Putting Others Before Yourself

by Stephanie Fritz '10

Philippians 2:3 states, "Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves." This verse encapsulates the theme for APU's annual Unlearn Week, "Honoring Others." Events held throughout the week aimed at helping students understand the reconciling love of Christ towards all people and demonstrate how to express this compassion by overcoming misconceptions of others.

Unlearn Week began with chapel speaker Raleigh Washington, founder and pastor emeritus of Rock of Our Salvation Evangelical Free Church, in Chicago. Washington is an APU Board of Trustees member and co-author of Breaking Down Walls: A Model of Reconciliation in an Age of Racial Strife. Washington spoke to the chapel audience about honor, in accordance with diversity.

Monday night featured a panel exploring the biblical relevance of diversity and how it relates to the call for unity led by Robert Duke, Ph.D., assistant professor of biblical studies; Kathryn J. Smith, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Biblical Studies; and Kenneth L. Waters, Ph.D., associate dean, Division of Religion and Philosophy. The week continued with a discussion on the topic of illegal immigration led by Reverend Alexia Salvatierra, executive director of C.L.U.E. (Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice). Salvatierra talked about what the Bible has to say about the treatment of undocumented immigrants, what we can do to help and what the Christian response should be.
Tuesday night offered sessions tailored to APU men and women.  The men played dodge ball and discussed the relationship between privilege, gender, and race. The women broached the same issues and looked into how they could move from fear and guilt to apathy and action. Later that night, the women’s coffee house honored women through artistic expression. Some women performed songs, some recited spoken word, and some presented art pieces they had created.
Doug Schaupp, regional director for Intervarsity Christian Fellowship’s campus ministries in Southern California, spoke in chapel on Wednesday. He talked about racial issues he experienced while growing up and discussed the book Being White: Finding our Place in a Multiethnic World, which he co-authored. President Jon Wallace also talked about the issues of God honoring diversity and reconciliation at APU and the meaning of what it means to be diverse at APU to conclude Unlearn Week.