Statement: Jefferson Avenue Tops Friendly Markets Mass Shooting

From the Dean and Chief Diversity Officer

May 14, 2022

Dear GSE Community,

We are writing with heavy hearts about today’s shooting at Top’s Market on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo. These mass shootings have become too familiar to us all, but none have struck quite this close to UB. It is hard to adequately express our sadness, anger, and despair at another senseless and devastating shooting. We are reaching out to offer care and support to all in the GSE family as we struggle with this news and its impact on us.

As we learn more about the incident over the coming days, we want to highlight the message from President Tripathi. We also want to reiterate that a variety of campus resources are available to provide information about essential resources on campus and stand ready to assist you: UB Counseling Services, UB Victim Support, and Employee Assistance Program. Please do not hesitate to reach out and get support if you are experiencing stress, anxiety, and grief regarding the shooting. While it is true that all the information regarding the motivation of the shooter is not available, there is ample evidence that this tragic event was another racially motivated violent act and hate crime against Black people (11 of the shooting victims are Black, and two are white). The racial motivations of the shooter somehow deepen the grief, trauma, harm, and outrage exponentially felt because of the seemingly endless violence targeting Black people, especially over the last several years.

For students, we encourage you to also reach out to your advisor or other professors with whom you feel a connection. We know the semester is over for most of you, but there may be additional demands or requirements that are difficult to attend to at this moment. As for faculty and staff, we encourage you to reach out to each other to provide support and care. We know all of this is complicated by many of us being remote and removed from each other. This is no time to be alone and isolated, so please reach out.

These past few years have been hard, and it is difficult to sit with the realization that it is not getting any easier. This stress and trauma are often cumulative, so we must prioritize our mental health and well-being. Please take care of yourselves and each other. Please know that GSE is here for you if you need any assistance. Do not hesitate to contact us if you need additional resources or support.

With compassion and in community,

Suzanne Rosenblith's signature.

Suzanne Rosenblith, PhD
Dean and Professor

Raechele Pope's signature.

Raechele Pope, EdD
Associate Dean for Faculty and Student Affairs, Chief Diversity Officer and Associate Professor

Graduate School of Education Logo.