A coalition of nearly 200 Christian institutions of higher education across North America has launched a new database providing resources to “identify how racism has affected and shaped the work of Christian higher education.”
The Council for Christian Colleges and Universities established a database of racial and ethnic diversity resources this week. According to the database’s vision and purpose statement, “The resources on this website are intended to assist institutional leaders at Christian colleges and universities in facilitating learning and leading conversations.”
“The CCCU believes that God desires his people to be reconciled with him and with each other. The history of the human race is replete with profound racial discord, in spite of substantial efforts to address it (as seen in the resources on this site),” the statement reads.
“While the CCCU prioritizes programming on this topic (including diversity conferences, institutes, seminars, commissions, and publications), this database was developed to further the CCCU’s commitment to racial justice and racial reconciliation by providing materials to assist us all in better loving God and our neighbor.”
The resources on the database are divided into eight topics: Christian Faith and the Work of Diversity, Allyship and Advocacy; Anti-Racism Education; Inclusive Teaching and Learning Strategies; Leadership and Governance; Recruiting, Hiring, and Supporting a Diverse Faculty & Staff; Student Support Practices, and Supporting Diversity Office Effectiveness.
The resources, which include material from both faith-based and secular outlets, are divided into three categories based on practitioner level: on-ramp, emerging implementation, and advanced practice. The collection is welcoming the proposal of additional submissions to the database via an online form at the bottom of the homepage and the list will be updated on a quarterly basis.
Resources in the database include books, TED talks, webinars, articles from prominent news websites such as CNN and Forbes, works by noted theologian and Pastor Tim Keller, a video about race in America hosted by “VeggieTales” co-creator Phil Vischer, and lists of additional resources compiled by other outlets designed to help people increase their awareness about race issues.
In addition to the resources compiled by CCCU, the database provides links to other resources gathered by individual CCCU campuses.
The content featured on the database was selected by CCCU’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion, which is chaired by Sandra Richards Mayo of Seattle Pacific University, one of the nearly 200 colleges affiliated with CCCU. Other notable schools affiliated with CCCU include Baylor University and Wheaton College, which the late televangelist Billy Graham attended.
In addition to compiling a list of resources on race in light of the racial reckoning taking place in the United States, the CCCU also came out in support of the Fairness for All Act, a bill designed to provide nondiscrimination protections for members of the LGBT community with religious freedom exemptions built in.
The CCCU’s support for the Fairness For All Act, billed as an alternative to the wide-reaching Equality Act criticized by many conservatives and religious organizations, caused one Louisiana college to terminate its relationship with the multi-school coalition. The CCCU had previously amended its membership standards to allow schools that support same-sex marriage to have non-voting status.