Abby Deaton packed a punch in her winning speech about Goshen College hiring policies – she is obviously ready for action.
Four other students shared equally pressing issues challenging for a peaceful world on Tuesday night at the C. Henry Smith Peace Oratorical Contest. Youth incarceration, Christian feminism, femicide and media propaganda were among the topics covered – but the judges chose only one winner.
It’s hard to remember that they gave first place to an orator and not to an issue (it was a speech contest, after all, not a competition for the most important issue).
The truth is all of the topics presented hold society back from achieving a peaceful and just world. All of those issues deserve the recognition that comes with a first place rank.
Choosing the front page stories for this week’s Record felt like a competition, too. Which story deserves the limelight? They all do, but the front page only has room for a few.
One story makes it on top of the fold; a couple others snag the space below. The rest fall into rank in pages two through eight. But all the stories are important.
Of the voices reported in The Record, there should be no winner. We cover news that affects the GC community, a vast collection of students, staff and alumni who bring unique, equally important voices to the mix.
However, as a compassionate community of Christians and peacemakers, I hope readers pay special attention to the articles that report the voices of the marginalized people with whom we share our community.
I hope that those voices don’t have to compete for attention with other voices, or worse, with each other.
In her speech, Deaton called on GC to have “the courage to invite everyone to the welcome table.”
There is space for everyone at that table, but we might have to squeeze together.
Black people, LGBTQ people, advocates for jail reform, our institutional leaders, international students and athletes all have an equal place. There is no single seat to be won for the marginalized. Those voices all deserve equal attention.
The Record has space for all of those voices, too.
So, Goshen, are we courageous enough to squeeze together – to rub elbows with a person different than us? Will we choose to join that person at “the welcome table” and have the courage to listen to her?
You can begin by reading The Record.
But don’t stop there.