My heart has been deeply saddened over the past several months regarding the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and most recently, George Floyd. I grew up in the 1960s when discrimination was common practice and recall walking the streets of a southern city and seeing drinking fountains for “Colored Only.” I wondered, “Why?” noting that the only difference was the color of our skin. I recall admiring Martin Luther King, Jr. for his passion in standing for what is right. This is America by the way, the land of the free; a land that should provide equality for all citizens regardless of their color. Sixty years have brought some progress, but much more is still needed.
As a result of being a member of the most ethnically-diverse Christian faith in the United States and the president of a minority serving higher education institution, I have experienced great value and wisdom in diversity. When I walk into our cafeteria and see students from various countries and different races eating together and enjoying each other’s company, I often remark that this is what heaven will be like. I pray that Southwestern Adventist University will continue to be a place where the mix of ethnicities will be valued, where the various cultures will be appreciated, where each person will be seen as having an eternal value resulting in a world where our graduates treat one another with dignity and respect.
My prayers go out especially to the Arbery, Taylor and Floyd families and to all those that suffer due to racial discrimination. I challenge you to join me in doing what you can to root out prejudice in our culture and ultimately rid this country of racism!