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Web Feature Posted August 28, 2014

Ferguson and Beyond

Brenda Salter McNeil Lecturing
Brenda Salter McNeil, Associate Professor of Reconciliation Studies at SPU

SPU Community Members Write and Preach:
“God Forbid That the Church Be Silent”

Following the shooting by a police officer of Michael Brown, community protests, and a militarized police response in Ferguson, Missouri, a nationwide conversation about race and injustice has emerged, a conversation that members of the Seattle Pacific University community have been directly involved in.

“We can’t lose sight of the fact that Ferguson has thrown a floodlight onto an open, festering wound in our country that is not healing in our so-called post-racial society but growing ever wider,” writes Associate Professor of Reconciliation Studies Brenda Salter McNeil. “Let’s not put it back in the shadows to fester further still!”

Read, listen, and respond to what they have to say:

Interview in Christianity Today with John Perkins, cofounder of SPU’s John Perkins Center for Reconciliation, Leadership Training, and Community Development

The Sin of Racism Made Ferguson Escalate So Quickly

“Racism is a sin in the face of the Holy God and of humanity bearing that face of God. We have not gotten deep enough to affirming each other as human beings. As a result we minimize the gospel.”

Articles by Brian Bantum, Associate Professor of Theology

What Will I Do, a Call to Theologians

“As theologians we presume to teach about who God is and who we are as God’s children and what is this world that God created and that we inhabit. What will our classes look like this year?”

Reflecting on Ferguson With Frederick Douglass
“The story is longer and deeper and darker than we could ever imagine. And we cannot be Christ’s body until we confess to its centrality to this story.”

Doing Theology As Though Our Bodies Mattered
“What does it mean to study God and God’s world with Ferguson in view?”

What Sort of People Will We Be?
“They say something like this, ‘Well, surely something like that couldn't happen now, we are not those sort of people.’” 

Sermon and Articles by Brenda Salter McNeil, Associate Professor and Director of Reconciliation Studies

Sermon: Faith + Works = Life

“My brothers and my sisters, I believe that we are in a moment of our own civil rights movement. This situation gives us an opportunity to decide what our response will be to, ‘Where were you when people were being beat and mistreated? Where were you when people were being shot in the street with their hands up?’” (abridged version)

Take a Risk
“Some of you, especially some of my students, might be wondering how, exactly, to do that. How can you take a risk?”

Four Practical Tips for Preaching on #Ferguson
“Here are my four practical principles for engagement after something as heavy and as angering and as potentially divisive as Ferguson…”

Remember and Reach In
“As the protests and the news reports in Ferguson are starting to slow to a simmer, I can feel the pull. Can you?”

Article by Angela Tucker ’08, Program Coordinator for Disability Support Services in the Center for Learning

Black Angst: Outside The Quite Visible Black Backpack

“Educating students cannot simply stop with an acknowledgment about the unearned advantages that Whites have, but educators must also provide a narrative from  the opposite viewpoint and a history about what had to happen in order to allow for hierarchies and such privileges.”

Organizations in the Seattle Area that Support and Minister to Black Youth, Recommended by Tali Hairston, Director of the John Perkins Center

ECHO Leadership

“ECHO leadership is all about training youth workers in South King County. Lina Thompson has more than 25 years of experience in urban youth ministry. Another 15 youth leaders help lead ECHO. It takes urban youth leaders to reach urban youth!”

Urban Impact – King County Youth Chaplaincy
“Urban Impact is a model for community development. Primarily the King County Youth Chaplaincy needs financial support. When kids do get arrested, Jonathan Abe and Glenn McCrae and a host of others show up to listen to these kids’ stories of rejection, abuse, and indifference.”

YES Foundation of White Center
“The YES Foundation of White Center is one of the most critical life-giving efforts I've ever witnessed. Pat Thompson is an expert at speaking into the life of youth and raising them to lead a life of purpose.”

Divine Alternatives for Dads
“A program to help men become healthy active participants in the lives of their children. That's doing something!”

About the John Perkins Center at SPU

The John Perkins Center was created in 2004 to institutionalize Seattle Pacific’s desire to always learn from and share with others the life and legacy of Dr. John M. Perkins. We believe his life story, principles of community development, and ministry of reconciliation can help many participate and contribute to the health and wholeness of our campus, city, and world. The Perkins Center is committed to: