Embracing My Identity, Hair and All: Part I by Nia Campinha-Bacote

Posted by The National Chi Alpha Ministry Center in Diversity
This post was originally posted on prettyforablackgirl.blogspot.com titled “How Did I Get Here?” that shares Nia’s testimony of how she made the decision to do the “big chop” and her journey of discovering her identity as a black woman in the Lord. Nia Campinha-Bacote formerly served as staff for Chi Alpha at Yale University. Several people have asked me if there was a reason why I did the big chop. The answer is yes and it’s a long one. I want to use this post…

Is God Color-Blind?

Posted by Belkis Lehmann in Diversity
As I interact with different people regarding diversity issues, I often come across those who tell me they are color-blind. Now, this does not mean they cannot distinguish between green and red. I think what they are trying to say is that they see everyone the same; they don’t “see color.” This, I perceive, is a response to our history as a nation of dividing people into color groups and granting them privileges accordingly. Today we recognize that such a…

Dreams, Refried Beans, and Assumptions

Posted by Rigoberto Herrera in Diversity
Hello, my name is Rigoberto and I’m diverse. Okay, glad we got that out of the way. I bet you’re dying to know if, as a Hispanic, I dream in English or Spanish. The answer is both. Anything else you’d like to know about my diversity before we continue? Years ago, as a teenager, an older Caucasian woman asked me a question about my dreams. I don’t fully recall the context of the conversation, but I do recall what direction…

Jesus, the Kingdom, and Giving up Control

Posted by Belkis Lehmann in Diversity
“Absolute power corrupts absolutely,” declares John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton. On the surface, it does not seem a truer statement has ever been spoken. A look through the pages of history reveals example after example of power enticing, infecting, and corrupting: from Genghis Khan, to Stalin, to Idi Amin. It is true of the secular as well as religious, of military as well as civil leaders. Yet, there is one figure that stands drastically apart from this pattern: Jesus the…

Unity

Posted by Belkis Lehmann in Diversity
Being One? Is this possible? “For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body – whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free – and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.” 1 Cor 12:13 “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” Gen 2:24 “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one.” Deut 6:4 One. In the…

The Lost Heritage of African American Missionaries

Posted by Belkis Lehmann in Diversity
Did you know that the first person to leave the U.S. and plant a church in another country was Black? Even though the Southern Baptist Convention has failed to recognize George Liele as the first overseas missionary from the U.S. because he was not “sent out” like Adoniram Judson who went to Burma thirty years later, many acknowledge him as such. Liele is just one of the many forgotten names of African American missionaries. In campus missions, we often talk…

How to Fight

Posted by Belkis Lehmann in Diversity
The Easiest Way to Lose a Battle is not to engage, to abstain, to sit out. I feel like that is what the majority of believers do when faced with the racial and ethnic segregation in the church. Today, I want to talk to those of you who are engaged and ask you this? Are you praying? Yes, praying. It’s so simple. Yet so overlooked. I don’t know about you, but it seems that I believe in prayer much more…

#MLK and @YOU

Posted by Belkis Lehmann in Diversity
Martin Luther King day is a national holiday, but is it a holiday for the nation? Does it affect every single one of us? Or is it just for African Americans? Should I, a Colombian born, naturalized American citizen of Cuban parents, care about MLK Day? I mean, after all, the civil rights movement did not affect or involve my family or me. Yet, I am planning on honoring the day in several ways. Not because of my ethnic heritage…

Music and the Multi-Ethnic Congregation

Posted by Belkis Lehmann in Diversity
There seems to be no more divisive issue, at least in the initial stages of diversity development, than music style in your congregational worship service. How do you meet the needs of everyone you are trying to reach and create the kind of cultural experience that is appropriate to all? Well, first let me say that you need to be asking the above question. If you have not, then your goal may not be diversity but a diverse group of…

Hospitality and Diversity: Can't Have One Without the Other

Posted by Belkis Lehmann in Diversity
Dictionary.com defines hospitality as “the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way.” Our God is most gracious and hospitable. He created a world that would meet not just our physical and spiritual needs, but provide us with enjoyment for all of our all our senses. Since he made us all unique and special, he has provided sufficient diversity in the world to satisfy every taste. Wow, this is a good place…

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