News Release
 
BUILDING AN ATMOSPHERE OF DIVERSITY  - 02/17/06 

Reverend Esteban Lugo, director of race relations for the Christian Reformed Church of North America, has a servant's heart, a deep understanding of a non-dominant culture, and a commitment to eliminating the causes and the effects of racism in the church and in the world. When he spoke at Trinity Christian College on Monday, February 6, Rev. Lugo shared how to incorporate diversity initiatives into higher education practices. 

"Institutions must be intentional in their design for diversity," Rev. Lugo said. "As God's people, we need to embrace diversity, not only because our society demands it, but also because it is part of God's agenda for His kingdom."

Rev. Lugo focused on expanding student perspectives on diversity. He emphasized the important role educators and administrators play in shaping students' analytical, work, and human relations skills.

"Diversity in a diverse educational setting prepares students to become good citizens in an increasingly complex and pluralistic society, and it fosters mutual respect and teamwork," he said. "It helps build communities whose members are judged by the quality of their character and their contributions.

"In order to foster citizenship for a diverse democracy, educators must intentionally structure opportunities for students to leave the comfort of their homogenous peer group and build relationships across racially and ethnically-diverse student communities on campus. Curriculum is not enough. You must have the interaction between the peoples, and you must be intentionally creating the climate for that interaction to take place."

Rev. Lugo and his wife served the church for more than 26 years in various church planting and pastoring ministries, from inner city Chicago to Arizona's Phoenix Valley, before accepting the position of director of race relations for the CRCNA. As director, Rev. Lugo has created programs to eliminate the causes and effects of racism in a body of believers and throughout the world. He also is the parent of Trinity junior Ariel Lugo, and he serves on Trinity's Board of Directors.
 


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