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Statement Following the Orlando Shooting

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

University of Kansas School of Social Welfare

The School of Social Welfare and the Toni Johnson Office for Race and Social Justice (ORSJ) expresses its deepest sympathies to the victims of the mass murder in Orlando, and to their families. We acknowledge the pain that individuals in our local communities are experiencing as result of this atrocity, which impacted predominately LGBTQIA, Latinx, and people of color. Heinous acts such as this spur us to redouble our efforts to work to end racism, homophobia, and transphobia as our profession calls us to do. We stand by the words of the National Association of Social Workers-Florida chapter:

The National Association of Social Workers-Florida Chapter (NASW-FL) is devastated by the attack on the Orlando night club. This senseless act impacts the lives of all Americans.

The blame for this tragic act will encompass terrorism, guns, mental health, hatred and isolation. Teachings of dignity and worth of a person in our homes, schools, churches and in laws passed by state legislatures, city and county commissions and school boards are critical for healthy people and healthy communities.

As professional social workers, we are guided by a code of ethics which tell us we must treat each person in a caring and respectful fashion mindful of individual differences. We agree not to practice, condone, facilitate or collaborate with any form of discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identify or expression, age, marital status, political belief, religion, immigration status or mental physical disability.

You may ask where do we go from here, what do we do next?

Moving forward NASW-FL encourages communities to come together. Our ethical standards offer this path, to recognize the central importance of human relationships. We should seek to strengthen relationship among people in a purposeful effort to promote, restore, maintain, and enhance the well-being of individuals, families, organizations, a communities and our country.

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The University of Kansas Student Involvement and Leadership Center ( and the Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity have offered their space for the purpose of processing for those affected by this tragedy.

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