Social work

CSUN MSW Response to the Tragedy in Orlando

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 or visit the center at Bayramian Hall 520.

Financial support can be given for the victims of the Pulse shooting at this website:

An article listing ways to help the victims can be found here:

Additional resources and information:

To find upcoming vigils near you, click here.  

To read about how to talk to your children about tragedy: 

Mr. Rogers provides more generic information.   

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):


"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