Response to the tragedy in Buffalo

May 16, 2022

Dear BC Community,

Our hearts are heavy with news of the mass shooting that took the lives of 10 people and wounded three others in Buffalo, New York, last Saturday. Eleven of the victims are Black, and the shooter, fueled by white supremacist hatred, targeted a grocery store in a predominantly Black neighborhood with plans to continue his spree had he not been stopped by law enforcement.

We are saddened and outraged at this horrific act of violence, and recognize that this has an even greater impact on our Black colleagues, students, friends, and family members. Please take care of yourselves, one another, and be mindful of the individual needs some of our community members may have.  

At a time when there’s pushback against the work to eradicate Anti-Blackness, we can respond by strengthening our resolve to uproot systemic racism in our society, and institution. In the wake of hate, we can respond by offering compassion and allyship to our Black community. And if you or someone you know needs counseling as a result this incident, please take advantage of resources listed below. 

  • Counseling Center: Counselors are trained mental health professionals who assist students with a wide variety of personal life challenges and concerns that may be affecting academic performance.  
  • Employee Assistance Program:  Faculty and staff can contact the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at 877-313-4455. 
  • Report a Concern: Report any concern in the Bellevue College community online, including worrying behaviors.  

Today at 4 p.m., the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, along with the Black Employees of Bellevue College affinity group and the Addressing Anti-Blackness Task Force, will hold virtual space for healing and processing for Black faculty, staff, and students. Those that would like to join can use this link. There will be external facilitators to support the group during this time.  

Thank you for your kindness, and dedication, to making this an inclusive and welcoming campus for all. 

Gary Locke 

Interim President