As The College of Saint Rose prepares to serve as the site of a Healing Moments Forum tomorrow that has been organized by Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy and the Albany County Interfaith Coalition following the horrific attacks on the Jewish community in Pittsburgh, we reaffirm our call for an end to violence committed in the name of bigotry and hate.

As an institution of higher education, we encourage thoughtful dialogue, and we prepare students to become contributors to a society that allows people to worship, gather with their families, and shop for groceries free from the dangers of gun violence.

The shooting in Pittsburgh, and the recent deadly shooting at a supermarket in Kentucky that is now being investigated as a hate crime against two African-Americans, is not indicative of a truly free and just society.

Since our founding in 1920, Saint Rose has sought to provide opportunities for all. Safety is a basic human right. It is an opportunity that every member of our society should be afforded – at the movies, in school, at a concert, and, most certainly, in our places of worship.

As we think about and pray for yet more victims of hate, I hope that we will add our voices to the chorus of those who say these senseless acts of violence must end. May the outcry be deafening and unable to be denied.