OBU students head to L.A. for racial reconciliation conference

By Alyssa Sperrazza, News Editor

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Immanuel Adesokan (left) and Dean Jonathan Solomon (right) are among the group traveling to L.A. / Photo courtesy of SGA

Four OBU students are packing their bags this week and heading to sunny Los Angeles, a pleasant escape from the inconsistent Oklahoma weather. The 21st annual Student Congress on Racial Reconciliation is meeting at Biola University February 16-19.  This is the first year OBU is being represented.

The theme for this year’s conference is based off of Isaiah 58:12, stating, “You shall be repairers of the breach.”

The year of 2016 held a lot of racial tension in the United States, so in response, the conference is wanting students to focus on being repairers and unifiers, in a time where the country and the church are facing division.

Speakers and worshops will be presented to both students and faculty attending. These talks will look at different areas, such as justice, hollistic ministry, intercultural leadership and much more.

Assistant Dean of Students: Diversity & Multicultural Student Services, Jonathan Solomon, has been working on ways students can get invovled in the conversation of diversity and leadership.

“When I first got here, I was just looking for ways to work on leadership development, especially for students in the realm of diversity,” Solomon said.

“I feel like this is a great opportunity to have students go and engage and then from there to come back and talk about what we can do for OBU to move forward, to make this place feel like home for everyone.”

The conference focuses on looking at diversity from a Christian viewpoint.

“They’ll be hundreds of students from all across the country that are going to this conference and trying to learn and engage and talk through [topics] with each other,” Solomon said.

“This is a conference that is structured a lot towards students.  We’re navigating the thought processes of college students; we’re navigating the experiences of our college students on Christian colleges.”

SGA recently allocated $2,000 for the conference, allowing four students to attend: Geneva Parker, Emmanual Adesokan, Jasmin Mitchel and Marwin Dickerson.

“We hope the students who go to the Congress come back with valuable tools and insight to help create an important dialogue on campus,” said SGA President, Hunter Doucette.

“SGA allocates this amount frequently, but I feel this will benefit not only the students going, but our entire campus.”

OBU student Jasmine Mitchell, one of the four representing OBU during the 21st Student Congress on Racial Reconciliation, expressed her excitement for this new opportunity.

“I am looking forward to learning helpful, educating, encouraging, and Christ-like ways to help OBU and all people understand and be a part of racial reconciliation,” Mitchell said.

“OBU is so wonderful, and I am so thankful for all they do to make Bison Hill a better university and temporary home.”

This may be the first time OBU is attending, but Assistant Dean Solomon hopes that this is an opportunity that students can experience annually.

“For the future, I would really love to get a group of students to go to this conference every year,” Solomon said.

“We’ll definitely want to open this up to the student body.”

If you want to  see what OBU and other schools are doing at the conference, you can follow the Twitter #SCORR2017 .

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