‘The events of Black History Month have led us further into the mystery of baptism.’
The seminary’s commitment to this time of reflection, celebration and learning spreads beyond just the one month, and has begun to help students and faculty frame a greater reference for addressing the issues of race in the 21st century.
“The partnership between the seminary leadership and members of the Austin community has made the celebration of Black History Month a high point of our life together,” says Dean and President, The Very Rev. Cynthia Briggs Kittredge. “This year’s offerings extended the conversation on race and justice that was opened by Bryan Stevenson’s visit in September and that has continued throughout this year.”
The inclusion of the long-standing Payne Lecture – named for the Rt. Rev. Claude Payne, the VIIth Bishop of Texas – within and informed by the efforts of Black History Month are another example of how fully these events have been integrated into the tradition of the seminary. Dr. Katongole’s well-attended keynote resonated broadly throughout the seminary community.
“Emmanuel Katangole’s question still rings in my ears, “Is the blood of tribalism deeper than the waters of baptism?” All the events of Black History Month have led us further into the mystery of baptism,” said Dean Kittredge.
For Academic Dean, Dr. Scott Bader-Saye, the efforts of the month aligned well with the seminary’s mission of forming leaders for the greater Church: “We are committed to giving our students tools and experiences that will help them dialogue about race in whatever vocational context they find themselves. From our discussion of Ava DuVernay’s powerful documentary “13th” to our lecture by Emmanuel Katongole, this year’s Black History Month events gave students opportunities to engage, process, and practice the kinds of conversations about race that our culture so desperately needs.”
Seminary leadership would like to acknowledge and thank the members of the planning committee that made this meaningful month possible.
2017 BHM Planning Committee Members –
Glenice Robinson – Como
Brittany James-Vito, Chair