The mission and vision statements of both Seattle Pacific University and the Department of Education are straightforward. Even the mission statement for the Digital Education Leadership degree is clear. These statements show a cohesiveness among the university leaders working together to create direction for the school. However, what stands out to me is the “Statement of Racial Justice” from the School of Theology. Specifically, the date of the statement being September 2017. Something happened in the news which incited the writing of the proclamation.
Interestingly, the statement was actually a “re-issue… slightly edited to address current concerns (Preface).” This “re-issue” came from a document written “following the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri (Preface).” Now, I am not one to go with superstitions. My biblical worldview prevents me from doing so, but I find it interesting that we have had even more significant setbacks regarding racial justice another three years since the re-issue. Do bad things really come in three?
Still, I appreciate how something that happened years ago spurred someone into action to bring forth a statement regarding issues that seem to be just as prevalent today. It is significant that the university followed through with the foresight to publish a message showing their “commit[ment] to stand with those who experience discrimination and racism (para. 1).” Yes, racial justice has always been around with an ebb and flow of importance for hundreds of years. Again, recognizing that the school paid attention to what could have been overlooked or accepted as just another headline is excellent, and I want to give applause where applause is due.
Seattle Pacific University. (2020, September). School of Theology statement on racial justice. https://spu.edu/academics/school-of-theology/about/2017-statement