Vigil planned for Wednesday in wake of Buffalo tragedy

Publication Date

The College will hold a vigil in response to the racially-motivated attack in Buffalo.

It is planned for Wednesday, May 18, at 1 p.m. in front of Memorial Chapel (location change from previous announcement).

The College’s chief diversity officers announced the vigil and resources of support in the following campus email on Monday:

Dear Union College Community:

A campus vigil is planned for Wednesday at 1 p.m. in front of Memorial Chapel in response to the recent racially-motivated attack in Buffalo. We encourage all to attend in remembrance of the victims and to support each other.

On Saturday, May 14, 2022, a white gunman opened fire on a supermarket in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Buffalo. This racially-motivated attack took the lives of 10 people and injured three. The shooter, a self-avowed white supremacist, drove 200 miles for the planned attack and live streamed the shooting.

We offer our deepest condolences to the friends and family of the victims.

To honor the many lives taken by racially-motivated violence, we must endeavor to conquer white supremacy and other forms of hate head-on. We must ensure that hate has no place on our campus, local or national communities.

As we learn more about other recent shootings in Texas and California, we recognize that the continued exposure to racially-motivated violence and gun violence can have a significant impact on our mental and emotional well-being. If you feel overwhelmed or are experiencing fear or anxiety, there are support services and resources available. We encourage you to reach out to one of the following resources:

On-Campus Student Resources:

Employee Assistance Program:
To access your EAP, simply call the toll-free number 1-800-252-4555 or 1-800-225-2527 to talk with a counselor or coach who will work with you to address your issues. You can also visit your EAP online at for thousands of problem-solving resources and self-help tools.

Resources for BIPOC Faculty and Staff

For BIPOC Faculty and Staff who would like to process and check in with one another, the BIPOC Employee Alliance will host an office hour via zoom on Thursday, May 19, 3-4:30p.m.

Resources for BIPOC Students

  • Black Men Heal - Limited and selective free mental health service opportunities for Black men.
  • Therapy for Black Girls - Online space dedicated to encouraging the mental wellness of Black women and girls. Offers listing of mental health professionals across the country who provide high quality, culturally competent services to Black women and girls, an informational podcast and an online support community.
  • Steve Fund - Focuses on supporting the mental health and emotional well-being of young people of color.

Resources for Allies:

Take care of yourselves and one another,

Dru Alvez
Assistant Director Office of Intercultural Affairs/Student Affairs Chief Diversity Officer

Christa Grant
Assistant Dean for Intercultural Affairs/Student Affairs Chief Diversity Officer

Deidre Hill-Butler, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Sociology/Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Academic Chief Diversity Officer

Mary F. Simeoli, J.D.
Title IX Coordinator and Interim Director of Equal Opportunity/Chief Diversity Officer