CRCDS in the Media: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebrations in the News

Many members of the CRCDS community participated in gatherings, prayer services, lectures and celebrations in honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Day of Observance on Monday, January 19th.

Several of our faculty, alumni/ae and students were captured in news coverage, print articles and online.  Please click on the following links to view some of these stories:

CRCDS participates in the annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., celebration at the Eastman Theater in Rochester, New York:

http://rochester.twcnews.com/content/news/801597/rochester-s-annual-mlk-celebration-moves-those-in-attendance/ 

CRCDS Faculty member Dr. James Evans speaks in Providence, Rhode Island:

http://www.providencejournal.com/news/content/20150119-mlk-scholarship-breakfast-speaker-calls-for-end-of-oppression-distrust.ece

CRCDS M.Div. student Robert Hoggard is invited to speak in Middletown, CT

http://www.middletownpress.com/general-news/20150119/knowledge-is-power-say-middletown-mlk-day-speakers

 

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize, Hold On! Read Dr. Marvin A. McMickle's musings on Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day

As we observe the national holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and as we see in the film Selma some of the struggles he faced and eventually overcame, I am reminded of one of the songs we sang during our marches and rallies in the days of the Civil Rights Movement; "Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on."

When the struggle was about desegregation of public accommodations or the struggle to attain voting rights in the states of the former Confederacy, nothing came easily. There was struggle, danger, sacrifice, and in too many instance including Dr. King himself, there was death.

Through all of that there were really two songs that encouraged us along the way. One was "We shall overcome" and the other one was a companion to the first; until we finally do overcome we will need to keep our eyes on the prize and hold on!

I think about that today as I ponder the findings of the Rochester Area Community Foundation about childhood poverty and third-grade reading and math levels in the city of Rochester. Our city leads the entire nation among cities of similar size in the category of extreme poverty which is defined as a family of four living on an annual income of less than $12,000.

There will be people who may read this blog who earn $12,000 or more each month. It will be hard for them to comprehend turning their monthly income into their family income for an entire year.

If you add present rates of extreme poverty to the fact that only 6.8 % of Rochester City School District are proficient in reading and the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, the prospects for generational poverty already seem to be in place.

Of course, these trends could be reversed and/or reduced. Of course, all of these things could be reduced or reversed. If only we as a region and as a nation could commit to a reasonable minimum wage, affordable housing that is no longer limited just to the city limits of Rochester, investment in pre-natal care that benefits both parents and children, the end of mass incarceration for non-violent drug offenses that greatly reduce an ex-offender's chance of every escaping poverty, working on all fronts to shape a functional and accountable public school system, and a few other policy changes that are well within our reach.

These challenges are formidable, and they will not easily be achieved. They will likely require changes in racial attitudes as well as in public policies. However, they are not more formidable than ending segregation, or establishing voting rights unobstructed by poll taxes or literary tests or the capricious behavior of whites who did everything in their power to prevent African Americans from voting for 100 years after the abolition of slavery in 1865.

If our nation could overcome those challenges, then surely we can overcome the challenges that we face both nationally and locally. All we will have to do is keep our eyes on the prize and hold on!

Please click this link to view, comment on or share Dr. McMickle's post: http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/unite/2015/01/15/keep-your-eyes-on-the-prize-hold-on/21837911/

 

 

Dr. McMickle helps issue critical "Call to Action" Message

At its annual meeting at Shaw University Divinity School in Raleigh, NC, African American Presidents and Deans of theological schools in the United States issued a call for action in light of the current state of social justice in the United States of America. At the prompting of Dr. Marvin A. McMickle, and with his assistance in the drafting, the following statement was released by African American presidents and deans of ATS accredited seminaries and divinity schools on January 15, 2105:

One of our leaders, a founding member of the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), noted that the socio-economic and political realities that led to the establishment of SNCC at Shaw University 54 years ago are actually eclipsed by the realities of this day. In 1960 there were lynchings and robe-wearing Klansmen. Today lynchings occur, but in different forms. Klansmen today bivouac without robes and hoods. Slavery still exists but under the auspices of a prison industrial complex. Discrimination thrives, with no intent or program for relief. As was true in the 1960’s it is time for citizens of good conscience to once again rise up and rally to the cry for freedom and justice for all.

From a manger in Bethlehem, a Bantustan in Soweto, a bus in Montgomery, a freedom Summer in Mississippi, a bridge in Selma, a street in Ferguson, a doorway and shots fired in Detroit, a Moral Monday in Raleigh, an assault in an elevator in Atlantic City, an office building in Colorado Springs, a market in Paris, a wall in Palestine, a pilgrimage to the shrine of Rincon and a restoration of ties between Cuba and the United States on December 17th, the kidnapping and assault of young school-aged girls and the reported killing of 2000 women, children and men in Nigeria, a new generation of dream defenders, a transgender teen’s suicide note, to our abuse of the environment – God sends a sign – a Kairos moment. The racial climate in the United States, and the respect for our common humanity everywhere, is clearly in decline.

How can Americans acquiesce, remain silent, passive and neutral as African-American men and women are slain in the streets of Ferguson, Staten Island, Cleveland and beyond? How can people of conscience be still when African-Americans quake with fear to walk without harm in their own cities and towns? How can we remain docile when leaders of our nation, especially the United States Congress abdicate their civic and moral responsibility to set a tone of civility and humanity?

How can we abide a justice system, which is neither blind nor equitable? How can we suffer a justice system that victimizes African Americans and Latinos by jailing them disproportionately? How can we sit idly by while our children are slaughtered in the streets without provocation?

How can we as United States citizens claim that we are “created equal” and that we are committed to “freedom and justice for all” while injustice is rampant in the land?

How can we continue with business as usual in our theological schools in the midst of so many egregious injustices?

We believe that citizens of good conscience must arise and call our nation to assess and address the rising tide of injustice throughout our legal and criminal justice systems. There must be restraint to those who shoot, kill, and maim innocent young men and women in the streets of our nation. And so . . .

We call upon the leaders of our nation to reaffirm the founding principles of this nation: liberty and justice for all.

We call on all freedom loving Americans to reaffirm a commitment to “the beloved community,” where the freedom and rights of all are respected and protected.

We call on the United States Congress to set a civil and moral tone in the way they respect our twice-elected president.

We call on leaders on the national and local levels to join citizens of good will to reject practices, legal and adjure, which mar the American dream of liberty and justice for all.

We call on our churches and every house of faith to challenge their members and communities to live out an inclusive commitment to love God, self, the neighbor-enemy, and creation across any and all boundaries that would dehumanize, alienate, and separate.

We call on all Americans of good conscience who gather across the country to speak out for liberty and justice for all… always. As our modern day prophet, Martin Luther King, Jr. noted, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

We invite our colleagues — presidents, deans and leaders of all divinity and theological schools — to arise from the embers of silence and speak up and speak out as the prophet of old, “let justice run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream” (Amos 5:24). We encourage you to endorse this statement by responding in your own particular context to our theological call to action with curricular programs, public forums, teach-ins, calls to your congressional leaders, writing op-ed pieces, and more.

We recognize this Kairos moment and stand in solidarity for “liberty and justice for all.”

 

Yours in the struggle,

African American Presidents and Deans in Theological Education

List of Signatories

Dr. Willard W.C. Ashley, Dean of the Seminary, New Brunswick Seminary

Dr. Brian K. Blount, President, Union Presbyterian Seminary

Dr. Marsha Foster Boyd, President Emerita, Ecumenical Theological Seminary

Dr. Michael J. Brown, Academic Dean, Payne Theological Seminary

Dr. Gay L. Byron, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Howard University School of Divinity

Dr. Leah Gaskin Fitchue, President, Payne Theological Seminary

Dr. David C. Forbes Sr., Interim Dean, Shaw University Divinity School

Dr. Charisse L. Gillett, President, Lexington Theological Seminary

Dr. Thomas W. Gilmore, Dean of the School of Practical Theology, Ashland Theological Seminary

Dr. Mark G. Harden, Dean of the Boston Campus, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

Dr. Kenneth E. Harris, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean, Ecumenical Theological Seminary

Dr. Barbara A. Holmes, President, United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities

Dr. Carrie D. Hudson, Associate Dean for Academic Advising and Scheduling, Ashland Theological Seminary

Dr. John W. Kinney, Senior Vice President & Dean for the School of Theology, Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology

Dr. James W. Lewis, Dean, Anderson University School of Theology

Dr. Myron F. McCoy, former President, Saint Paul School of Theology

Dr. Marvin A. McMickle, President, Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School

Dr. Rosemary Bray McNatt, President, Starr King School for the Ministry

Dr. Joy J. Moore, Associate Dean of African American Church Studies, Fuller Theological Seminary

Dr. Deborah Flemister Mullen, Dean of Faculty and Executive Vice President, Columbia Theological Seminary

Dr. Evelyn L. Parker, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Perkins School of Theology

Dr. Alton B. Pollard, III, Dean, Howard University School of Divinity

Dr. Angela D. Sims, Dean of Academic Programs, Saint Paul School of Theology

Dr. Emile M. Townes, Dean, Vanderbilt University Divinity School

Dr. Edward P. Wimberly, President, Interdenominational Theological Center

Dr. Robert S. Woods, Vice President of Academic Affairs/Dean, Memphis Theological Seminary

Dr. Mary H. Young, Associate Dean, Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology

 

 

 

 

Travel with CRCDS in 2015: The Land Called Holy and its Peoples– Application Deadline February 13th!

Holy Land Pics 5-9-08 035Following the successful trip to Israel-Palestine in June 2013, CRCDS will be hosting a second trip, October 1-14, 2015. On this pilgrimage we will visit Jewish, Christian and Muslim holy sites, meet people of these faith communities, and engage the tragic and seemingly intractable conflict tearing the fabric of life in this land. Throughout the fourteen days, there will be occasions for prayer, worship, Bible study, as well as lectures on ancient and contemporary theological and ethical topics. Led by Dr. Melanie Duguid May and Dr. Mark Brummitt.

Estimated cost, all-inclusive: $5,500.00.
Extension opportunity to travel to Petra, Jordan; extra cost of $550.

APPLICATIONS with non-refundable deposit of $750 due February 13, 2015.
Click here to download the application.

One More New Year's Resolution: a Reflection by Dr. Marvin A. McMickle

Dr. McMickle's latest essay appeared in the January 2, 2015 edition of the Rochester, NY Democrat and Chronicle's Unite Rochester blog. You may read it here:

In discussing the problem of war in the modern world where the just war theory no longer applies due to the destructive force of modern weapons and due to the fact that war’s destructive force now impacts more civilians than it does combatants, I am reminded of a troubling observation by the Swiss theologian Karl Barth written during the time of World War II. He said, “War means not only killing, but killing without dignity, without glory, without chivalry, without restraint, and without reserve. It also means to steal, to ransack, to burn, to lie, to deceive, to dishonor, and to fornicate.” This is certainly not true of every individual soldier. However, it is an apt description of what becomes of human nature once nations, tribes, or other opposing forces go marching off to war. These are precisely the things we see in The Ukraine, in Syria with ISIS, in Nigeria with the group known as Boko Haram, as well as in Pakistan and Afghanistan on both sides of what was the longest war in which American troops had ever been engaged. As we all consider the New Year’s resolutions that we may have already made, I invite those in power in nations across the world to add one more resolution that echoes the words of the 19th century African American spiritual that says, “I ain’t gonna study war no more.”

To view the post online or to add comments, please click on this link:

http://blogs.democratandchronicle.com/unite/2015/01/02/one-more-new-years-resolution/

To view Unite Rochester's Twitter feed, click here:  https://twitter.com/uniterochester