Melting Pot – Part VI

This “students of color” thing has struck a cord with me, and I probably should drop it however I can not, not yet.

The whole statement started a ton of offline conversations in my world yesterday with colleagues and friends with much and less melanin. The broader context for my readers is that these visit days are reflective of visit days for a graduate program in Theological Education makes even more offensive. Because it is “about Jesus” or it is supposed to be. Now I have learned through my exploration process that there is a lot of flaky “theology” being taught across America. In the one sector of Academia where there should be an effort promote cohesion in this particular instance, I do not see one. The reality, in recent years and months there, as been a great push among Theologians to embrace minorities and increase enrollment because it is an area that is truly “lily white.” For more than a few reasons some of them being you earn less on average after graduation, historically minority communities have not put great value on such education. And minorities have not been welcomed when open arms in the theological community.

I realize that hosting “students of color” visit days are one way to cure the problem, yet I question the appropriateness of it. The mere connotation is offensive to me and many of my friends. I would offer an alternative, have a solid list of visit days and then highlight what special things will occur on a given day thus given everyone the opportunity to choose what is important to them. Who knows a non-student of color may want to learn about the Latino or Black church in great detail as well or listen to some good ole down home Gospel music.

4 thoughts on “Melting Pot – Part VI

  1. From a educational point of view, I have to actively disagree with you. I know you will still love me. Yet the fact of the matter is that we are separate and can be so easily separated BECAUSE we are “of color” Not noticing color: being color blind does not make it go away. And, unfortunately, lots of institutions (seminaries included) have discriminated based on color. Therefore, all institutions should attempt to show students of color that their institutions are not hostile places and are flexible enough to attempt to cater to the particular needs of students of color in order to change the color of institutions.

  2. Short version: I (me personally) do not want to be catered to; I want institutions to present the entire package to everyone because once classes start everyone is going to be in the room. It is wonderful, that institutions recognize the problems of the past, present and dare I say the future, I am not saying be color blind, I am saying turn all the cards face up, tell every perspective student what programs are offered for each group and why at the same time in mixed company.

  3. Sis, I totally agree with you. I think a better example of an institutions inclusion policy is to just say we have a,b,c,d programs which are open to and inclusive of everyone. Highlighting or focusing on special interest groups creates drama. It has not been my experience at the HBCU I attended where we had “Days for students of non color” or a “Melanin decreased gospel choir.” You just came, joined if you liked it, found something else if you didn’t and made your way as best you could. I know you though, and those situations are ones you excel at. Maybe you need to go to the school in question and rebuild their student advertising campaign.

  4. I thought universities had grown past the idea of segregating Blacks from Whites. I was on a university Diversity panel with the VP of Institutional Equity; all he could talk about was how diverse the university had become. Now a school in the university just made him and the university out of a lie. I was one of 4 Blacks in my graduation class. We were not catered to and we made it, the 4 of us went to colleges that were back then called White colleges. We were not catered to there either. Why would anyone want to be catered to now? Are we not all equal?

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