Over the past several months, the COVID-19 pandemic has made an impact on each of our educational institutions, organizations, and personal lives.

Simultaneously, the continued pandemic of systemic racism has again boiled to the surface with the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which was preceded by the killings of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, among others. These horrific acts, coupled with the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 in Black and Brown communities due to entrenched disparity in economic and health realities, have resulted in protests, outrage, heartache, and continued cries for justice. While protests and responses have erupted in our local and broader communities, the last weeks have forced each of us to reflect on our own biases and contributions to systemic racism in our organizations and lives.   

I join my colleagues at the In Trust Center in denouncing racism and supporting #BlackLivesMatter. I am personally sad and angry. And yet I am also hopeful.

I see my Black and Brown colleagues. I have witnessed only the portion of the pain that they have chosen to share. It has deeply influenced my own thoughts, perspective, actions, and decision making.

The In Trust Center is blessed to work alongside of the leaders in historic Black Theological Schools as together they collaborate in building institutional capacity. Through this partnership, I have been privileged to deepen my understanding of the foundation of these schools as communities formed to address racism and provide the construct and context for the experiences of Black people. This work has sharpened the pain felt during these past weeks and made these issues all the more personal.

While the In Trust Center has dedicated resources to focus on diversity and inclusion, we must do more. And we recognize that tending to diversity and inclusion alone is not enough. The issue of Black and Brown lives being destroyed truly matters. Acknowledging and addressing systemic racism matters. Using our resources to connect, share, and learn together is what we will do.

As an organization supported by a membership of and in partnership with peers in Christian communities, together we are uniquely situated for this work of addressing racism and healing together.

Amy L. Kardash
In Trust Center for Theological Schools