Upon hearing the news of the dreadful attack on Jewish worshipers at the Tree of Life synagogue on Saturday, October 27, we joined Pittsburghers, and perhaps all Americans, in reaching out to friends who belonged to that faith community, checking on other Squirrel Hill residents, and seeking ways to support and be helpful.

Some of us attended the Saturday evening vigil that was organized by students at Taylor Allderdice high school. Others joined the Sunday afternoon event hosted by religious, governmental, and other community leaders. Both events brought comfort, healing, inspiration, and a call to action. Each was attended by some 3,000 people.

The Pittsburgh Promise’s mantra is, “we will not rest until the promise that lives within all of Pittsburgh’s children can be brought to full life.” That promise was made visible at Saturday’s student-led vigil in the words and actions, tears and songs, and anger and resolve that was displayed by our young people. In their grief, they brought a message of healing. Despite their anger and fear, they called us to work for a loving and courageous justice. Our students are impressive today, and they are full of even greater promise for tomorrow.

We agree with our young leaders when they call for good policy, laws, and enforcement. In addition, we hope for a change in minds, habits, and hearts. We believe that education is critical to that kind of transformation. We are glad to play a small part in making higher education accessible to thousands of Pittsburgh’s youth. We will also lock arms with those who nurture emotional and spiritual intelligence so that anti-Semitic, racist, sexist, supremacist, ageist, homophobic, or any other oppressive behavior can not only be regulated, but also rebutted and transformed. The Pittsburgh Promise grieves and stands in solidarity with our city’s Jewish community as they heal and restore. We also stand with our young people as they wrestle with their feelings and vision, as they seek the place where they can make a difference in this world, and as they work to build what Dr. King called “the beloved community.”