With continuous stories in the media regarding racial injustices and how they are being handled, Dr. David Gushee’s lecture at the second Community Gathering was delivered with an important element of relevance.
Attendance at the event was considerably stronger than the first community gathering. While many students attended out of requirement, they showed no lack of interest in how to make Reinhardt a campus of equal opportunity as several students asked how they could personally contribute to the issue.
Gushee’s lecture entitled “The Elusive Quest for Racial Justice in America” was held in the FPAC on Wednesday, Sept. 28, and began with a prayer and included a 30-minute talk followed by an open discussion. The lecture covered the topic of racial reconciliation and the ideals of a racially just society discussed in the Bible and how those ideals compare to the way America’s history has proven to be systematically racialized. Gushee offered three ways to help people turn society into a place that is racially just.
The lecture highlighted three main points, the first one being that the Bible offers examples of racial justice. Gushee went on to discuss the history of slavery in America and pointed out the various times in our country’s history where slavery could have ended. When bringing the discussion to modern racial injustices and how to personally deal with them, he noted that God was not about race, but about love and inclusion.
His second point focused on the origin of racism in the United States. He explained how the corruption of racial misunderstanding was one of the most dangerous sins. Gushee said slavery is the cause of today’s “race-based culture.”
Gushee’s final point focused on three basic ways people could make society less racially based. He said people:
- “Can learn to tell and face the truth”
- “Need to overcome our blindness to the reality of systemic racism”
- “Need to continue to seek the beloved community of racial justice”
Junior Adrienne Lawrence attended the Community Gathering because she is apart of the Multicultural and Inclusion group, and the group attended the event in lieu of a meeting. Lawrence said she believes Gushee helped to address the root of racial injustice and that these discussions are beneficial for bringing forth these kinds of topics.
“They allow an opportunity for students who want racial injustice to be discussed in their community and addressed among their fellow students,” Lawrence said. “Lectures like these also provide a chance for students who want more understanding of the conflicts in the world a safe opportunity to express their curiosity and receive answers.”
Dr. Gushee has either written or edited a total of 21 books on American Christianity and has a book called “Letter to My Anxious Christian Friends” coming out in Fall 2016.
The remaining three Community Gathering events for the fall semester are:
- Oct. 19 Audrey Haynes, an associate professor of Political Science at the University of Georgia, will present “Media Influence on Voters’ Behavior.”
- Nov. 2. Sachi Koto, Former CNN news anchor, Reinhardt alumna and valedictorian will present “Breaking Barriers: First Female Asian on-air Talent in the Southeast.”
- Nov. 16. Rev. Ted Goshorn, Reinhardt University Minister to Students, will present “Thanksgiving Community Worship.”
Written By: Jordan Beach. Photo By: Jordan Beach