Response to Charlottesville Tragedy

walk out on campus

Like the rest of the nation and the world, the Northwestern community have been impacted by current political climate and the recent horrific events on the campus of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.  CAPS stands in solidarity with the students, staff and faculty at UVA.  We at CAPS are aware of the impact these types of hateful and horrifying events have on our students and our community.  

We remain committed to affirming value, inclusivity, and belonging of all students.

We take stance against all hate, prejudice, bigotry, discrimination and oppression in any form.

Our center provides a safe space for dealing with the impact of these events. We encourage you to seek support in a way that is most beneficial to your own self-care and to support one another.  As always, the staff at CAPS is available to meet with any student who may need to talk about their reactions.  CAPS staff can also offer support if you are experiencing negative treatment, threats or more subtle forms of oppression because of your race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious affiliation or other aspects of your identity.

Call or walk in to CAPS or stop by at one of our Let’s Talk sessions.

Support is also available to all students, faculty, and staff by contacting the Bias Incident Response Team

Here are some ways to cope that might be helpful to some people:


Sure, you want to be aware of what is happening in the world, but that doesn't mean that you have to be plugged into your Twitter or Facebook feed 24/7. Take breaks. Aim for a balanced media diet. Don't just focus on the really bad news. Gravitate toward the good, too.


Connect with supportive friends, allies, family and others who share your concern about what's happening in our country and our world. Tell others, especially members of vulnerable communities, you care and you will be there to support them. Walk away from unproductive or harmful interactions. Look for opportunities to build bridges, not walls.

Take Action

Feeling powerless fuels anxiety; taking action brings it down. Explore options in your community and campus for ways to voice your concerns and worries in a healthy way. Consider donating or volunteering to causes you feel passionate about, participate in peaceful protests or reach out to local representatives. Focus on what you can control as opposed to fixate on what you can't.

Full list of Illinois U.S. Senators and Reps

Accept Your Feelings

Allow painful emotions to flow through you as opposed to avoiding them (which suppresses positive as well as negative emotions, leaving you feeling emotionally "flat") or dwelling on them (which ties up cognitive resources, leaving you less equipped to solve problems or connect with other people). Remind yourself that feelings come and feelings go -- and you are not your feelings.


Focus on restoring yourself. Stick to your routine - we find comfort in the familiar. Self-care is not selfish, it's preservation. Eat well, get plenty of sleep, exercise, watch a movie, play, laugh, go outside, meditate. Incorporate activities that recharge you and relax you. For more relaxation ideas, relaxation workshops & drop-in meditation hours click here.

Other Resources

Self-Care For People of Color After Psychological Trauma
How White People Can Support People of Color Now
Statement from Student Body Presidents Across the United States
Statement from College and University Counseling Centers Directors