Community wakes up to diversity
Administration follows up on the Living Out Kingdom Diversity event. | Caroline Sommers/ THE CHIMES
Administration hosted the follow-up event Part II: Living Out Kingdom Diversity on Nov. 14, addressing students’ unanswered questions from a previous event.
Finding one's place
The panel spent the first hour and a half addressing questions not answered at the Living Out Kingdom Diversity event held in October and used the last half hour for a time to allow the audience to ask further questions.
After what the panel described as a painful election culmination, panel moderator and chair of communication studies Joy Qualls explained the hurt felt derives from the need to find one’s place in the church.
The first question asked if Biola limits diversity to race or if it includes religion, sexuality or socio-economic status as well. As a response, associate professor of education Cid Luciano added disability to the list explaining he defines diversity as anything that allows one person to have a different experience than another.
Student Government Association president and senior business and Bible major Jessica Snow added diversity inclusion extends to how we listen, engage, support and proactively think through the experiences of others who are different than ourselves.
SGA vice president of diversity and inclusion Ryan Colwell echoed Snow, referring to the new catchphrase on campus, “Woke to the conversation.” He explained that it is means becoming aware of the issue of diversity and furthermore, considering what justice in that situation looks like.
The need for inclusion
Following Colwell, Glen Kinoshita, director of Imago Dei initiatives, reminded the audience the new covenant calls for inclusion and even in scriptural times, caused conflict between Jews and Gentiles. The goal requires Christians to seek Christ’s thoughts rather than man’s thoughts, according to Kinoshita.
Luciano challenged students to remember as representations of Biola that their choices impact the community.
The panelists halted the event to express gratitude towards Colwell when he spoke of grace and understanding when addressing differing viewpoints.
“I think it would be wrong to try and segregate ourselves or to cause any kind of schism within the church simply because some people might be misinformed,” Colwell said to the audience. “I think in some cases if they truly have the Holy Spirit it’s not an issue of compassion so much as an issue of ignorance and… for that I can try my best to work in humility, to educate, to love and if they do have the Holy Spirit I fully believe that they will come around to that.”