Presidents and representatives from 34 HBCUs met earlier this month to create a plan to held end gun violence. In a press release, the collective called upon their foundational belief that black lives matter and that the senseless killings of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile and multiple police officers across the country contradict that message. 

To work towards spreading a message of peace and comfort, the HBCU presidents came up with two immediate goals that they would like to accomplish, according to HBCU Buzz:

1. The first-ever HBCU National Symposium on Gun Violence.

2. A commitment to raising the awareness of the debilitating impact of trauma on the lives of those who have been exposed to loss as a result of gun violence.

“We know that none of these activities will bring back the lives that have been lost,” the statement read. “Our hope, however, is that these efforts will foster dialogues that help to accelerate the creation of an environment where all human lives are valued equally and 2 discrimination based on one’s skin color, gender, and economic standing will become a relic of the past.”

The 34 signatures on the open letter include representatives from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Superman College, Morehouse College, Morgan State University and many more.

“I thought it was important in this time of unprecedented violence that we continue to be a part of the solution to the challenges that impact our communities,” Virginia State University’s Makola M. Abdullah said in an email to the Richmond Time-Dispatch. “I was concerned what would happen if we did not enter the conversation.

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