Adler University President Raymond E. Crossman, Ph.D. responds to the recent shootings in El Paso and Dayton, and violence in Chicago in a message to students, faculty, and staff.
This weekend in Chicago, at least 7 were killed and 48 wounded in Chicago’s most violent weekend yet this year. Nearly all the violence happened on the south and west sides of the city.
This weekend in El Paso and Dayton, at least 31 were killed and 51 wounded in two mass shootings.
Most of the Chicago killings will likely not be solved, and there is much we still do not yet know about the killings in El Paso and Dayton.
We do know that durable segregation and lack of investment in black and brown neighborhoods leads to the Chicago killings, and we are hearing there may again be hatred and white supremacy driving the events in El Paso. We know also that the USA has not invested adequate resources into the prevention of violence and the elimination of structural racism. Federal funds have been blocked from even researching gun violence.
We know too that “mental health” did not “pull the trigger.” People with mental illness are far more likely to be the recipient of violence than violent themselves.
I’m writing you today because I know many of you join me in finding the days immediately following tragedies such as these the most disheartening. Chicago violence is ignored, calls for action don’t lead to any action. Whether you are in Chicago, Vancouver, or elsewhere in the world – it is a sad and maddening day.
For those of us who work together against oppression and violence at Adler University, when events such as these explode to reveal the magnitude of the work before us, it can seem daunting to move forward. It’s summertime as well, so we’re more scattered as a learning community, especially for our ground campuses.
So I write you to remind you of what you know even during these discouraging events and times – we are a community united in ongoing work to advance a more just society. Our work continues steadily as it has for almost 70 years because it must. Please reach out to me or to one another with your ideas and creativity to respond at this time. The education and practice of Adler University is the answer to oppression and violence, and our commitment endures, as students, faculty, staff, and community partners reaching for new solutions.