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A Public Statement By Faculty of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary on the Recent Killings of Unarmed Black People

December 11, 2014

On December 8, 2014, the Garrett-Evangelical faculty met to draft a statement concerning the national crisis generated by the multiple incidents of killing of Black men by white police officers.  The meeting was convened and co-led by Dr. Luis R. Rivera, Academic Dean, and Dr. Gennifer Brooks, Chair of the Committee on Faculty.

This statement was developed in a collegial spirit through dialogue and a consensus process that enabled each person present to give voice and to be heard. Faculty who could not be present were given the opportunity to endorse the statement once it was drafted. In addition to drafting this statement, those present at the meeting pledged themselves to a process of continuing dialogue as we discern further ways to embody, practice, and be accountable to the commitments named in the statement.


As members of the faculty of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, we witness to the belief that all human beings, regardless of color, race, or any social definition, are made in the image of God. Furthermore, as Christians we are called to resist evil, injustice and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves. Historically we have stood on the premise that faith matters, truth matters, justice matters, and we know that Black life matters.

We deplore the routinized and systemic dehumanization of Black lives in the United States.  We decry the violence that links all forms of discrimination with the lethal oppression of Black people and communities. We denounce the callous and inhuman treatment that continues to result in the incarceration of young Black persons and the publicly sanctioned killing of unarmed Black men, women and children by local police authorities. We lament and protest the continual loss of life and the denial of humanity of Black people in the United States.

Therefore we support and stand in solidarity with those who bear witness for justice in Ferguson, New York City, Cleveland, and throughout this country. We commit ourselves to teaching practices and ways of living in community that dismantle anti-Black racism both within our seminary and in the world.

Cheryl B. Anderson Angela R. Cowser Anna Johnson Hendrik R. Pieterse
E. Byron Anderson Margaret Ann Crain Dwight H. Judy Stephen G. Ray Jr.
Nancy Bedford Ruth Duck Karla Kincannon Luis Rivera
Reginald Blount Julie Ann Duncan Linda Lee Frederick W. Schmidt
Gennifer Brooks Timothy R. Eberhart Virginia A. Lee Jack Seymour
Barry Bryant Mark Fowler G. Brooke Lester Osvaldo Vena
Jaeyeon Lucy Chung   David A. Hogue Larry G. Murphy K.K. Yeo
Charles H. Cosgrove Pamela Holliman Jim L. Papandrea  


Also present in the meeting and supporting this statement:
Rev. Dr. Linda Lee, Bishop-in-Residence
Rev. Dr. Cynthia Wilson, Dean of Students