February 19, 2017: African American students at Andrews University, the leading Adventist institution of higher education, released a video yesterday expressing concern about racial discrimination on the Michigan campus. The three-and-a-half minute video includes several young adults making a joint statement with the title frame: “A PSA expressing the concerns of black students at Andrews University.”
Adventist Today has not yet been able to confirm the source of the video or the names of the young people involved. It has not obtained a comment from university officials, nor identified any specific event that may have sparked the production of the video.
The video says, “It is time for Andrews University to apologize for the systemic racism it has perpetuated on its campus. Since 1874 this institution has too often mirrored the bigotry of American society rather than reflecting the true values of Jesus Christ. Black students and their families have often submitted grievances expressing the racism and hate that they’ve experienced, from grievances in the past such as segregation in the cafeteria to present grievances such as a lack of proper ethnic representation among faculty and administration. For decades our friends and our family have asked for a response but our university has remained silent. You would think that after 143 years a faith-based university would feel it would help to follow the biblical counsel on reconciliation. You would think that it would have already said, I’m sorry.”
The video challenges the university leadership, “You have one week to release a formal statement of apology for the wrongful discrimination against black students of this institution, [and] to commit to making … measurable changes … such as (1) mandating that all faculty and staff take diversity training in order to maintain employment; (2) ensuring that the ethnicity of the faculty and staff properly reflect the diversity of the student body; (3) providing classes that are taught from a perspective other than the perspective of Eurocentric values; and (4) stop allowing professors and worship leaders to demonize our style of worship.”
Adventist Today is seeking to find the specific context of this release.
Adventist Today reported on the annual summit on race and social justice at AU in 2015.