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ACA Statement Regarding The Mass Shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue

by Shahab Shokouhi-Behnam | Oct 31, 2018
We are deeply saddened by the horrific anti-Semitic violence carried out at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday, October 27. We grieve for those who were directly impacted.
ACA has updated its Knowledge Center to include information on discussing trauma, hate and violence. These resources are available to the public and counselors. We have also provided additional resources for counselors whose clients and communities may be struggling with the aftermath of this tragic event. We encourage everyone and anyone who needs extra support during difficult times to reach out to counselors in their community, and we encourage all counselors to take care of themselves so that they can continue to support others.
AMCD Statement.

ASERVIC Statement:
We at the Association for Spiritual Ethical and Religious Values in Counseling (ASERVIC), a division of the American Counseling Association, were heartbroken to hear about the terrible hate crime that took place Saturday morning at the Tree of Life Synagogue, in Squirrel Hill, PA. We send our thoughts of compassion and healing to the victims, their families and friends, the first responders who were injured, and to the larger Jewish Community. To echo some of the statement issued by HIAS, "This loss is our loss."  We believe that hate crimes against any one group are crimes against us all.

ASERVIC recognizes the important psychological impact of religious and spiritual beliefs to one's development and well-being and is dedicated to eliminating conditions that lead to any form of discrimination and encouraging awareness and appreciation of diverse belief systems. ASERVIC seeks to create an environment that empowers and enables the expression, exploration, development, and research of evolving spiritual, ethical, and religious values as they relate to the person, to society, and to the profession of counseling and human development. We seek to engage in activities that build relationships and bring the world closer to a harmonious state. We strongly condemn such senseless acts of violence and are committed to addressing hate across all communities, wherever we see it.  We join our friends in the Jewish community in mourning the victims of this horrendous attack and will continue our fight to eradicate bigotry in all of its forms. If we remain silent, then those who champion hate, fear, and division will win.

Leila Roach, Ph.D.
2018-2019 President, ASERVIC

L. Marinn Pierce, Ph.D.
2018-2019 President-Elect, ASERVIC

Claudia Sadler-Gehardt , Ph.D.
2018-2019 Past-President, ASERVIC

ACES Statement:

The Association for Counselor Educators and Supervisors (ACES), a division of the American Counseling Association (ACA), shares a deep sense sadness and mourning about the series of hate crimes that have taken place in our country over the past several days. We send our condolences to all those involved and affected.

We stand in solidarity with free speech, and strongly oppose the intimidation, threat, or silencing of any person, including the 14 individuals working in the government and media that were the intended recipients of recent pipe bombs.

We denounce the racist violence occurring in Jeffersontown, Kentucky on Wednesday, October 24, 2018, where two African American patrons and community members were slain while peacefully shopping in a neighborhood Kroeger’s grocery store. 

We condemn the anti-Semitic acts that took place at the Tree of Life Synagogue outside Pittsburgh in Squirrel Hill, Pennsylvania on Saturday, October 27, 2018, where 11 Jewish congregants were killed while they worshipped in a scared space, and four law enforcement officers were injured in the line of duty. 

We grieve with the family members, friends, and larger community of the victims of these and any other hate crimes. We also acknowledge the traumatic impact these events may have on the targeted people, including the larger African American and Jewish Communities who are again wrought with prejudicial attacks and the resultant grief and loss. Further, we also recognize the potential bearing these tragedies have on ACES members, and the students, supervisees, and clients with whom we work. We appreciate the hard work of our ACES members and other counseling professionals who are engaged in this crisis and trauma work.

ACES has a long-standing commitment to enhancing the quality of life in society by promoting the development of professional counselors, advancing the counseling profession, and using the profession and practice of counseling to promote respect for human dignity and diversity. We are particularly proud of our inclusive history, and ACES’ efforts to advocate for both the profession and those we serve.

Accordingly, ACES will remain focused on the wellness and development of individuals, families, and the larger systems of which we are part. We will continue to reject all acts of racist and anti-Semitic hatred, and the rhetoric that promotes division and discord. 

Melissa Luke, PhD                                       2018-2019 ACES President

Kristopher M. Goodrich, PhD                       ACES President Elect

Marsha Wiggins, PhD                                  ACES Executive Director

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