June 04, 2020

Photos of the five panelists with a title of the talk

 Read President Le Roy’s email to the Calvin community sent Sunday, May 31, 2020.

On Wednesday, June 3, 2020, Calvin University hosted a virtual conversation on race, faith, and justice. Michael Le Roy, president of Calvin University, facilitated the 90-minute conversation that included a couple of his colleagues at Calvin and a couple of advisors and friends from the Grand Rapids area.

The panelists included: Michelle Loyd-Paige, Calvin’s executive associate to the president for diversity and inclusion; Jane Bruin, Calvin’s assistant dean of international student development; Tarence Lauchie, pastor of Grace of the Nations Church; and Nathaniel Moody, co-founder of Brown-Hutcherson Ministries and a third ward commissioner in the city of Grand Rapids.

After some introductory and contextual remarks from Le Roy, Loyd-Paige opened the time in prayer.

“God of our weary years. God of our silent and not so silent tears. We are here because we are your children. We are here because of the deep pain that is experienced in individuals. We are here because of the broken social systems. We are here because we don't know what else to do but to cry out to you. So Lord, use your spirit to meet us where we are. For those who are lamenting, for those who are grieving, be the only comfort that really matters in this time. Lord, for those who would be resistant to hear the pain, to dismiss it, to think that this is something that will just blow over in a day or two, by your spirit, Lord, convict them. Convict them. Reveal yourself as a God of justice. Reveal yourself as a God of peace in a way that we have never seen. Lord, we are your people. We are your children. Be with the panelists as we speak, as we think, as we have a conversation. Help our words to enlighten, help our words to initiate first steps. Help us, Lord. Be with us, Lord. By your spirit. In the name of the one who was, and is, and is to come, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.”

The 90-minute conversation in its entirety is embedded below.

A few sound bites from the conversation:

“You know, in triage, the main thing is to get the bleeding to stop. And I think that that's where America is right now is to try to stop the bleeding, but ignoring the source of the wound. The source of the wound goes so far back and blood is endless … We're not critically examining what it is that has transpired because we just want the bleeding to stop. But I'm here to tell you it's been bleeding, we've been bleeding for a long time. This country is wounded from the inside out. And it's a cycle where there are tons and tons of blood being spilled in the street proverbially speaking. And until justice rings down like the bloodshed, we're going to continue to have this agony, the agony of both peaceful and non-peaceful protests”
—Tarence Lauchie
“But right now, we're dealing with hemophilias and that won't stop the bleeding at all. Something has to coagulate it. If you want blood to be coagulated, you’ve got to find a way to stop it. And the way to stop it is to go straight to the root, pay attention to what you do, pay attention to how you think, and be honest about it.”
—Nathaniel Moody
“I know people are upset, but I wonder what the flavor of the week will be next week. And will people still want to do something about this? Because if we truly do something about this, if we truly try to make this a just society, things are going to have to change. There's going to be a whole lot of discomfort. A lot on everybody's part is going to have to change. And I am not convinced that there is a will for that kind of change. I hope, I pray I am wrong.”
—Michelle Loyd-Paige

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