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Emory President Claire E. Sterk responds to recent shooting in Pittsburgh

Note: This message was sent to the Emory community on Oct. 28, 2018

Dear Members of the Emory Community,

The recent massacre at the Tree of Life congregation in Pittsburgh has left us grieved and outraged. Acts of violence have no place in our society. Acts of violence based on religion are especially heinous. They undermine democracy, and they attack the principles of equality, inclusion, and reason that bring us together into community. Our deepest sympathies go out to the victims and their families, the congregation members of the Tree of Life, the first responders, and the entire Jewish community.

We at Emory are privileged to be part of a leading research university. With that privilege comes responsibility. Hate speech creates the conditions within which hateful acts can occur. We can and must speak out against anti-Semitism, wherever it appears. I encourage us to stand together, rejecting violence and modeling its opposite: non-violence, compassion, and the love that goes hand-in-hand with justice. I am proud that Emory strives to be a place where people can hold difficult conversations respectfully and where all of us—regardless of who we are, where we were born, whom we love, or how we choose to worship—can find a home to flourish. 

In solidarity with the families and communities affected by the shooting, we will fly the flag at half-staff on Emory’s Atlanta and Oxford campuses until October 31. A community gathering to remember the victims and to recommit ourselves to living authentically in a community that honors religious and cultural differences will take place Monday, October 29, at 5:30 p.m., on the main Emory campus at the Cannon Chapel overhang between the Modern Languages Building and White Hall. On the Oxford campus, the chapel will be open from 7:00 a.m. until midnight on Monday, for prayer, meditation, and reflection.


Claire E. Sterk

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