America has been in extreme tension points since last year. Much of the anxiety that has vexed our nation has been centered on racial issues and the battling of a stronghold humans have struggled with for millenniums: racism. As soon as I used the word racism, it elicited a reaction from many of us. This is a word we don’t like to hear or use. I didn’t like using it in this editorial, but I must. I still see and hear racism today. This goes far beyond just attitudes and culture; it is a demonic principality that wreaks havoc, pain, and disunity. It opposes the very nature of God as every human being is created in the image of God.
Diversity is a core value of Chi Alpha. To maximize our witness for Jesus, Chi Alpha needs to reflect the kingdom of God on campus. This means we should also be a representation of the demographics on the campuses we serve. Chi Alpha is a diverse community on most of our campuses. We are being inclusive, giving up our preferences, and loving our neighbors who may look and act differently. Today, 38 percent of our student base in Chi Alpha is ethnically diverse and this is a point to be celebrated.
Yet, our missionary numbers do not reflect this level of diversity. We have taken bold and aggressive steps to make the pathway of our ethnically diverse students who want to become interns in Chi Alpha and eventually Chi Alpha missionaries easier. We started with the queson of “What is impeding our ethnic brothers and sisters from becoming missionaries in Chi Alpha?” We discovered it was more than just a mere challenge or calling from God. There were cultural challenges Chi Alpha had to address internally to make the pathway easier.
We have an excellent national Chi Alpha diversity team, which is led by Belkis Lehmann, and it is guiding Chi Alpha through the process of looking more like heaven in our student makeup, being more inclusive and sensitive to ethnic minorities. We have established the Minority Mobilization Fund to assist ethnically diverse campus missionary interns in Chi Alpha. The diversity team has established excellent teaching and resources to serve our movement. Honestly, a lot of it has made me uncomfortable, but in the godliest of ways.
Chi Alpha is more diverse than we have ever been. Thank you for partnering with us to reconcile all students to Christ, transforming the university, the marketplace, and the world.
All views expressed on this blog are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of Chi Alpha Campus Ministries, U.S.A., U.S. Missions, and The General Council of the Assemblies of God.