Following is an essay written by Dr. Marvin A. McMickle and published in the Democrat and Chronicle's Unite Rochester blog on March 7, 2015:

I was deeply moved by the speech delivered by President Barack Obama on the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama and the battle for voting rights in this country. How remarkable that this country has changed as much as it has in the last 50 years. Those who were born in America in the last 30-35 years cannot imagine the racial practices in this country that were rigidly enforced both by law and by brute force.

They cannot imagine my great-great uncle, Edward Doneghy who was shot and killed at the voter registration office in Danville, Kentucky on November 7,1930 simply because he was a black man attempting to register to vote in the United States of America. It is hard to imagine how this nation moved from the murder of Edward Doneghy to the election and re-election of Barack Obama. That remarkable journey would not have been possible without the events that unfolded on the Edmund Pettus Bridge on March 7, 1965. However, as President Obama pointed out in his speech today, once again voting rights for all Americans are again under attack. Many states, including North Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri, Virginia, Indiana, and several others immediately established voting restrictions after the U.S. Supreme Court weakened key provisions of the very Voting Rights Act that had led to our nation's first African American president.

It is almost as if many of our conservative Republican neighbors seem determined not to let another African American or another progressive politician be elected to our nation's highest office. Of course, the president also noted that far too many Americans, including African Americans fail to vote on Election Day, and in doing so dishonor the memory and the sacrifice of those who bled on the Edmund Pettus Bridge and those who died to gain the right to vote for African Americans and later for women.

The best way to push back against those who want to limit voting rights is to be sure that every person registered to vote does so on every Election Day. Beyond that, pressure must be exerted in states across this country to resist and refuse to accept the changes currently being made regarding the right to vote. The idea that these changes are designed to prevent voter fraud is bogus to the core, since no significant instances of voter fraud have ever been discovered in any of those states. Restrictions in voting rights are not about protecting our democracy; they are about intentionally limiting those who are allowed to participate in our democracy. When you consider restrictions on voting rights along with another U.S. Supreme Court ruling that has allowed unlimited financial contributions to flow into political campaigns from anonymous donors, you can see that democracy itself is under attack.

Just as brave people fought to protect voting rights 50 years ago in Selma, people across America will have to call upon their courage to fight that same battle again today.

To view or comment on this essay online, please click here: http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/unite/2015/03/07/bloody-sunday-fifty-years-later/24575715/



On Monday, March 2, 2015, members of the public joined students, staff and faculty to hear retired Rochester City Police Chief James L. Sheppard discuss police policy, procedures and training in reference to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. and recent controversial minority altercations with police.

In a student-inspired Question-and-Answer forum, Mr. Sheppard talked about assessing and handling potentially dangerous situations as well as the challenges police officers and citizens face.

To view news coverage of this forum, please click here: http://www.rochesterhomepage.net/story/d/story/former-rpd-chief-addresses-police-use-of-force-deb/36799/PiN3JSAxpkyAP8-vcUQQJg






Reading "Black Prophetic Fire" by Cornel West and Christa Buschendorf I was reminded of the Greek word "parrhesia" which is pronounced par-he-see-ah. It means the pattern of speaking the truth boldly and freely without any regard for the speaker's safety or security. West reminds us that parrhesia was a style of speaking used by Socrates in Plato's Apology.

Of even more importance for me is that the same word appears throughout the Book of Acts in the New Testament regarding the bold preaching of Peter, James, and Paul who preached about Christ in the Greco-Roman world without fear or hesitation. With that word in mind, I think it is well past time for people in this country to find the courage for some "parrhesia"on our part. In the face of poverty, violent crime, racism, student conduct in downtown Rochester, and an unending stream of attacks on voting rights that could affect millions of Americans it is time for some "parrhesia."

We need some "parrhesia" whether it comes from clergy of all races and religions, from public officials that are entrusted with safeguarding the common good, journalists and writers that report what they see occurring in our society, or educators whose values need to extend beyond the safe confines of their classrooms. Not much will change in our society and in our world if people of influence are determined to speak only those things that are pleasing and acceptable to everyone and are never willing to put themselves at risk in any way. The people who most transformed this country were quite often those who engaged in "parrhesia." Think about the founders of this country in their attacks on King George III and the British Empire.

Think about abolitionists, suffragettes, civil rights leaders, anti-war activists during the Viet Nam War era, or the Occupy Movement and their attacks on issues of the growing wealth disparity in this country. In every instance, these people engaged in what the ancient Greeks call "parrhesia." They all ran a risk, they faced the possibility of some serious reprisal, and they all understood that nothing will change and no injustice will be ended until people with strong convictions find the courage to go public with their views and values. As Edmund Burke said, "The only thing needed for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing."

There is something that good people can do; they can practice the art of "parrhesia.

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Register Today! Deadline for October, 2015 Israel-Palestine Trip has been extended until February 27, 2015

If you've been thinking about joining the enthusiastic group of folks heading to Israel-Palestine October 1-14, 2015, but haven't yet registered, there's good news!

The deadline for registrations has been extended until Friday, February 27, 2015.

This event, back by popular demand, visits Jewish, Christian and Muslim holy sites and allows attendees to meet and mingle with people of different faiths who inhabit this incredibly fragile, complex and beautiful land. Holy Land Pics 5-9-08 035

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. This trip has been organized 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 27, 2015.
Click here to download the application.

CRCDS Community is Saddened to Announce the passing of Life Trustee Raymond N. Bligh, Sr., (CTS '56)

The CRCDS community is saddened to announce the recent passing of Raymond N. Bligh, Sr., Life Trustee and 1956 Crozer graduate on January 31, 2015. His memorial service will be held on April 25, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Wellesley, MA. To view his obituary, click here: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/bostonglobe/obituary.aspx?pid=174046134
Memorial gifts are appreciated and can be made to the Raymond N. and Barbara J. Bligh Scholarship Fund at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, 1100 South Goodman St., Rochester, NY 14620.

Ray was dedicated to Crozer and dedicated to keeping the legacy of Crozer vibrant and alive after the merger with Colgate Rochester in 1970.
Condolences may be sent to his daughter, Pamela Varriale, at 15 Kelley St., Medway, MA, 02053 or by phoning 508-259-2861.