A memorial in Buffalo, New York to honor the victims of the mass shooting that took place at a Tops supermarket in the city on May 14. (Shutterstock)

How to Approach Conversations About Mass Shootings in the Workplace

So far in 2022, there have been more mass shootings than days in the year with a total of 213 so far. The most recent tragic shootings include the Buffalo, New York, shooting where a white man shot at 13 people and killed 10 in an incident targeting Black people. And this week, an 18-year-old shot and killed 19 students and two adults at a K-12 school in Uvalde, Texas. 

These devastating events are processed differently by everyone, and as an employer, it might be a good idea to check in with your employees to see how they are feeling. 

On a recent DiversityInc webinar titled “Mental Health: Redefining Wellbeing in the Workplace,” panelists were asked how they address the needs of employees of color following the mass shooting in Buffalo. 

Lisette Martinez, Executive VP & Chief Diversity Officer at Jefferson Health and Thomas Jefferson University, said the company offers continued opportunities for “brave conversations,” which allows employees to share and talk about how they are feeling. 

“If we’ve talked about this a lot, I think we’ll have these safe spaces for employees,” she said. “You can’t say it enough, providing opportunities for folks in a space where they can share anything helps them be able to move along and it also really shares how the organization is connecting with our folks and saying, ‘it’s OK. We understand and we want to be there for you, let’s talk about what we can do to improve.'”

Subscribe to DiversityInc Best Practices to read the full article and learn more about helping employees cope with trauma related to mass shootings and other events.

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