Lisa Sharon Harper, Brenda Salter McNeil to Speak at Biola University’s 20th Annual Racial Reconciliation Conference

Feb. 17, 2016 By Jenna Loumagne

LA MIRADA, CALIF. — For 20 years, Biola University has hosted the Student Congress on Racial Reconcilation (SCORR), a national two-day conference during which students, staff, and faculty from Christian colleges and universities from across the nation join together to celebrate and learn about diversity within the body of Christ. The 20th annual conference starts Friday, Feb. 19 and will conclude on Feb. 20.


“The SCORR Conference is important to the mission of Biola and Christian higher education in general,” said Pam Christian, vice provost for inclusion and cross-cultural engagement. “Fellowship within the body of Christ matters to God as demonstrated in the Gospel. Creating and sustaining a 20 year dialogue concerning challenges and strategies to promote unity illustrates our institutional commitment to biblical values and to impacting the world.”


Advocate and author Lisa Sharon Harper is this year’s keynote speaker. She will be joined by more than 20 other thought leaders such as Brenda Salter McNeil, author and professor of reconciliation studies at Seattle Pacific University, Adam Edgerly, lead pastor of Newsong Los Angeles Covenant Church, and Peace Amadi, a mental health expert and professor of psychology at Hope International University.


Nearly 700 students, staff and faculty from 15 different colleges and universities will gather at Biola University for SCORR. Conference attendees will engage in dialogue and instruction that seeks transformational growth at the conference, which will focus on a theme born out of verse Micah 6:8: “Do Justice, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly.”


Presenters from Biola University include Brad Christerson, professor of sociology, Christina Lee Kim, associate professor of psychology at Rosemead School of Psychology, Stephanie Sanford, Director of Global Student Programs and Development, and Julia Stanton, a Resident Director on Biola’s campus.


Among the workshops for this year’s conference include a performance from the Los Angeles based Will & Company — “Fifty Years On,” a series of plays that tackle issues of social justice present fifty years ago, and explores what has come of them today, particularly those that deal with the Latino-Hispanic community in America. The play will run for 65 minutes on Saturday, Feb. 20, from 9-10:20 a.m.


The 2016 SCORR conference will also feature a Poetry Lounge on Feb. 19, in which Biola students, alumni, and guest artists will perform spoken word, and will feature special guests such as NOMIS, Danielle Bennett, and Biola University president Barry H. Corey.


Workshops include sessions such as, “Can one person make a difference? Influencing campus diversity dynamics and facilitating multicultural maturation of peers,” “Understanding national campus protests: how do we respond?,” “Do I have to lose in order for you to win? How diversity benefits everyone,” “Building bridges: engaging cross cultural communication and conflict” and, “Pondering privilege: toward a deeper understanding of whiteness, race and faith.”

Registration is open for universities and the community to attend. For more information about the conference and schedule, visit http://studentlife.biola.edu/diversity/scorr/scorr-2016/.


Lisa Sharon Harper, Sojourners’ Chief Church Engagement Officer, was the founding executive director of New York Faith & Justice—an organization at the hub of a new ecumenical movement to end poverty in New York City. In that capacity, she helped establish Faith Leaders for Environmental Justice, a citywide collaborative effort of faith leaders committed to leveraging the power of their constituencies and their moral authority in partnership with communities bearing the weight of environmental injustice. Harper’s faith-rooted approach to advocacy and organizing has activated people across the U.S. and around the world to address structural and political injustice as an outward demonstration of their personal faith. She is the author of Evangelical Does Not Equal Republican…or Democrat and Left, Right & Christ: Evangelical Faith in Politics.


For more information, contact Jenna Loumagne, media relations specialist, at (562) 777-4061 or jenna.loumagne@biola.edu.

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