division of Equity & Inclusion and my team will help you find the right resources.

I also can’t possibly reach every person on campus who needs to receive the support of UC Berkeley. I invite you to please share this message widely with your colleagues and communities.

Whenever I’ve witnessed or experienced injustices, systemic oppression, racism, sexism—all those things—my heart breaks into a million pieces. Each time it happens, I have to pick all those pieces up, put my heart back together and get back to work. It isn’t always easy and it always takes time. I hope you can make your own healing a priority.

Stopping hate crimes, harassment and discrimination

For information and support on reporting hate crimes or hate-motivated acts, visit the campus hate-crime resource site. Learn how you can help when you see incidents of hate, violence and harassment through Bears that CARE — our active bystander training.

The Office for the Prevention of Harassment & Discrimination/Title IX is committed to fostering a campus community free from harassment and discrimination on the basis of protected categories including race, color, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

Specific threats to your safety should be reported to UCPD.

Berkeley News