- Author: Deanne Meyer
The week began with more news from the Monterey Park shootings. That was followed by shootings in Half Moon Bay. More shots in Oakland. Saturday's news was about another shooting in the LA area (Beverly Crest). Prior to these was a shooting in Goshen. It's unfathomable. Then there's the horrific information from Tyre Nichols' death. These senseless acts of violence effect all of us. Listening to survivors or family members makes me sad that lives were cut short. People died not because they provoked the perpetrator per se. They just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and someone shot them. Video footage from when Tyre Nichols was stopped is difficult to watch. To know a mother has lost her son and a child their father is so very sad. How can this keep happening? When will it stop? How do we turn this around so innocent people are not brutalized and killed? Today is a day with more questions than answers. There are many ways to influence our collective future! If you are traumatized, it is understandable. Please talk with someone. Our human resources team along with risk and safety services have worked to gather and share resources.
Last fall I purchased a concert ticket for this last Tuesday night (a bucket list purchase). I nearly stayed home given all the devastation within California. Why should I enjoy a fabulous concert with killings all around? In the end I went to the concert AND I'm so glad I did. Emanuel Ax (pianist; born in what is now Ukraine) briefly talked about the senseless violence prior to the concert. He acknowledged the ugliness in California and around the globe AND he summarized that one way to stamp out ugliness is to not let it keep us from living. He promptly thanked the audience for coming! Yo-Yo Ma echoed Emanuel's sentiments and wished the Mondavi Center audience a happy lunar new year. The crowd went wild! Leonidas Kavakos (violist) agreed, and the trio went on to share their love for music for nearly two hours. Although victims' families were still mourning when the concert was over, the Mondavi audience had experienced a sense of solidarity with them and an urgency for ways to reduce violence and have justice served. The concert was one in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion series. Working together we can improve the ugliness. The alternative, to give up hope and surrender, is not acceptable.
Friday while getting a cup of hot water I met FionaWei. It's nice to meet the many faces of UCANR. Fiona is in our Human Resources unit. In our brief interaction we discussed both the horrific killings and the fact that we are at a time of new beginnings. The new year (secular or lunar) is a time of hope and new beginnings. May we work together to improve our communities for all.