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Monday, June 13, 2016

Message from Chancellor Black

Dear Campus Community,

It is with a heavy heart that I offer condolences to the families and friends of the Orlando mass shooting victims and members of the LGBTQI and Latino communities. I am deeply disturbed by the hatred and violence of this tragedy. UMD is and must continue to remain true to our core value of inclusiveness. In honor of the victims, UMD's pride flag is hanging at half-staff outside of Solon Campus Center.  

On behalf of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, we invite the UMD community to join us this evening, Monday, June 13 at 7:00 p.m. on the UMD Kirby Terrace for a candlelight vigil.

I also invite members of our campus and community to show their support and join a resource drive for a local organization in this time of need. Together for Youth is a passionate and inclusive group that provides support, resources, and safety for LGBTQ youth in our community.  You can show your support by providing resources and financial support designated to Together for Youth . Similar efforts to support local communities are happening across our University of Minnesota system.

I'd like to share with you a message from Erin Olson who works with SIT and QASU:
UMD will be having a candlelight vigil Uniting in the wake of Orlando o n Kirby Terrace tonight. We don't claim to have all the answers or any answers, but this is a time to know that feeling scared does not have to mean feeling alone as well.

There will be a microphone set up for those who want to share positive commentary. There will also be a specific moment of silence at 8:00 for the victims of this tragedy. We want to let the families and friends of these victims know that we stand with them in solidarity and support them.

This event is open to anyone. We happily invite folks from the LGBTQ+ spectrum as well as folks who just want to be an Ally to the community. Also, folks who are already an Ally should feel just as welcome.

Candles will be provided, but in case of a large turnout please feel free to bring your own.
Erin Olson

I thank Erin for organizing this vigil at UMD, and also staff in Kirby Student Center and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion for their assistance. I also encourage you to stand in solidarity with the LGBTQI community. We must unite to stop hatred and violence in any form.

In conclusion, I offer this quote from David Klion, writer, and editor from Al Jazeera America: "There will be attempts to pit two vulnerable communities, LGBT and Muslim, against one another. RESIST THEM".


Lendley Black