Standing Against Gun Violence

May 25, 2022

Dear Lynx community,

Once again, we must stand together against acts of violence and hate.

In a span of 10 days, we faced three heart-breaking tragedies across our country, with 19 elementary school children and two teachers killed in Uvalde, Texas1 person killed and five injured when a man opened fire in a church in Laguna Woods, California; and 10 people murdered in a hate-motivated attack in Buffalo, New York. These senseless acts add to the escalating gun violence we have been experiencing repeatedly as a nation. Just this year, more than 200 mass shootings and 27 school shootings have occurred nationwide, including many acts of violence throughout the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metro area.

We cannot remain silent as the tragic rise in gun violence continues to plague our nation and how we live, learn, and work. Not only are these tragedies an affront to CU Denver’s values and mission, but they also serve as stark reminders that a diverse, inclusive society is one in which people and communities don’t have to live in fear for their own lives and the lives of their loved ones.

But speaking out is only the first step. We have to take real action that builds on the actions being taken by leaders across our city and country.

So here is what we will be doing, together.

  • We have been taking steps to become an Equity-Serving Institution under the leadership of Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Antonio Farias and so many of you in our community. This work must continue, and we must continue to do the hard work of confronting racism and hate within our institution and beyond.
  • Over the next year, I will be working with Provost Constancio Nakuma, Senior Vice Chancellor for Strategic Enrollment and Student Success Monique Snowden, Vice Chancellor Farias, as well as incoming Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Phillip DeLeon and our Deans, to identify ways that CU Denver can leverage our staff, faculty, and student expertise to address the intersection of race, gun violence, and mental health. This activity will become part of our Road Map for Year 2 under the Strategic Plan.

At times like this remember the resources such as our Counseling Center and the community that we have at CU Denver.

I know so many of you are struggling to comprehend this recent spate of violence. I know how it can make us feel angry and numb to the world and to humanity. But also know that we are committed to being that force for knowledge and impact that our society needs. And we will work together to leverage our research, education, and community engagement to be a convener, to tackle difficult issues, to listen, to teach, and to advance.

Michelle Mark signature

Michelle Marks

Chancellor’s Office

CU Denver

Lawrence Street Center

1380 Lawrence Street

Suite 1400

Denver, CO 80204


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