8 March 2023 |
Loma Linda community members noticed something a bit different today when driving by Redlands Boulevard at Anderson Street. A colorful sign offered an editing suggestion to Loma Linda University’s (LLU) well-known motto “To Make Man Whole,” written in large metallic letters at the intersection. With the sign’s addition, it now reads “To Make Humanity Whole,” offering gender-inclusive language to the increasingly controversial motto.
As debate over its motto continues, LLU has not chosen to use it everywhere, sometimes opting to post the motto ”Many Strengths, One Mission” instead. Regardless, the original motto still remains in use at the popular Drayson Center, as well as cemented into the Stewart Street’s underpass wall and visibly present at the aforementioned intersection at Redlands and Anderson.
“LLU should be a leader in non-discrimination and in using inclusive language,” said the treasurer of the Association of Adventist Women, Priscilla Walters. “We recognize the word ‘man’ has been used generically to describe all of humanity. But times have changed since the motto’s birth in the 1950s. The motto was not present for the first 50 years at CME (College of Medical Evangelists, LLU’s name until 1961), and as school names have changed (i.e., School of Health), shouldn’t the motto keep in step with society’s efforts for inclusivity? Inclusivity is a core Christian value.”
Advocacy groups believe inclusive language is a key factor in stopping discrimination, and have advocated for more attentiveness and intentionality with gender-inclusive terminology, as language often serves to create perceptions of truth. Many publishers have required inclusive language for their publications.
“If the word ‘Man’ is not important, let’s put the next sign up: ‘To Make Woman Whole,'” suggested Walters.
As pressure increases to reconsider the motto, LLU has considered options such as “To Make Humanity Whole,” “To Make Humans Whole,” “To Make All Whole,” or “To Make Persons Whole.” Regardless of whatever LLU ultimately decides, their motto moving forward will hopefully include over 50% of the people walking the halls of its institution.