WILLIAMS URGES STUDENT
BODY TRANSFORMATION - 11/30/05
As a Chicago native, Dr.
Herma Williams, associate provost of Gordon College and past chair for
the CCCU National Commission for Advancing Intercultural Competencies,
knows about the racial lines that can divide a community, city, and country.
Her parents, inner city missionaries to the homeless, taught her the value
of integrative diversity, which has become an essential part of her vision
for the future of academic institutions.
Her vision has led her to
colleges and universities around the country, and on Monday, November 14,
she came to Trinity as part of the College's Diversity Lecture Series.
She shared her concerns for Christian higher education institutions and
best practices for remedying segregation.
"A focus on diversity is
very important because it's about the Kingdom of God," Dr. Williams said.
"We need to reflect the Kingdom of God when we're together."
Williams advocated making
important and lasting changes in the body of believers through transforming
the student body. Specifically, she advanced the ideas of mentoring current
students and making the opportunity to attend Christian colleges and universities
accessible to prospective students from lower socioeconomic classes.
Referencing Phillip Jenkins'
The Next Christian, which predicts that only one in five Christians
will be white by 2050, Dr. Williams asked, "What effect will that statistic
have on your future?
"Diversity should not be
added on to the strategic plan, but woven in," she added. "We cannot succeed
without recognizing that there is a gap. Although we have made progress
in the past 50-60 years, we have still not transcended the racial divide,
which has discouraged the development of ordinary relationships of trust
and mutual respect."