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, Phoeba Weber

Retirees of the College: 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, Carol Gilliam, Theresa Scherf

Members of the Berea community: Alice Zollicoffer

Berea College Welcomes Julissa Arce

The American DREAMer:
From Undocumented to Wall Street to Immigration Advocate

Ms. Julissa ArceAuthor, writer, speaker, and social justice advocate Julissa Arce will speak at Berea College on November 3 to share her story of helping to bring change to conversations about immigration and immigration reform. This event, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 3:00pm in Phelps Stokes Chapel on the Berea College campus. Continue reading Berea College Welcomes Julissa Arce

Two Berea Students Win Project Pericles 2016 Letters to an Elected Official Competition

Megan Yocum

Megan Yocum

Megan Yocum and Tran Nguyen, two Berea College students, were one of five winning teams in the National 2016 Letters to an Elected Official competition sponsored by Project Pericles. The other winning student teams were from Allegheny College, Carleton College, Hendrix College, and Pitzer College.

For the competition, students from member campuses of Project Pericles sent letters on various public policy issues to elected officials throughout the United States. For the first time, students also submitted project proposals outlining how they would use their award. Each of the five winning teams will receive $500 to work on their issue during the 2016-17 academic year. Continue reading Two Berea Students Win Project Pericles 2016 Letters to an Elected Official Competition

Alumna, Naomi Tutu – Speaking Out for Justice and Common Ground

Naomi Tutu Speaking at a Berea College Convocation in 2014

Naomi Tutu Speaking at a Berea College Convocation in 2014

Nontombi Naomi Tutu was born in 1960 in Krugersdorp (an area of Soweto), South Africa. She was the fourth child and third daughter of Desmond and Leah Nomalizo Tutu. She and her siblings were educated internationally. At age 6, Naomi went from her home in Soweto to a boarding school located 1,000 miles away in Mbabane, Swaziland. The Waterford KaMhlaba School was one of 11 international United World Colleges, an educational movement that brings together students from all over the world based on merit, regardless of their ability to pay. Naomi also received part of her early education in England, where her father spent much of his early career. Continue reading Alumna, Naomi Tutu – Speaking Out for Justice and Common Ground

#LoveOverHate

About 600 Bereans from the College campus and from the City, and many from further away, including some members of the College’s Trustees, participated in a rally on November 23 to focus on Berea’s values, such as love over hate, human dignity and equality, and peace with justice. The rally was in response to recent reports of racism and harassment in the community as an example of a shared commitment to justice and equality. The rally generated broad attention in media outlets. A few representative examples can be seen at: Continue reading #LoveOverHate

The Berea Community Stands Together Again on Monday, November 23rd

Dear Bereans,

I am writing with support from community and student groups committed to social justice to invite you to an important event to demonstrate the values of Berea College in the face of a growing number of incidents involving harassment to students of color and LGBTQ students. Continue reading The Berea Community Stands Together Again on Monday, November 23rd

Addressing Recent Incidents of Racism and Intolerance on Our Campus

Dear Berea College Students, Faculty and Staff,

Responding to incidents of drive-by racism and homophobia that have been occurring over the last several days on the roads through campus, some members of our community attended this evening’s City Council meeting to express grave concern.  The Administrative Committee has also decided to make a statement regarding these incidents.  We share it with you below and will be submitting it to the Berea Citizen for publication as well. Continue reading Addressing Recent Incidents of Racism and Intolerance on Our Campus