We, the faculty, staff, and leadership team of Central Baptist Theological Seminary, have been horrified at the disregard for black lives demonstrated in recent killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. We join our voices with those calling for an end to police brutality toward black people and for a rooting out of racial injustice in our law enforcement and criminal justice systems.
We recognize that these deaths are part of a much deeper systemic racism embedded within our society and expressed in other forms of violence, including the inaccessibility of adequate healthcare, lack of educational and economic opportunity, and mass incarceration. As people of faith, we are deeply grieved by this enduring suffering, and we stand with our African American sisters and brothers in their calls for justice.
As a seminary community, we are guided by core values of humanity, diversity, and justice. We regard every human person as bearing the image of God. We respect and celebrate the richness of our diversity. We seek to form students who act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. Within our academic curriculum are threaded themes of racial diversity and social justice. We seek to teach and embody racial diversity so that the personhood of all individuals is honored. We encourage the recognition of unjust oppressive systems that need to be challenged with nonviolent strategic initiatives so that more just systems may be created.
As a community guided by such core values, we strongly affirm that black lives matter and must be treated as having inherent dignity and sacred worth. We pledge to listen deeply and learn from our black sisters and brothers, to be diligent in making sure that our seminary community is one that genuinely respects and values black presence, and to be active in our advocacy for racial justice and anti-racism in all the forums and venues available to us. Recognizing that diversity is our greatest attribute, that our greatest strength can be found in unity, and that our greatest potential lies in affirming the full humanity of every individual, we commit ourselves to stand in solidarity with our African American brothers and sisters and call on others to join us.