students in lounge
graphic reading black perspectives, experiences, futures, dreams, feelings, love, people, and lives matter

graphic by Caltech Center for Diversity

In the national news, another child mourns their father, another set of parents mourns their son, and another community suffers the loss and trauma of another young man killed by police. The Women’s Center affirms that Black lives matter. As his community mourns the death of Tyre Nichols, we would like to let Mr. Nichols represent himself: his photography is here. His life matters.

So, too, do the dreams and experiences of people and families affected by losses and violence in the news closer to home, including our own community here in Charlottesville. 

For our community members harmed by trauma, we are here for you.

Absorb, with care.

Understanding trauma may help you to process violence in the news or to support others in your life in doing so. To that end, we can offer useful insights provided by our counseling team who are always willing to share their knowledge. Now, as always, it is important to take a trauma-informed approach in responding to social injustice.

Traumatic events bring loss, whether that’s the loss of a sense of safety, the loss of a sense of control or the actual loss of a family member or friend. Managing our own reactions to such losses, even those that emanate from events happening far from where we are physically located, is crucial. We must take care of ourselves so that we can respond without creating further harm.

Here are two brief articles that members of our team have written to help you process traumatic events:

Every one of us has multiple responses in times of stressful news, emotionally, socially, and politically - and will continue to do so as we move forward. It is important, however, to seek help if your reaction is interfering with your ability to function in daily life.

We stand, as always, with all of our students, alums and colleagues working to create communities where everyone can live free from violence and oppression. And we want to remind all UVA students, as well as the faculty, staff and parents across the University community who care about them, that we are here to provide support and information about available resources.