Biola University hosted the 22nd annual Student Congress on Racial Reconciliation (SCORR) Conference for nearly 1,000 students, staff and faculty from colleges and universities from across the United States. The conference focused on training students, staff and faculty to be agents of reconciliation amidst racial and ethnic tensions in the nation.
"Shifts in demographics in the U.S. is not just a projection, it is a current reality," said Glen Kinoshita, director and founder of SCORR. "The world we are called to serve is increasingly complex and diverse. We need cross cultural skills, competence and humility to take the gospel to people who look and think very differently than ourselves."
The verse Amos 5:24 guided the discussions at the conference: "Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream."
"The words of the prophet Amos are as timely as ever," said Kinoshita. "As we embark on the 22nd annual SCORR conference, let us focus our hearts and minds on honoring God by caring for the afflicted soul and to be agents of reconciliation; as a result, may we see 'rivers of justice and streams of righteousness' flow through us into our broken world."
Students, staff and faculty from Christian colleges and universities from across the nation came together to be trained on how to engage the wrongs in society to bring about healing and restoration.
Curtiss Paul DeYoung, CEO of the Minnesota Council of Churches, was the keynote speaker for this year's conference. He was previously the executive director of the historic racial justice organization, Community Renewal Society in Chicago, and the inaugural professor of reconciliation studies at Bethel University in St. Paul.
"You should be a changed person in light of this work ..," said DeYoung at first keynote address. "We need to be transformed and healed by this process."
The 2018 SCORR conference also launched its second Story Slam on Feb. 17, where Biola students, alumni, and guest artists will share their perspectives and experiences of redemption found in the midst of pain and struggle through various forms of storytelling.
Opportunities such as the SCORR Conference enables communities to be exposed to a wide variety of perspectives, create dialogue and sharpen skills to communicate across diverse cultures.