CU Group Attends MLK50 Conference
by Jaleesa Stanford
On April 3 and 4, Cornerstone University faculty, staff and student representatives traveled to Memphis, Tenn., to take part in the MLK50 conference. The event commemorated the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr and, according to the conference website, served as an "opportunity for Christians to reflect on the state of racial unity in the church and the culture."
Held at the Memphis Convention Center, the conference featured several speakers including John Perkins, Mika Edmondson, Charlie Dates and Matt Chandler. Conference topics included kingdom justice, racial reconciliation, gospel diversity, community divisions and generational impact.
"The conference served as a potent reminder of the gospel's power to not only transform individual lives but to equip us to pursue justice," Dr. Gerald Longjohn, vice president of student development, said. "The biblical messages, the corporate worship and the commemoration of Dr. King's prophetic witness were convicting and inspiring."
Aimed at reviewing the history of civil rights and exploring current culture surrounding racial tension from the perspective of the gospel, speakers called for conference participants from a variety of races, backgrounds and cultures to see racial injustice as a gospel issue and to take it seriously.
"The content of this conference was incredibly convicting and encouraging," Susan Burner, director of campus ministries, said. "One of the interesting aspects of this conference was the physical and verbal response, particularly from non-white attendees, when something was said from the presenter that resonated with them. I found myself listening to the response of these attendees as much as the content of what was being presented so as to truly grapple with the statements that were being affirmed. As a white female, I needed to listen and learn and this conference provided many avenues to do that."
Cornerstone was honored to take part in this event and is hopeful for the ways that the Lord might use it to impact our campus and culture as a whole.
"I pray that this conference will bear the fruit of new structural strategies of inclusion that will provide lasting change on our campus in all areas," Burner said. "I pray that as a result of this conference, continued conversation and strategy formation, Cornerstone would become a place that is more reflective of the gospel in embracing the kingdom that is to fully come, with all nations truly united and celebrated, in the here and now."