We Stand Together. A Message from CCSN’s Network Administrator.
The recent tragedies in the United States and subsequent violence around the country grieve us deeply. Racism is a sin. It is an abomination. It is symbolic and physical violence. We believe that Jesus Christ’s crucifixion—His own unjust death—calls us to bring all such violence to an end. We stand in prayer and protest with our fellow students, colleagues, practitioners, and friends of color across the globe as we continue the fight together against our internalized, individual, and systemic racism.
Communication studies has much to offer in this fight, and the CCSN will continue to support this fight through its various outreaches and services.
The CCSN (www.theccsn.com) explores the intersections between Christianity and communication studies and seeks to provide a platform for discussion and exploration of the ways that Christian truth and communication studies can partner together to speak wisdom into culture and offer hopeful, positive responses for such times as these. A recent example is Dr. Mark Williams’ column titled “What Matters.”
Other examples include (1) Dr. Naaman Wood’s award winning faith-learning integration article in the Journal of Christian Teaching Practice (in Communication Studies) that reflects on James Cone’s The Cross and the Lynching Tree as an example of analogical thinking that helps to increase our social engagement; (2) Dr. John Hatch’s webinar and subsequent award-winning journal article that explores disarming defensiveness about race in the classroom and beyond; (3) Dr. Derick Rossenoir’s webinar that outlines some key issues in Teaching Inter-racial Communication in a Christian Context; and (4) Dr. Paul Patton’s play, A Meeting in Kansas, that offers an historical and rhetorical re-enactment highlighting many church’s harmful inaction toward the scourge of slavery in the mid-1800s.
We also acknowledge that this moment of crisis teaches us that we need to do a better job of educating ourselves about how racism impacts not only the broader world we live in, but also in how it impacts our Christian piety, our Christian theology, our Christian organizations, our Christian schools, and our churches. We need to do a better job of listening to scholars and theologians of color. We need to do a better job teaching scholars and theologians of color to our students. We need to do a better job of preparing our students to communicate in such times of crisis as these.
For those of you who feel ill-equipped to engage the events over the past few weeks personally and professionally, the CCSN would like to begin and invite you to a virtual reading group on “Race and Christianity.” We will read texts that you may have heard of but never got a chance to read or process with other Christians. The group will meet about once a month beginning this summer (toward the end of July). The discussion won’t be a time for heady theory or moral grandstanding but a time for building relationships and the courage to talk about difficult things. We know that a reading group won’t end racism. But in our vocations as teacher-scholars-practitioners, learning is an important first step. If you are interested in participating in the group and would like more details, please send an email to: [email protected].
As we commit to doing better, we welcome your suggestions on how we can continue to improve our efforts and grow the conversation.
CCSN Network Administrator