ODI Observation to the Community

Within hours of Commencement on May 14, the most joyous day of the year on our campus, 10 innocent people were murdered in Buffalo for no other apparent reason than that they were Black in America in 2022. The oldest among them was 86 years old. One day later, a gunman also apparently fueled by hatred killed one person and injured five others in a Taiwanese church in Laguna Woods, California.
Tuesday, 21 people – 19 of them children – were murdered in an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, making it the second-worst elementary school shooting in recent history.
Unlike Buffalo and Laguna Woods, we don’t yet know what motivated the shooter to commit these murders in Uvalde. On some level, there is no adequate explanation for acts so heinous that they make us question the very core of what it means to be human.
Expressions of thoughts and prayers alone are not enough to heal our sicknesses. Instead, I am writing to encourage you – to beseech you, despite our collective grief and anger over these tragedies – not to lose hope. These sicknesses are curable, and by taking action – signing petitions, contacting legislators, contributing your time to support those affected or at risk – we demonstrate the goodness in humanity.

But that won't just happen. We must do the healing. We must actively work against racism. We must actively work to end this culture of violence. We must remain committed – not for the innocents murdered in Buffalo, Laguna Woods, and Uvalde, for whom it is once again too late, but for those who survived and for every member of our communities.
As a public research university, UAlbany has an important role to play in diagnosing, understanding, and addressing these societal ills.
Today, I am asking you not to lose hope. Tomorrow, we need to get back to the ongoing work of equity and inclusion that is essential to healing.
With sincerity and resolve, and in partnership,

Samuel Caldwell
Chief Diversity Officer and Associate Vice President