Office of the President
October 10, 2023

Support for our community amid global conflict

From the President

Members of the Brown Community,

With this weekend’s horrific and devastating terrorist attacks by Hamas on Israel and the tragic loss of life that has ensued — including and especially the impact on civilians in both Israel and Gaza — my thoughts are with the individuals and families most directly impacted by the violence and those who remain in fear as the conflict persists. And I know many of you share my concern for the members of our own community who have experienced loss or are concerned about loved ones in the region. One of the most important things we can do in a moment like this is to support each other as fellow community members, and I’m writing to provide information on how we are offering guidance and resources.

We began with outreach to students with connections to the region and will continue to support these students for as long as needed. Later today, Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services Eric Estes will share information on resources with students and student groups more broadly, and we’ll follow up with resources for all faculty, staff and students in tomorrow’s edition of Today@Brown. As always, I encourage students, staff and faculty who may be impacted by global crises to reach out to our campus-based offices for guidance and support — including Student Support Services, Global Brown, the Office of the Chaplains and Religious Life, Counseling & Psychological Services, the Employee Assistance Program, and the Office of International Student & Scholar Services.

The issues that underpin the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are complex, and scholars from multiple academic units at Brown bring significant expertise. We expect ample opportunity in the coming days and weeks for community members to learn about and discuss these issues. We also understand that the conflict will bring to the forefront deeply held and often conflicting views about the best ways forward. As we have these conversations across our community, I hope we do so in a way that reflects Brown’s values and our academic mission — with empathy, compassion, and a commitment to advancing knowledge and understanding.

Already, planning is underway for gatherings to create opportunity for community, reflection and prayer, including an event that Brown RISD Hillel and Rohr Chabad House will host on the steps of Faunce House on Wednesday, October 11, at 5:00 pm. Whether at these events or elsewhere, I encourage faculty, staff and students to come together as a community. We can’t know what will happen in the coming weeks and months, but in moments like this, we must continue to support one another.


Christina H. Paxson