August 17, 2017
Reflections on Charlottesville 2017
This last weekend we witnessed another example of our divided country and separated beliefs during an event that pushed our nation farther apart. What took place in Charlottesville, and continues around our nation, leaves me asking myself how we model for our students the courage to stand against those who represent hate, bigotry and racism while at the same time communicating God’s love in how we disagree.
Roberts Wesleyan College and Northeastern Seminary stand against white supremacy, hatred, bigotry and racism as we have for over 150 years. Our founder fought for the freedoms of all people and modeled what it means to stay anchored in faith and engaged in the world around him. I can't help but think of what B.T. Roberts would do today in light of the current situation in our country. It is clear to me that he would stand with those who are being subjected to acts of hatred and violence.
For such a time as this Roberts Wesleyan College and Northeastern Seminary exist. We exist to stay anchored in our faith and engaged in this world—to speak truth, to call out injustice and to stand with those whose rights are being challenged. It is hard and it will require strength, perseverance and courage. There is no greater time or need for institutions like Roberts Wesleyan College and Northeastern Seminary to honor our mottos of Education for Character and Preparation for Ministry. There is no greater time to live out our mission to graduate people who are good neighbors, who make right and ethical decisions and who stand against injustice. There is no greater time to show love, stand against hatred and focus on the skills needed to lead change.
Dr. Deana L. Porterfield, President Roberts Wesleyan College and Northeastern Seminary