Board of Regents approves resolution on racial and ethnic diversity

Published by Concordia University, Nebraska 2 weeks ago on Mon, Jul 20, 2020 9:45 AM
Photo of Concordia University's main sign along Columbia Avenue, in front of Weller Hall.
Concordia University, Nebraska’s Board of Regents on July 15 approved a resolution that acknowledges the University’s need to become more adept at embracing racial and ethnic diversity to fulfill its God-given mission.

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Concordia University, Nebraska’s Board of Regents on July 15 approved a resolution that acknowledges the University’s need to become more adept at embracing racial and ethnic diversity to fulfill its God-given mission.

As part of the resolution, the Board will increase its support for Concordia’s Multicultural Program, which recently developed a Commission for Racial and Ethnic Diversity, to establish biblical, academic and social efforts to expand racial and ethnic proficiency that will continue to foster an environment where racism continues to be addressed and prevented in order that students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of color know they are valued and loved members of Concordia’s Christ-centered community.

In the resolution, the Board denounces racism in all forms as sinful, reaffirms its commitment to instituting fair and equitable policies and practices, reaffirms the University’s need to intentionally listen to current and former students affected by racism and affirmed the need to evaluate how students, staff and faculty are equipped for cultural proficiency to continue engaging racial and ethnic diversity.

“The plan to publicly release the Board’s resolution on Monday, July 20, is unexpectedly further heightened in relevance by the July 17 calling from this life of civil rights leaders U.S. Rep. John Lewis and Rev. C. T. Vivian, both close associates of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” said Rev. Russ Sommerfeld, Concordia interim president. “On behalf of the University, many thanks to the Board of Regents for drafting and approving this following resolution for the campus community, alumni, friends and the public.” 

 

 Concordia University, Nebraska Board of Regents Resolution on Racial and Ethnic Diversity

July 15, 2020

The mission of Concordia University, Nebraska is to be an excellent academic and Christ-centered community equipping men and women for lives of learning, service and leadership in the church and world. Likewise, Concordia’s Promises of a Lutheran Education begin with the commitment to be a Christ-centered community where students, staff, faculty and peers understand the meaning of God’s grace and unconditional love. Led by God’s Word, moved by Christ’s compassion, and inspired by His Spirit, the Concordia community strives to live out our unity in Christ. The Apostle Paul urges our Concordia community “to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit...” (Ephesians 4:1-4a).

In 1894, German-speaking Lutheran Christians founded Concordia to train teachers for the Lutheran schools of predominately white European Lutheran immigrant congregations in the United States. While the Concordia community has remained predominately white, the University sends its graduates, in education and other fields, to serve racially and ethnically diverse communities, domestically and internationally. The blessing of diversity has also come to Concordia, with students from throughout the nation and other nations, making Concordia more diverse than ever before. Concordia recognizes that the above-mentioned changes call for the University to be a Lutheran Christian higher education community that is committed to cultural proficiency for students, staff and faculty. Concordia wants to equip its students for grace-filled, well-informed lives of Christ-like service to all humanity. Concordia’s Promises of a Lutheran Education also include immersing students in an environment of rich academic exploration and inquiry, where they intentionally explore and critically examine the issues of the world. This requires biblical and academic attention to racial and ethnic diversity.

Concordia recognizes that worldly sinfulness, including racism, is in direct conflict with the Word of God, and promises to acknowledge and speak out against racism as the sinful evil it is.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Regents of Concordia University, Nebraska acknowledges the University’s need to become more adept at embracing racial and ethnic diversity to fulfill its God-given mission.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board of Regents of Concordia University, Nebraska denounces racism in all its forms as sinful and reaffirms its commitment to instituting and promoting fair and equitable policies and practices that continue to call students, faculty and staff to account for actions and activities that contradict God’s Word.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board of Regents of Concordia University, Nebraska reaffirm the University’s commitment to intentionally listen to current and former students affected by racism.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board of Regents of Concordia University, Nebraska affirm the University’s need to evaluate how students, staff and faculty are equipped for cultural proficiency to continue engaging racial and ethnic diversity.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board of Regents, increases its support for the University’s Multicultural Program, calling upon the University president and administration, to establish additional biblical, academic and social efforts to expand racial and ethnic proficiency. These efforts shall foster an environment through which racism continues to be addressed and prevented in order that students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of color know they are valued and loved members of Concordia’s Christ-centered community.

AND BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that this resolution shall be shared with all constituencies of Concordia University, Nebraska as a public statement of the Board of Regents’ commitment to demonstrate Christ-like compassion, to increase efforts to recognize, address, and remove racism when it occurs at Concordia, and to increase Concordia’s proficiency for racially and ethnically diverse living by God’s grace in Jesus Christ.

The Concordia University, Nebraska Board of Regents this 15th day of July, 2020:


Stuart Bartruff

Chair, Board of Regents Concordia University, Nebraska

Members of the Board of Regents

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