SALT LAKE CITY — Members of the University of Utah’s Black community gathered inside the Marriott Library for an event called "Journey Towards Healing.”
The discussion was organized in the wake of the shooting death of student-athlete Aaron Lowe as a way for people to share their emotions and express concerns about the impacts of gun violence on people of color.
“It hits home,” said Meligha Garfield, the director of the Black Cultural Center on campus. “It hits home in various ways.”
Members of the panel who listened to the community’s concerns included University of Utah President Taylor Randall and Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown.
One woman, who identified herself as a faculty member who taught Lowe in two classes, asked what is being done to support the university’s Black community.
“I think what I would like to learn through this is how we can change those messages and how we can be a part of the healing,” Randall said.
As he held back tears, Chief Brown affirmed that his department stands with the Black community.
He described weeping with Lowe’s mother earlier in the day and recognized if nothing is done to address gun violence, those conversations will keep happening.
“We need to acknowledge the past. We need to commit to do bette, and we need to move forward with intentionality — all of us,” Brown said. “I feel like we talk to check a box. We can’t do that anymore.”