Message from Dean Williams Regarding New Zealand

Dear members of the Harvard Chan School community,

Once again, our hearts are broken as we are confronted by the very real face of hate and bigotry and its violent expression in a massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand. Yesterday, a shooter targeted Muslim worshippers in their house of faith, killing at least 49 individuals and severely injuring dozens more. This unimaginable act of violence was allegedly carried out in the name of white nationalism.

We condemn this violence with all our being. It is antithetical to everything we stand for, everything we believe in as members of the public health community—and indeed as members of the global human community. We grieve for the lives lost. We grieve for those whose loved ones were murdered. And we grieve for the country of New Zealand where such violence has been rare. We know all too well the trauma that the survivors and that society as a whole will now be facing.

Such events bind people around the world even tighter in our shared humanity. At the Harvard Chan School, such events reinvigorate our determination to work together with colleagues and others near and far to overcome violence in all its forms. And such events strengthen our resolve to ensure that perpetrators of such acts, and their extremist ideologies, will not prevail.

Students who are experiencing distress and seeking support may contact Colleen Cronin in Student Affairs at 617-432-1542 or, or Harvard University Counseling and Mental Health Services at 617-495-2042 (617-495-5711 after hours).

Faculty and staff members may contact Linda Picard in Human Resources at, Jennifer Ivers in Faculty Affairs at, or Harvard’s Employee Assistance Program at 877-327-4278 (1-877-EAP-HARV).