Dear Vanderbilt community,
In recent weeks, a series of horrific mass shootings across this country has left us stunned and heartbroken. The recent shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Tulsa, Oklahoma—so closely following the similar incidents in Buffalo, New York, and Laguna Woods, California—are grim reminders of violence that has festered for decades.
As the Vanderbilt community grieves with these communities, we recognize that it is our responsibility as a university to serve as an open forum for the vital discussions that must take place around this pressing problem.
To this end, the university and the Vanderbilt Project on Unity and American Democracy will host a live virtual panel discussion, Facts and Evidence: Navigating the Gun Debate in America, on Tuesday, June 7, at noon Central Time.
The discussion will feature expert faculty and guest speakers, including Vanderbilt University’s Jonathan Metzl and James Blumstein and Georgetown University’s Mary McCord. Samar Ali, research professor of political science and law and co-chair of the Unity Project, will moderate the discussion.
I hope you will join us for this important conversation, which will address the facts, history and evidence surrounding gun violence in our country while also exploring solutions from several academic perspectives. Only through such thoughtful and informed discussions can we expand our thinking and develop lasting solutions.
These recent events have left many of us with a tremendous amount of grief and information to process. University resources are available for faculty, staff, students and postdoctoral fellows:
- University Counseling Center, call 615-322-2571 to speak with an on-call behavioral health provider
- Student Care Coordination, schedule an appointment online or call 615-343-WELL (9355)
- Center for Student Wellbeing, call 615-322-0480 to schedule an appointment
- Center for Spiritual and Religious Life, call 615-322-2457 for support
- Employee Assistance Program, call 615-936-1327 for a confidential appointment
I encourage anyone struggling at this difficult time to take advantage of these resources, particularly as we continue to grieve these far too numerous tragedies.
Chancellor, Vanderbilt University