Dr. Jonson-Reid’s message on Tree of Life Synagogue Violence

“Once again, we are witness to a tragic shooting and our heartfelt condolences go out to those touched by this event. In the few short years since the Center for Violence and Injury Prevention was founded, there have been shootings in elementary and secondary schools, places of worship, concerts, nightclubs… And there continues to be a high toll of gun related homicides in some of our inner cities and gun related suicides across the nation. These events leave behind loved ones, friends and community members that struggle to make meaning and cry out for change. No words accurately convey their sense of loss.

In thinking about change, I was reminded of the book by Steven Pinkner (2011) that talks about how we, as a species, are far less violent now than we have been at points in our past. This is heartening from the standpoint that we are capable of evolving, of choosing to do better. A quote from Martin Luther King Jr reminds us that failing to make this choice is not an option. He states, “We must all learn to live together as brothers or we will all perish as fools.” Of all the things that compete for our time and investment, learning to truly care for each other must be our highest priority.”

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