On August 1, Pres. Marvin A. McMickle, Ph.D., appeared on “Need to Know Rochester,” a televised news show that focuses on local issues in Rochester, New York. It is broadcast by WXXI, the area’s PBS and NPR affilliate.
The acquittal of George Zimmerman on all charges in the death of Trayvon Martin set off debate and protest across the nation. President McMickle lent his unique perspective and wisdom to the discussion through local and national media outlets.
“There is no faith that does not demand forgiveness.” — Howard Thurman
The front lines of the longest war in American history — the war against racism — is riddled with the bodies and sacrifices of the young soldiers who fought in the Civil War, Emmett Till, Rodney King, young African-American males who populate America’s jails, and now Trayvon Martin. Whether one believes George Zimmerman is innocent or guilty of murdering Trayvon (and despite his acquittal of all charges by a jury, this decision in the court of public opinion will still be in play), no one can dispute that the profiling of Trayvon was racially motivated. After all, Zimmerman openly admitted that he, a neighborhood watch volunteer, was suspicious and fearful of a young African-American male wearing a hoodie.
“Need to Know” – Rochester-focused TV News Show
Pres. McMickle discussed the impact of and response to the outcome of the trial against George Zimmerman for the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, on Rochester, New York’s regional PBS station (WXXI).
Letter to the Editor
Immediately following the announcement of the verdict, Pres. McMickle sent the following letter to The Democrat and Chronicle, a local paper in Rochester, New York.
My heart is deeply conflicted as I think about the outcome of the George Zimmerman trial.
A young man lies dead, the shooter is acquitted, and for many in America a large piece of our confidence in the criminal justice system has died as well. On the other hand, black men die every day at the hands of other black men and it barely makes the local news, much less a matter of national attention. There is enough sin and blame to go around.
Perhaps, in the aftermath of this court case, we in Rochester and across the country can renew our commitment to the value of every human life, no matter by whose hands that life has been taken!
Gun control. Racial profiling. Perhaps this time we can make some real progress.
(Originally published here on July 14, 2013.)
The Office for Institutional Advancement is very pleased to announce that the Fund for CRCDS for 2012-13 closed with a total amount of $331,610. This amount exceeds the goal of $317,000 by $14,610 and shows an increase from 2011-12 of nearly $8,000.
With 100% participation among faculty, staff and Trustees for the second year in a row, this year has seen the most giving in four years.
Tom McDade Clay, Vice President of the Office for Institutional Advancement, was grateful to all who gave to the Fund for CRCDS this year. “Without your support, we would be unable to continue in our work of training and preparing leaders to to transform their world by speaking truth to power and standing among the least of these.’ We hope you will continue with us for the 2013-14 fiscal year as we work to meet our goal of $348,700,” he said.
Debbie Allen is a current M.Div. student. She attended the recent pilgrimage to the Israel and Palestine region organized by CRCDS, entitled “The Holy Land and Its People.” Below is the short version of an essay Debbie wrote following the trip that is adapted for public reading.
What happens when we walk through a gate? Who are we before we enter the gate and who do we become on the other side? How does the gate change us? In June, I had an opportunity to pass through many gates on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land led by CRCDS professors Melanie Duguid May and Mark Brummitt. Gates became a lens through which I could begin to understand what I was seeing and experiencing.
It was at Tel Megiddo that I first encountered the significance of gates. As we climbed to the top of this wind-blown hill where more than 20 cities were constructed over the course of 5,000 years, I was taken by the magnificence of its location on what was once known as the Via Maris, the international highway leading from Egypt to Mesopotamia. The immensity of the deep blue sky and the expansive view out over the Jezreel Valley were exhilarating. Our first stop was at the city gates. Tina, our guide, spoke about the importance of the gates not only for defensive purposes, but also as a social space, a market place, a place of judgment and execution, as well as a place of shrines. She mentioned biblical stories in which city gates were prominent, among them Proverbs 1:21 in which Wisdom cries out at the busiest corner, the entrance of the city gates; Ruth 4:1 in which Boaz goes to the gate to redeem the estate of Elimelech so that he can receive Ruth to be his wife; and II Samuel 18:24, 33 in which David sits between the two gates, waiting for tidings of his son, Absalom, and then goes up to the chamber over the gate to weep when he learns of Absalom’s death. These stories added to the richness of gate imagery, but it was Tina’s description of the gate as an ambivalent and a liminal space that captivated me. The gate was ambivalent, she said, because it was, at the same time, an entrance that provided access and the place of greatest weakness and vulnerability to invasion. It was liminal because it was a space between the inner and the outer worlds, a place of transition for travelers in which they briefly belonged to neither world and were therefore open and unprotected. The actual stone remains of the Megiddo gates no longer conveyed might or power, but in my imagination, I recreated their former stature and envisioned lively scenes of human activity moving in and out through this passageway.
On July 18, 2013, President Marvin A. McMickle, Ph.D., co-signed an op-ed addressing the ongoing immigration reform debate and the recent Supreme Court decision to strike down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act in June. It was published in The Huffington Post on behalf of African-American and Latino faith leaders from across the United States.
As Christian faith leaders, two of our deepest values are love and justice. Informed by our Christian heritage and legacy of our shared histories in pursuit of a more perfect union, we know our nation is deeply enriched by the inclusion of a great mosaic of people in our democracy. Our eyes are on the prize of a democracy that reflects the universal principles of love and justice. However, two recent developments in our national landscape have called us to speak-up about the direction of our shared democracy.
Just weeks ago, the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act. Since 1965, the Voting Rights Act has been the shield that has protected the rights of racial-ethnic minorities to vote against state efforts to discriminatorily limit their voting strength. Several of the nine states that were previously covered by the requirement have begun to implement changes in voting procedures, such as restrictive voter ID laws, that will negatively impact, and potentially disenfranchise, Americans in the communities we serve. We should build bridges, not hurdles to the voting process. As we approach the 50th year of the March on Washington and Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington D.C., the present initiatives around the country to restrict voting rights are a retreat from the promise of that dream.