In Memory of George Floyd | A Letter from the President of Trinity Western University
“Biblical discipleship demands a commitment to the dignity and worth of every human being as someone
created and loved by God. May we face the world with love and justice.”
President Mark Husbands
LANGLEY, B.C. – As a community of Christian educators, researchers, students, and future leaders, we are called by God to honour and protect the value and dignity of every person (Genesis 1:27).
As such, we grieve the recent killing of George Floyd while in police custody and recognize that this is, sadly, only the most recent death in a long history of racialized violence. The murder of Ahmaud Arbery, the heartbreaking shooting of Breonna Taylor, and the suffocation of George Floyd lay bare the tragic and bewildering forces of personal and structural sin. Grieving the loss of life, we pray for peace, healing, and justice.
In the midst of profound sadness and grief, we recognize the need to create space for those whose lives are disproportionately affected by acts of racial violence and hatred, both here in Canada and across the globe. Indeed, the love of God compels us to pursue reconciliation.
On Tuesday, June 2 at 3 p.m. PST, Rev. James Ellis III together with President Mark Husbands hosted an online conversation, “Do Justice. Love Mercy.” for TWU students of colour. The goal of this event was to create a safe space for students to share their stories and experiences, and to demonstrate in concrete ways how this University values and stands with them.
This Thursday, June 4 at 3 p.m. PST, Rev. James Ellis III and President Mark Husbands will host another event for the entire student body. This event, “Do Justice. Love Mercy. Weeping with Those Who Weep.”, is for all students to share, be heard, and to wrestle together with what it means to “weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15b).
President Mark Husbands addressed the Trinity Western Community in the following letter.
Dear Members of the TWU Community,
My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, as we recognize that these individuals are, sadly, only the most recent victims in a long history of racialized violence. Racism and racialized violence are horrifying realities. Each of these deaths communicates the tragic forces of sin and evil. They are an offence to the dignity and value of life. The horrible events of the past few weeks lead us to cry out “how long, O Lord?” (Psalm 35:17).
This week, Rev. James Ellis III and I have worked to create space for conversation around the topic of race with people across campus. These conversations have been wonderfully honest and healing. On Sunday, as an initial response to the killing of George Floyd, we created a series of social media posts that also announced a virtual event, "Do Justice. Love Mercy." to be hosted for TWU students of colour on the afternoon of Tuesday, June 2 on Zoom—to be followed by an event on Thursday, June 4 for the entire TWU student body, "Do Justice. Love Mercy. Weeping with Those Who Weep." Additionally, I recorded and posted a video reflection on the call to justice on social media.
To anyone among us who is feeling vulnerable, please know that we are here to support you. We are eager to provide you with a setting in which you can be seen, heard, and where your experience is honoured. We want you to be able to share what you’re experiencing, and in the spirit of seeking to weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15b) we are eager to bring you encouragement in the midst of this season of profound sadness.
We invite everyone at Trinity Western University to share in the pursuit of what Dr. King called “beloved community” — where we see love in action. Unwilling to be overcome by evil, may we endeavour to be instruments of peace, love, and justice.
Grace and Peace,
Trinity Western University is Canada’s leading global Christian liberal arts university committed to inspiring hearts and minds.
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