June 14, 2016
Dear Students and alumni,
The faculty of the Social Work Department urges students, faculty, staff, alumni and the wider CSUN community to support victims and their families in the wake of senseless hate crime and to demand social justice in our nation and the world.
The members of California State University, Northridge Department of Social Work offer our sincere condolences to the families, friends, and members of the Orlando community who lost loved ones during Sunday’s shooting. This is but one in a series of acts of hate and terror to have plagued our nation in recent years. It is difficult to comprehend violent acts like this or to fully understand the grief of those who are suffering. What we can do is unite as a community against further divisiveness and stand together against acts of hate and for a vision of a just and whole society.
As President Obama noted in his response on Sunday, an attack on any person — regardless of their race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, gender identity, or sexual orientation — is an attack on all of us.
The victims, their families, and the LGBTQI community affected by the horrific event in Orlando will remain in the thoughts of our nation and our profession. As social workers, we reject and condemn hatred and violence in word and in deed. We also wish to preserve the greatest asset of our nation: the diversity and inclusion of all people. We believe that public safety can co-exist with diversity and we all must respect in peace our many human differences.
Individually, we may feel powerless, but as a group whose core mission is to fight for social justice, we are strong. In our daily lives as social workers, teachers, activists, parents, and citizens, we can work together to lead communities to choose justice and care for all. We can offer particular solace to members of our LGBTQI communities who feel vulnerable, saddened, and angry at this time. We can be mindful of individuals who are struggling with alienation, rage, or confusion and serve as guides toward a different path. Finally, we can take a strong and unwavering stance against gun violence and work to create communities not guided by hate or fear, but united to create a safer, more tolerant society.
As we learn more about this senseless act, we may find that we know others who have been directly impacted by this tragedy. They may feel immobilized, fearful, and deeply affected in many ways. Please help them to find the resources they need for counseling and support.
As members of the CSUN community, we need to remain open to and engaged in conversations around this and related topics, so that we can lean on one another. We can work together to lead communities to choose justice, practice cultural humility, and to adopt care and concern for all.
During this difficult time, we offer heartfelt condolences to the families of the 49 victims who lost their lives during the Pulse tragedy. To the families and friends of the victims, your city is with you and will continue to be with you as you deal with this unimaginable tragedy.
Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old
Amanda Alvear, 25 years old
Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 years old
Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 years old
Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old
Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old
Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 years old
Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25 years old
Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old
Cory James Connell, 21 years old
Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old
Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old
Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old
Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old
Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old
Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old
Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old
Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old
Frank Hernandez, 27 years old
Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old
Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old
Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old
Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old
Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old
Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old
Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old
Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 years old
Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old
Kimberly Morris, 37 years old
Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years old
Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old
Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25 years old
Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old
Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old
Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old
Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old
Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27 years old
Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old
Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old
Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24 years old
Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old
Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old
Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old
Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 years old
Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old
Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old
Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old
Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old
Let’s also not forget the resources we have to access support. Students can contact our University Counseling Services at 818-677-2366 option 1 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the center at Bayramian Hall 520.
Financial support can be given for the victims of the Pulse shooting at this website: https://www.gofundme.com/PulseVictimsFund.
An article listing ways to help the victims can be found here: https://www.bustle.com/articles/166375-how-to-support-the-lgbtqai-community-following-the-orlando-attack.
Additional resources and information:
To find upcoming vigils near you, click here.
To read about how to talk to your children about tragedy:
Toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support center: Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text "TalkWithUs" to 66746
Incidents of Mass Violence (SAMHSA): http://1.usa.gov/1U3QJ3n
"We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It's easy to say "It's not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem." Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes." –Fred Rogers
-Amy Levin, Professor and Department Chair
Department of Social Work
California State University, Northridge