Thursday, June 6, 2013

Here's Hoping: A Civil Rights Tour Prologue

I’m thrilled to come together with colleagues and students from both Messiah and Geneva in order to witness, discuss, experience, and process the Civil Rights Movement on an eight day tour all over the South. There'll be lots of hotels, charter buses, museums, and interesting conversations.

As in any educational context, the hope is that the knowledge doesn’t just go in one ear and out the other. Working in residence life, my hope with my RAs and residents isn’t that they just survive dorm-life or stay out of trouble. Rather, I hope that my students encounter a transformational learning experience, stumbling upon the inherent value in committing to one another or carrying conversations from the classroom/chapel over into the lounges (or a plethora of other things).

Likewise with this trip, I hope to be changed. I hope to learn a lot about the movement but I also want to be renewed in my sense of understanding of what’s come before me on issues of diversity and reconciliation and what that looks like today. I hope to recognize subtle (and blatant?) forms of prejudice in myself and work against those. I hope to discover new ways to challenge the students I work with to be courageous and inclusive. I have a lot of hopes…

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