The Multicultural Council hosted an event on Jan. 29 to discuss the insurrection that occurred at the U.S. capitol. This event titled “What Happened On 1/6” was created to provide a space to share and process the events at the capitol. Over 20 people, including Todd Allen, vice president of Diversity Affairs and professor of communications, were in attendance that day with the use of the online platform, Zoom.
“For me, one of the most important outcomes was the opportunity to process together,” Allen said. “What was most impactful and moving for me was the openness and honesty by which people shared how they and their families are processing the moment including sharing where there are some differences of opinion within families about what occurred.”
The event opened with introductions of multicultural council officers and then a prayer led by Allen. After prayer, the multicultural council officers opened the floor to any individual who wanted to share what he or she was thinking and feeling on Jan. 6 and the days following.
“I was numb. I had no words to describe what I was seeing,” Allen said. “I was not shocked or surprised, but I was deeply hurt and to be honest, I lost a little hope in where we are going as a country and particularly where we as people of faith fit in.”
The event lasted about an hour but was insightful for everyone who attended. Many students were willing to be vulnerable and share what was on their minds.
“I think those in attendance found it helpful in various ways. To know that there are others just as distraught or confused as you can be comforting. To sit in despair alone can be defeating, but coming together and naming the pain collectively is a step towards hope and health,” Allen said.
There are several cultural clubs on Messiah campus that offer an array of events to inform students about culture, customs, traditions, and current events. In past years, the cultural clubs have hosted traditional celebratory events such as Lunar New Year’s and the International Banquet. This spring semester 2021 there have been opportunities for open discussion on politics, COVID-19 and Faith.
“I think one reason that we “do politics” so poorly is because it’s a subject we avoid talking about. Less talking is not helpful…but when we talk, we’ve got to be willing to genuinely listen to one another as well,” Allen said. “We are all dealing with very complex issues of race, citizenship and the future of the nation and as people of faith we cannot abandon a place of dialogue.
With the Spring Leadership & Involvement Fair being held Feb. 22 and 23, any student is encouraged to come out and see what clubs are available for them. This includes the Multicultural Council, Asian Student Union, La Alianza Latina, Black Student Union, African Student Union, Caribbean Student Association and ISA/MuKappa.