Truett students to discuss Black Lives Matter

A cluster of Black Lives Matter groups and the organization leading the push for a $15-an-hour wage are joining forces to combine the struggle for racial justice with the fight for economic equality on Nov. 29, 2016 along the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas. Photo credit: Associated Press

By Joy Moton | Staff Writer

After an in-depth discussion about the Black Lives Matter movement among members of George W. Truett Theological Seminary’s Black Student Association, the group decided to open up the conversation to members of the community by hosting a discussion titled “Teach-In: The Matters of Black Lives.”

The event, which will take place at 6 p.m. today University Baptist Church is designed to raise awareness about topics surrounding the issues facing African Americans and to educate people about the Black Lives Matter Movement.

“It’s an important conversation that needs to be had that gets pushed off a lot,” said Columbus, Miss., Truett Theological Seminary student Michelle Shackelford. “We haven’t accomplished everything that there is to accomplish with regard to race relations.”

Members of the Black Student Association who have conducted in-depth research into these topics will teach 30-minute sessions. Participants will be able to choose which two they would like to attend. According to the organization’s website, classes will cover a variety of topics including the context of the Black Lives Matter movement, gender, mass incarceration, lynching and discussing racism with children. After the sessions, participants will gather for a collective discussion.

Cedar Hill seminary student Thomas Garner said one of the main barriers to engaging in open discussion is that sometimes people do not believe African-Americans have a cause to fight for anymore since legal segregation has been outlawed.

“The reality of the day is I may go into one of the finest restaurants as an African-American and people will still look at me crazy even though I can go in there legally because they’re not looking at the law,” Garner said.

Garner also said the issues facing African Americans should be analyzed theologically, and those who are followers of Christ should identify problems while looking for ways they can step up and support.

One initiative of the Truett Black Student Association is to enhance the community academically and spiritually. Members hope this event will raise a sense of Christian love that will inspire participants to recognize the cause and do their part, Garner said.

“Jesus talks about a lot of different things, but he says the greatest is love and with that being said, those of us who are in Christ must show where they can see the love in the unity of Christ community. That will draw them to see the greater picture of the mission of Christ and how we can partner together, come together and support one another,” Garner said.