Reflection, Education, Action: Engaging with Love and in Faith

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Dear APU Students,

The past few weeks have been difficult. Alongside President Ferguson’s message to the APU Community this past week, we acknowledge the anger, frustration, hurt, sadness, fear, and confusion many of you may be experiencing during this challenging time. The tragic deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd should evoke emotions in us, and as believers, we need to stand against any injustice or form of racism. This world is broken and desperately needs change. All of us can play a part in that change.

As you continue to process what is taking place in our country, communities, families, and even in your own heart, we encourage you to consider the following:

Assess your thoughts, feelings, and wellbeing, and utilize university resources for support.

The circumstances of this season can weigh on you physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Be intentional about minding your thoughts and feelings, maintaining healthy relationships, and utilizing resources when you need support. Below are university resources available to you.

Weekly VOICES Conversation for Students

APU students are invited to join us for VOICES, a weekly online conversation on Fridays at 2 p.m. VOICES offers a safe space for students to engage in critical conversations to process and understand current and historical issues related to race, culture, equity, and justice in an effort to promote community action and engagement. Email scrd@apu.edu to register to participate.

Consider ways you can contribute and challenge racism and injustice.

The circumstances of this season also compel us to prayerfully consider ways God may desire to use us—our influence and our voice—to advance love, truth, and justice for others. In the pursuit of systemic change, some of the community organizations below provide updates and formalized promotion of peaceful protests, educational resources, and justice-oriented campaigns to advance racial equity and justice. Please know that these sources are referenced for further understanding of the diverse opinions being expressed during this time of racial and social unrest.

Become more knowledgeable of racism and injustice and its current and historical impact on affected populations.

There are many insightful, meaningful ways to broaden your understanding of racism and injustice and the unique lived experiences of vulnerable populations impacted by it. Seek out books, articles, documentaries, and movies that enrich your understanding and expand your empathic regard. Also, consider local, regional, and university-sponsored forums and events that create space for engagement, discussion, and further learning. University-sponsored learning opportunities will be promoted via email when plans are solidified.

Podcasts, Books, and Films

  • 1619 New York Times podcast
  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
  • The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
  • 13th (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix
  • Hidden Figures (Theodore Melfi) –– Available to rent
  • Just Mercy (Destin Daniel Cretton) — Available to rent
  • Selma (Ava DuVernay) — Available to rent
  • The Hate U Give (George Tillman Jr.) — Hulu
  • When They See Us (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix
Explore Additional Resources

View more allyship and anti-racism resources to deepen your knowledge, compiled by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and Student Center for Reconciliation and Diversity. Discover additional resources on creating more inclusive learning environments shared by APU’s Department of Criminal Justice.

As we continue to engage with one another through this difficult process of bringing change to our community, may we be the first to listen; continue to find ways to educate ourselves about the past, present, and what can be done for our future; and be the hands and feet of Jesus.

Together,

Shino Simons, Ph.D., Vice President, Student Affairs

Keith Hall, Ed.D., Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion