Statement on the Attacks in Buffalo

Dear SCS Community,

Along with President DeGioia, I am writing to condemn the racist mass killing that occurred in Buffalo last Saturday, and to offer my support for the victims, their families, and anyone in our SCS community impacted by these events.

With gun violence seemingly on the rise nationwide, it is all too easy to become desensitized to another shooting in the news—but this is different. Although the investigation is still being conducted, the evidence is increasingly clear: this was a premeditated act designed to inflict the most amount of harm on a predominantly African American community.

Moreover, this act is linked to a larger, alarming pattern of hate-motivated mass killings targeting African Americans, Latinx, Asian American Pacific Islanders, and other minority groups. From Atlanta to Pittsburgh to El Paso to Charleston, many of the perpetrators were driven by racist worldviews steeped in a toxic mix of white nationalism, white supremacy, and anti-semitism.

This racist violence—including hate-filled rhetoric—must stop.

The 10 lives lost (and three wounded) were everyday citizens who were active community members. Among them include Katherine Massey, a civil rights and community activist; Aaron Salter, Jr., a retired police officer; Pearl Young, a food pantry director; and Celestine Chaney, a grandmother of six—to name only a few.

The neighborhood where the shooting occurred was widely known as a food desert prior to the opening of the supermarket; as it will remain closed while investigations continue, residents will only have access to fast food in the interim. If your means allow, please consider supporting the following local organizations as recommended by a local SCS staff member*:

If you seek further support during this time, as a reminder the following resources are also available to Georgetown members:

As President DeGioia stated: “We join those in mourning and are reminded in this difficult moment of the urgency of the work we are engaged in as a University community.” As allies and partners, let us work together to condemn hate, confront injustice, and to ensure a fair and equitable society for all.


Kelly J. Otter, PhD
Dean, School of Continuing Studies
Georgetown University

*Many members of the Georgetown community, true to the Georgetown spirit of service for others, are interested in volunteer and engagement opportunities in the local region. We will occasionally send out opportunities for engagement to students and other community members. Please note that these opportunities are not being run or endorsed or vetted by Georgetown University or SCS.