A black and white image of a circle of young and older people in Uvalde, Texas, holding hands after a gun massacre at an elementary school.

United with Uvalde

Dear Antiochians —

I’m sharing with you a message written today by one of our awesome Clinical Mental Health Counseling faculty, Ali Corey, to others in that department regarding the horrific murders of nineteen children and two teachers, and the wounding of seventeen others in Texas yesterday. I deeply appreciate her professional and personal view of this travesty—and her suggestions for concrete action. She has given me permission to share it with the entire Antioch community. I hope that her words help help as we all struggle to process our sadness and outrage.

In solidarity,
Bill


 

United with Uvalde

by Ali Corey

Associate Professor, Antioch New England
Department of Clinical Mental Health Counseling

 

I am a counselor, an educator, an activist and a leader. Each of these identities within myself are striving to find the words to share with all of you in this time of deep sadness, fear, anger and grief. These identities want to support each of you, hold the space you might need at this time, and provide the guidance you need to take action and create change.

While these identities are each incredibly important parts of myself, this morning, at this time, the only identities that seem to matter are mother, parent, spouse, and friend. My heart broke last night as I considered the Uvalde parents grieving their babies lost much too early, surviving children in shock and fear as they try to understand what happened around them, teachers filled with guilt and sorrow at the loss of their students and friends, and a community reeling in fear and anguish. Today, I cried as I dropped my children off at school, fighting the need to keep them home with me if only to try to guarantee one more day of safety. I hugged their teachers, thanked them for being with my babies, and drove away sending the small bit of strength I have left to them in hopes that they can get through this day. Right now, I am simply a mom trying to hold it together.

In this, I am not alone. As a reminder of the strength of connection and community, the leadership team met this morning to process this tragedy and to discuss our response to try to ensure that none of us are alone in this.

Today we want to honor what each of you is feeling. Maybe it is fear, maybe it is sadness, maybe it is anger. Some may be turning inwards, holding those they love a little closer, while others might already be reaching out to principals, school boards, and legislatures to demand change. You might be thinking about how to talk about this with your friends and family, or with the clients you will be seeing all day today. Or you might find yourself sitting in silence, not knowing what to say. Whatever it is that you are tackling today, the emotions or responsibilities, please know that we as a community are here for each other. We do not have the words. We cannot find them. But we do promise to be here in any way possible for all of us in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) Community.

We will ask you all to remember one important thing as you move through the next few days and weeks. This country, our people, need us. Counselors will be an essential part of the healing that is necessary. We can make a difference, and each of you will create the change you want to see, the change that is so needed now more than ever.

In honor of that, as a collective in the CMHC community, we have decided to support the March For Our Lives Movement as our first step in reacting to this tragedy. Here are the different ways that we will be doing so, and we encourage all of you to take action in each of your own ways:

Prepare to March

Text CHANGE to 954-954 to stay up to date on the March For Our Lives Movement next steps.

Sign the Petitions

Universal Background Checks

Counseling Not Criminalization

Wear #MarchForOurLives Apparel to Virtual Hill Day

Wearing #MarchForOurLives Apparel to the American Counseling Association’s Virtual Hill Day to make our demands visible.

Financial Support

Please consider contributing to Antioch CMHC’s Fundraiser for #MarchForOurLives

Support School Counselors

Additionally, we will be monitoring the National School Counselor’s Association Website for ways to support their organization and/or their conference which is being held this summer in Austin, Texas. Here is their position statement on Prevention of School-Related Gun Violence.

 

We hope that you will share what is happening in your communities, ways that you are currently taking action and that we can all gain strength and hope through sharing efforts to create change.

Dr. Ali K. Corey is an Associate Professor in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at Antioch New England, and she is currently studying in Antioch's PhD in Leadership and Change. Prior to joining Antioch University, she worked in a variety of educational and clinical environments. She finds incredible enjoyment in the process of developing and supporting new counselors. As an academic, her focus has been on developing relational leadership practices that allow teachers to consistently provide the best level of educational experience for students. Clinically, she has worked in schools, private practice, and hospital settings. She explains, "My primary focus has been working with children and adolescents, and it is work that I absolutely LOVE! Currently, I see about 10-15 clients through a local private practice. When I am not working I am incredibly busy with my four kiddos. We have three boys and a daughter ranging from toddlers to a teenager who are all incredibly active. If I am not in front of a computer I am on a field somewhere! We also have four Great Danes and raise puppies, so my four-legged ones keep me busy as well."

The 22nd President/Chancellor of Antioch University, Groves has served as Chancellor since 2016 and has focused on three priorities; to reclaim and advance its reputation as an innovator in higher education; to grow programmatically and geographically in ways that will allow Antioch to reach its full potential to advance social, economic, and environmental justice; and to advance and promote the University’s 170 year-long history and heritage around social justice and democracy building.

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