A Statement on Recent Events in Minneapolis


Beloved Bereans,

This week, our nation has been roiled yet again by the videotaped killing on an unarmed African American man: George Floyd. In our own beloved Kentucky, protestors are marching for justice for Breonna Taylor, an African American woman shot in her own home by the police. Even in the midst of a pandemic, people of color remain targets, often with little recourse. Christian Cooper was bird watching in Central Park this past weekend, and asked a young woman to put her dog on a leash, which was required in that park. Instead, she told him that she was going to “call the police and tell them that an African American man was threatening her and her dog.” The message was clear—Mr. Cooper would be perceived by the police as a threat to her, and would, subsequently, be punished.

In 1857, the United States Supreme Court made a decision that, it seems, follows to this day. After an enslaved man, Dred Scott, sued for his freedom after being taken by his “owner” into what was then a “free” territory, the court wrote that “They had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order…: and so far inferior, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect:…” (Dred Scott, 60 U.S.at 407). Today, we stand as a nation at a moment when we must decide if the language of the Dred Scott Decision will guide our future, or the language of The Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all (men) peoples are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness…”  Here at Berea College, we have long stood on the side of justice, and today, we remain steadfast, holding to the motto of our Founder, the great Abolitionist Reverend John G. Fee, taken from Acts: 17:26, “God has made of One Blood All Peoples of the Earth.” Berea College remains steadfast in its support of all marginalized communities and peoples, and we ask that all Bereans remember these individuals—that we remember their names and their stories. That we never forget that we are, indeed, one blood.

Signed,

Officers of the College: Lyle Roelofs, Linda Strong-Leek, Channell Barbour, Sylvia Asante, Jeff Amburgey, Chad Berry, Phillip Logsdon, Matt Saderholm, Derrick Singleton, Teri Thompson, Judge Wilson

Trustees of the College: Robert Yahng (Chair), Vance Blade (Vice Chair), Vicki Allums, Celeste Armstrong, Charlotte Beason, Anne Bonnyman, David H. Chow, Charles Crow, Libby Culbreth, Samantha Earp, John Fleming, Mike Flowers, Nana Lampton, Betty Olinger, Miriam Pride, Dennis Roop, David Sloan, Rocky Tuan, Diane Wallace, Stephanie Ziegler, Elton White (honorary)

Faculty of the College: Rebecca Bates, Mike Berheide, A.J. Bodnar (spouse), Jill Bouma, Richard Cahill, Mark Calkins, Beth Crachiolo, Jean Cupidon, Leonard Curry, Liza DiSavino, Ashley Elston, Robert Foster, Nancy Gift, Nicholas Hartlep, Richard Hale, Megan Hoffman, Connie Lamb, Shannon Phelps, Ed McCormack, Cindy McGaha, Meta Mendel-Reyes, Ian Norris, Amanda Peach, Loretta Reynolds, Mary Robert-Garrett, Ron Rosen, Tyler Sergent, Rob Smith, Bobby Starnes, Teri Thesing, Julian Viera, Penelope Wong, Stephanie Woodie,  Andrea Woodward

Staff of the College: Kishore Acharya, Dan Adams, Elaine Adams, Jenny Akins, T.J. Akins (spouse) Ray Arnold, Candis Arthur, Aaron Beale, Lisa Berry, Sarah Broomfield, Kim Brown, Susan Buckmaster, Charlie Campbell, Sarah Campbell, Nathaniel Clements, Ashley Cochrane, Jackie Collier, Abbie Darst, Richard Dodd, Gena Edwards, Mary Galloway, Judy Ginter, Andy Glenn, Amy Harmon, Ryan Hess, Mike Hogg, Alice Hooker, Terry Hosler, Leslie Kaylor, Tennant Kirk, Brittany Lakes, Julie LeBrun, Martina Leforce, Kelly Linville, Sheila Lyons, Laura Magner, Jason Miller, Sam Milligan, Dorothy Morgan, Judy Mott, Candace Mullins, Mark Nigro, Julianna O’Brien, Joan Pauly, Jessica Pena, Frank Polion, Laurie Roelofs, Sarah Rohrer, Lois Scott, Joanne Singh, Shawnna Southerland, Melissa Strobel, Sherry Thiele, Zack Thompson, Wendy Warren, Judith Weckman, Joe Wilkie, Crystal Wylie, Jenna Zimmerman

Students of the College: Cora Allison, Josiah Creech, Rachel Dodd, Amber Follin, Sean Mack, Eli Prater, Phoebe Weber

Retirees of the College: Kathryn Akural, Lothar Baumann, Carla Baumann, John Bolin, Sandra Bolin, Sandy Bolster, Steve Bolster, Jean Boyce, Robert Boyce, Peggy Burgio, Dorothy Chao (spouse), Eugene Chao, Debra Duerson-Swinford, Betty Hibler, Libby Jones, Roger Jones (spouse), Bill Laramee, Monica Laramee (spouse), Melissa Osborne, Harry Rice, Nancy Ryan, William Turner, Barbara Wade, Joan Weston

Alumni of the College: Dale Barlow, Donna Dean, Daniel Dennert, Carol Gilliam, Theresa Scherf

Members of the Berea community: Alice Zollicoffer

Categories: News, People
Tags: Civil Rights, Equality, Social Justice

Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College only admits academically promising students with limited financial resources—primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia—but welcomes students from 40 states and 70 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of nine federally recognized Work Colleges, so students work 10 hours or more weekly to earn money for books, housing and meals. The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character.