Looking Forward

Days of Memory and Hope event banner, 2019

Days of Memory and Hope

On February 19 and 21, 2019, Austin Seminary hosted the Days of Memory and Hope: “African Americans and Austin Seminary: Toward Beloved Community" event as a time to reflect on the history of African Americans in our community and express our hopes for the future.

The 19th began with a panel of former Austin Seminary faculty, staff, and students sharing their memories of their time here:

Following the panel the community participated in our traditional Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative worship service in the Chapel with Daryl Horton (MDiv 2015) preaching and featuring the choir from Huston-Tillotson University:

After a community lunch, Hierald Osorto (MDiv 2018) presented on the early history of African American students at Austin Seminary, based on his research in the Austin Seminary Archives, and alumni oral history interviews were recorded.

The event continued on the 21st with a worship service in the Vickery Atrium presented by the African and African Diaspora student group. In the afternoon, the community collaborated on an art project and added hopes and memories to a Seminary time capsule. The event ended with worship and a reception.

Looking Forward

If the energy that Austin Seminary student groups pour into their events reveals one core theme, it may be that there is always room for progress.

There will always be more work to do in making Austin Seminary an institution that represents all members of the Presbyterian community. The selected students, faculty, and staff mentioned in this exhibit (along with many others) have made their contributions to that goal, but it's up to the present and future Austin Seminary community to continue making strides toward the Beloved Community.

Desegregation is only a partial, though necessary, step toward the ultimate goal which we seek to realize. Desegregation will break down legal barriers, and bring men together physically. But something must happen so as to touch the hearts and souls of men that they will come together, not because the law says it, but because it is natural and right. In other words, our ultimate goal is integration which is genuine intergroup and interpersonal living.
Only through nonviolence can this goal be attained, for the aftermath of nonviolence is reconciliation and the creation of the Beloved Community.

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1958

Looking Forward