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For Immediate Release
May 16, 2022

Statement from UUP President Frederick E. Kowal on Racist Attack in Buffalo

ALBANY, NY – Today, Dr. Frederick E. Kowal, Ph.D, President of the United University Professions (UUP), the nation’s largest higher education union, issued the following statement in response to the racist act of domestic terror in Buffalo:

"The entire United University Professions family mourns the senseless loss of life on Saturday, May 14 in Buffalo. We join our colleagues, their families, members of the Buffalo community and the families of the victims in solidarity and sorrow.

“The events of this past weekend call on all of us to consider the nature of our society, where mass murder is committed with such regularity and disdain for human life—and in this case, with deep-seated hatred for African Americans. As educators and healers, we are called upon to sustain life and to support the growth of every individual in our society. Actions like those of this past Saturday are a direct assault on that work, as well as an assault on the values of equality and justice that we hold dear.

“As we have throughout our nearly 50-year history, we will bear witness and stand with the victims of injustice and against the violence that is racism. We will call out those who perpetrate the crimes of violence against our fellow human beings, but we will also call out those who inspire them: the purveyors of racist doctrines in the media and those who seek, hold or have held public office and promote racist doctrines—and gain political power through such actions.

“Everyone deserves to be safe from the terror of gun violence. We call, once again, for the leaders of our state and nation, to summon the political will to bring an end to unwarranted and unrestricted access to battlefield weapons. The time is long past for such action, as casualties continue to increase in number and violence is amplified. No society that claims to be civilized can tolerate any longer the scourge of violence that rages across our land.

“We extend our sympathies to those who have lost loved ones. You and those you hold dear are in our thoughts and prayers during this painful time. We also extend the promise that UUP will stand with you in your demand for justice and a long-overdue healing of our society from the pathological racism that infects all aspects and institutions of American life.”

UUP is the nation's largest higher education union, with more than 42,000 academic and professional faculty and retirees. UUP members work at 29 New York state-operated campuses, including SUNY’s public teaching hospitals and health science centers in Brooklyn, Long Island and Syracuse. It is an affiliate of NYSUT, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, and the AFL-CIO.


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