The following is a message that Mark Scheinberg, president of Goodwin College, shared with his students, faculty, and staff on October 30, 2018:
To the Goodwin College Community,
In thinking of what to say about the most recent episodes of violence in our country, I revisited two messages I shared with you previously: one from June 2016 about the shootings in Orlando, and another, just over a year ago, following the concert attack in Las Vegas. There have been other tragedies along the way, including the deaths of 17 students at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. The list goes on. Some events have garnered worldwide attention, while others have gone practically unnoticed.
In those instances, we focused on one specific event at a time. Now we are trying to come to grips with a spiral of multiple acts of violence: the sending of explosives through the U.S. mail to political targets and the shootings last weekend at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and at Kroger’s Supermarket in Jeffersontown, Kentucky.
The intended targets of the mailed explosives are all well known. In the case of the Tree of Life Synagogue shootings, we know the names of the victims: Joyce Fienberg, Richard Gottfried, Rose Mallinger, Jerry Rabinowitz, Cecil Rosenthal, David Rosenthal, Bernice Simon, Sylvan Simon, Daniel Stein, Melvin Wax, and Irving Younger. In Kentucky, the two victims were Vicki Lee Jones and Maurice E. Stallard.
But I noticed that, among the news stories though not nearly as prominent, was the report of 43 shootings, including five fatalities, in Chicago. Forty-three in a single weekend — yet it seems like a side note. I worry that either we’re becoming numb to this violence or that we’re so overwhelmed we don’t know where to turn.
Right now, perhaps you’re looking for some sort of support, either for yourself or to give you guidance in speaking to your children about these events. Our friends in Student Services have shared some resources that might be helpful to all of us as we find a way to carry on following these incidents:
- 5 Tips for Talking with Children about the Shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue
- Empowering Young People in the Aftermath of Hate
- The Pyramid of Hate
- Helping Students Make Sense of News Stories About Bias and Injustice
- Anti-Semitic Incidents: Being an Ally, Advocate and Activist
It may help to remember that our Goodwin community comprises many individuals — students, faculty, and staff — who are committed to making the world better. There are healers here. There are protectors and innovators. We have graduated people who run into dangerous situations and who care for the injured. I believe we are making a difference. We have to.
Wishing peace to our community.