California State University, Northridge

From the President's Desk



August 13, 1998

Afternoon of Healing

In a scene that has become sadly too familiar in our society, violence similar to what we have seen in other communities across the country struck close to home in Granada Hills at the North Valley Jewish Community Center. Like many of you who live and work in the area, I am familiar with this valuable community and cultural resource and know families that use the center's services. As a mother myself, I can empathize with the anguish and confusion the parents must be undergoing at this time.

I would like to convey my sympathies to the families who were affected by the senseless actions of the gunman and whose feelings of peace and security were shattered by the experience. Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time, and especially with the child who remains in critical condition. I hope the children who were present at the center during the shooting will regain their sense of the world as a safe place.

I have written the center's director and other local Jewish community leaders conveying our concern and offering the expertise and assistance of the faculty and staff who are trained in helping communities deal with trauma. As is our custom, we will reach out to our neighbors during this time of crisis.

It is times such as these, in the face of fear and the threat of violence, that friends, neighbors and people of goodwill must join hands in mutual support and solidarity. It is in this spirit that a group of Jewish community organizations - including the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Community Centers Association and the Jewish Federation Council of Greater L.A. - will be organizing an afternoon of healing for the community. The gathering will convene on our campus this Sunday, August 15, in the main quad area beginning at 2:00 p.m. We at CSUN are honored to host this very important afternoon of unity.

Cal State Northridge will remain vigilant in its commitment to a safe university environment and to supporting our neighbors. This fall, we plan to host a conference to explore how the many diverse community-based organizations throughout the San Fernando Valley can work as an alliance to promote collaboration and harmony, while addressing various common issues. We have skilled public safety and counseling personnel who know what to look for and what to do to prevent violence, when to intervene with troubled individuals, how to respond when violence occurs and how to help heal the scars of those touched by violence and trauma. Please rely upon these resources to assist in ensuring the safety of the campus.

Louanne Kennedy
Interim President



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Interim President Louanne Kennedy