Participation is part of institution-wide antiracism initiatives
by Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary | Special to Presbyterian News Service
Through a series of cohort sessions and participant projects, the symposium will provide guidance on how to design initiatives and implement measures to address the nature and workings of race, racism, and white supremacy in academic settings. Participation in the symposium is a component of Louisville Seminary’s larger initiative to implement anti-racism measures as part of the seminary’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) for which accreditation bodies will hold the seminary accountable.
“We don’t just want to teach our students to be anti-racist,” said Debra Mumford, Louisville Seminary’s Academic Dean. “We have the larger goal of becoming an anti-racist institution. The Wabash Symposium will help us make progress toward this goal.”
Mumford, along with Justin Reed, Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, and Shannon Craigo-Snell, Professor of Theology, submitted the application for symposium participation to the Wabash Center. Reed is the seminary’s Wabash Symposium representative. As such, Reed will attend symposium cohort sessions with representatives from other academic institutions from November 2020 through June 2021.
“Our students have made it clear that we need to go beyond the laudable work of learning about anti-racism; we also need to be people of action,” said Reed. “The Wabash Symposium gives us an amazing opportunity to bring all facets of our seminary together in concerted action toward substantive change into becoming a thoroughly anti-racist community.”
As part of the symposium’s efforts, Reed will also lead an institutional conversation group, which will design an embedded project to mobilize the seminary on issues of race, racism, and healing. The group consists of representatives from five key areas of seminary life. They are: Heather Griffin – Institutional Advancement; Angela Harrison – Business Office; Tyler Mayfield – Dean’s Office; Sandra Moon – Office of Community Life; and Ed Aponte – Louisville Institute. Each representative will work with their areas to examine policies, practices, procedures, and general ways of being that continue to support and perpetuate racism.
“The Wabash Symposium will help us do some of the very difficult work it will take to reach our goal of being an anti-racist institution,” said Louisville Seminary President Alton B. Pollard, III. “We are grateful to Justin Reed and to our colleagues for their commitment to this very important work. Our thanks as well to the Wabash Center for their visionary symposium.”
About Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Founded in 1853, Louisville Seminary offers an inclusive and diverse learning community, welcoming students from wide ecumenical backgrounds while maintaining its long, historic commitment to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A). Louisville Seminary is committed to building bridges across the world’s religious, racial and cultural divides. It is distinguished by its nationally recognized marriage and family therapy and field education programs, the scholarship and church service among its faculty and a commitment to training women and men to participate in the continuing ministry of Jesus Christ. For more information, call (800) 264-1839 or log onto www.lpts.edu.
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