(Photos by Kelly Ocock)
Today at 11:45 a.m., faculty, students and staff joined hands for a peaceful gathering at the center of Hope College’s campus.
Dean of Students Richard Frost sent out a notification to campus early on Friday morning encouraging students to “show inclusion, support and love for the members of our community at Hope.” He also mentioned to wear relevant attire to portray diversity’s acceptance on campus.
The gathering was sponsored by both Hope United for Justice and the Students Activities Committee.
I'm proud that hundreds of students, faculty and staff joined today's circle of unity and inclusion, affirming that all are welcome here. pic.twitter.com/OYMBFEjjm8
— John C. Knapp (@PresKnapp) November 11, 2016
Student Josh Nkonge (’18) had a few words to say about the gathering today.
“This gathering was about showing the inclusion and showing the diversity that is on Hope’s campus, and to reinforce that in loo of some events that have occurred on campus and off campus after the election.”
“I would like the takeaway to be that Hope is a place of diversity, Hope is a place of inclusion and that’s good. Those are good things to have, those are good values to support, and that’s what this was all about today.”
“This was a collaboration of multiple people. This was a collaboration of so many voices, so many thoughts and so many prayers, and it’s not just one person, it’s not just one individual, group or anything.”
“To those people [who are angry], I would say what Dr. Martin Luther King says ‘That if we can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. If you can’t crawl, then find some way to push forward, find some way to keep moving forward.’ And to show love and support to those that are in need, and to show love and support to those who don’t even have the same viewpoint as you.”
“Hope is a place of inclusion, and it’s a place where people can come with different backgrounds and feel like there is a family for them and they have a place here.”
Martha Miller has a safe place open the rest of the day and weekend in the Multi-Cultural Student Lounge.
If a student is feeling discriminated against or intimidated by another they should get in touch with staff member, faculty member, or campus safety, so it can be reported.