Eight Westmont students speak at racial reconciliation conference
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During the last weekend in February, Biola University hosted the 23rd annual Student Congress on Racial Reconciliation (SCORR) conference.
SCORR was created in 1996 by Glen Kinoshita, the current director of Imago Dei and Faculty Development at Biola University. Since then, it has grown into one of the largest Christian conferences around race related issues in the United States. This year’s theme was “Legacy: Justice. Righteousness. Reconciliation.” The theme was meant to urge attendees to see themes of justice, righteousness, and reconciliation throughout the Bible and to challenge attendees “as the people of God to exemplify this legacy that has been passed down” from biblical times, according to the SCORR website.
At SCORR, college students, faculty, and staff spend time worshiping together, hearing from renown speakers like John Perkins and Bryan Loritts, and attending workshops that cover an array of topics. Some of these topics include: immigration and the Matthew 25 Movement, making the gospel relevant in a world of complexity, dealing with unconscious bias, thinking biblically about our nation’s political climate, how White people can be more effective allies, and race and gender in higher education. In addition, Westmont students and staff created and presented three of the workshops provided! Intercultural Programs Director, Jason Cha, presented on contesting the Model Minority Myth with two colleagues. Alumnus, Matthew Lee, with current students Miah Williams, Emily Mata, Caleb Rodriguez, Brendan Fong, and Rebekah Beeghly presented on the Multiracial experience. Additionally, Jason Cha, along with Resident Directors Tim Miller and Dan Taylor, and students, Olivia Stowell, Will Walker, and Ben Thomas presented on the role and place of White men in the conversation around race.
Westmont had over 30 students and staff attend the conference. For First-Year Kat Marquez, SCORR was a highlight of her year. She says, “attending the SCORR conference became one of the best ways to connect with people of all kinds of racial/ethnic/cultural backgrounds.” She especially appreciated the workshop called, “Navigating Turbulence: Women of Color in Christian College and University Spaces.” Marquez says, “I learned that I need to learn how to trust the voice God has given me, and that my emotions as a woman—as a woman of color—does not automatically make my argument invalid.”
Senior Morgan Erickson also attended SCORR for the first time this year. When asked about her experience, she said, “I liked being in a space where talking about race was intentional and the power of people’s experiences and stories being shared was elevated and appreciated in a way that is not often the case on Westmont’s campus.”
SCORR is held each February at Biola and continues to be a resource for students to learn, grow, and experience the importance of engaging in conversations about race.