A Message from ASAP

October 28, 2020

Our hearts go out to the family of Walter Wallace Jr., a 27-year old Black man, son, and father, who was killed in an altercation with Philadelphia Police on Monday, October 26th. While details of the incident are still emerging and will likely be scrutinized for months to come, what remains is that a Black man whose life mattered should still be alive and he is not. What remains is a mother who has lost her son, another mother who has lost her partner, children who have lost their father, and a community who has tragically lost another of their own.

In the coming months, important conversations about community oversight, community policing, and about how we address mental illness in our city should and hopefully will happen. But in this moment it is important we remember the life of Walter Wallace, Jr. It is important that we see and hear the outrage and pain this incident has caused so many of our neighbors, our colleagues, and our children. It is important that we acknowledge the blow this is to critical efforts to build trust among law enforcement and black and brown communities everywhere. It is important that we not conflate senseless looting and destruction with impassioned protest and the right to peacefully assemble. And for the sake of the future generations of children in Philadelphia we are committed to serving, it is important that we acknowledge that this too-familiar pattern of tragedy will be unchanged unless we all commit to changing it. 

How you can help

For these reasons, we encourage you to take some time to consider making a donation to support the family of Walter Wallace Jr. or to lend your support to some of local organizations working to advance racial justice and helping the communities of West Philadelphia following this terrible incident:

This tragedy is also a reminder that mental illness affects us all and that the stigmas and misunderstandings around mental illness are a persistent barrier to adequate care from those who are suffering. If you would like to be further educated on this topic or wish to help educate others, here are a few organizations and resources for you to consider:

Mental Health Education Resources

And finally, for our community of students, parents and partners struggling with feelings of sadness, anger, frustration, and exhaustion, we are here for you, too. We encourage you to take steps to support your well-being and the well-being of those around you and here are just a few resources we hope may help you:

Support and Well-being Resources

Your in service,