Remembering May 14th

Published May 5, 2023

As we approach the first anniversary of the deadly shooting at the Tops Friendly Market on Jefferson Avenue that took 10 lives, my heart still aches for the loss that occurred that day. The magnitude of the tragedy touched people across Western New York and the country who will never forget the victims.

Despite the passage of time, this tragedy continues to weigh heavily on our hearts. I know we as a community are still healing. Survivors, witnesses, bystanders, first responders, and neighbors continue to cope with grief, stress, depression, anxiety, fear and post-traumatic stress disorder that will impact generations to come.  

May 14, 2022, opened longstanding wounds in the Jefferson Avenue community and underscored the inequities that pervade other predominantly Black under-resourced neighborhoods throughout the city.

As current and future scientists, physicians, health care workers, and members of the Buffalo community, it is our duty to ensure a better future for those impacted by this act of hate and racism, those who reside in the Jefferson Avenue area and those in other under-sourced neighborhoods. They are our neighbors, patients, friends, and co-workers.

Despite the pain of it, I have been inspired by all the grace and kindness that we have witnessed in response to this tragedy, and I am hopeful for all that will come in the future. I am confident that, together, we can dismantle the systematic inequities that have impacted our neighbors for far too long.

The Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo is committed to achieving improvements in all people's lives through educating the next generation of physicians and scientists conducting cutting-edge research and caring for patients. 

It is our duty to address health disparities and the underlying social determinants – such as poverty, unequal access to health care, lack of education, stigma, and racism – that contribute to inequities in our neighborhoods. A patient’s health and wellness should not be defined by their zip code.

As we approach this somber anniversary, I am pleased to see the many events around Buffalo being planned that will serve to honor the victims, while also promoting learning, community, and shared healing.

This includes UB's panel discussion “Racism, Racial Literacy & Mental Health” on May 11 which can viewed as a webinar by clicking here, the City of Buffalo’s “5/14 Remembrance Weekend: Reflection, Healing & Hope,” and other activities throughout the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. As we learn more about these opportunities, we will share details.

Thank you to each of you for all you do for our community at large and for being a shining example of our “City of Good Neighbors.” 



Allison Brashear, MD, MBA
Vice President of Health Sciences
Dean, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
University at Buffalo