URMC Office of Equity and Inclusion Statement on the Fatal Shootings at an LGTBQ+ Nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

We are profoundly saddened by the senseless murder of five people on Saturday at Club Q, an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Seventeen people were also injured in this shooting, which occurred minutes before the start of Transgender Day of Remembrance. As members of the University community, we mourn the loss of life and security where people once felt safe.

The grim reality is that racism, hate speech, and violence targeting members of the LGBTQ+ community, particularly against transgender and non-binary people, is on the rise. In the face of national rhetoric and political legislation endangering the fundamental human rights of LGBTQ+ people, we affirm the right of self-expression and self-determination for everyone. We are particularly devastated at violence that specifically targeted LGBTQ+ individuals in a club created for them to experience community, safety, and belonging.

The University of Rochester community must aspire to be a place that is safe and welcoming for people of all backgrounds and to be a place where the expression of one’s authenticity is met with acceptance and love. Accordingly, we want to make clear that homophobia, transphobia, and all other bigotry against members of the LGBTQ+ community are not welcome here. 

Let us hold dear our humanity and hold space for one another. Here is a list of resources to help you process your thoughts and emotions: 

•   The University Counseling Center is hosting a virtual LGBTQ+ drop-in group today, Tuesday, November 22, 2022, at 4:00 p.m. Counselors are also available by calling 585-275-3113

•   The Employee Assistance Program is also available to all employees and those in their household. 

Harvey Milk, the visionary civil and human rights leader said, “It takes no compromising to give people their rights. It takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no survey to remove repressions.” As we prepare to gather, give thanks, and enjoy the warmth of family and friends this week, we are called to embody inclusion and mutual respect. 


Adrienne Morgan, PhD 

Interim Chief Diversity Officer, University of Rochester 

Vice President for Equity and Inclusion, University of Rochester Medical Center

John P. Cullen, PhD

Associate Director of the Susan B. Anthony Center, University of Rochester

Col Raimond, Ed.D., JD

Director of LGBTQ Life, Paul J. Burgett Intercultural Center, University of Rochester

Lauren McKenna 

Associate Director of Volunteer Engagement & Programs, University of Rochester

Three health care professionals in an office setting.

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