The racial violence that we have witnessed against people of color these last weeks and months has brought clear attention to a brokenness of our human condition and separation across society that must be addressed. What breaks my own heart, and surely the heart of God, is that our very own students, faculty, and staff have experienced these issues of racism, discrimination, pain, and trauma in the PLNU community.
Since my initial statement, many members of our community — our underrepresented students, faculty, staff, and alumni of color, together with those who stand alongside them — have reached out to share stories of pain, fear, hopelessness, and also hope for PLNU and our nation. These stories of hurt and deep pain have also been accompanied by calls for action. As a Christian community, the imperative is clear: There is considerable work to be done in order to bring about real change.
As I have listened and reflected in these days, I am compelled to speak frankly about how we treat people of color in our community and our country. I have asked PLNU leadership to do the same.
As such, I am convening a group of faculty and staff across PLNU next week, June 11, to expand upon previous efforts and discuss comprehensive opportunities for action as it relates to the issues of race and ethnicity in our community. Specifically, this work will review PLNU’s policies, culture, and community as it relates to racial justice. While we continue to plan tangible action steps, both immediate and long term, we continue to seek your feedback.
These may be difficult and uncomfortable conversations as they require reflection and accountability that is not always easy. However, I believe these efforts are central to our mission as a university of higher education and as a community of believers. Ultimately, it is our responsibility to seek understanding, learn together, and commit to change within and beyond the university community as we live out our purpose and calling before God.
Last week I shared that Micah 6:8 is not a call to journey with God alone, but with others. This call is one of action in pursuit of a just and merciful God. As Christians, we are compelled and empowered to work against injustice and call out racism in any form. Let this be a time for humble reflection, sincere repentance, and a commitment toward action now and through all of PLNU’s legacy.
Bob Brower, President
Point Loma Nazarene University