At the end of the semester, I often put together a newsletter for my students and “Friends of Absalom” to remind and share with people the events of the semester. Here are a few highlights and reflections on the semester:
The Minute-to-Win-It Ramadan Party
This year marked the second annual Ramadan If-tar for the Center, and this time “play” was the theme. Sprung from the belief that Interfaith dialogue is most effective when people are allowed first to laugh with and at each other, the Atlanta University Center Muslim Student Association teamed up with AJEC for a night of food and fun. After hours of laughter, play, and some very important theological conversations (such conversations seem to naturally emerge at the Center), it was clear that new friendships had begun and trust was being established.
Absalom Jones Students “Come Out” for Pride
HBCU’s (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) have many great attributes, but they have often struggled with creating a safe space for their LGBTQ students. A quick google search of “Morehouse College” and “gay” will reveal a small piece of Morehouse’s difficult journey towards caring for out gay men on their campus.
Over a decade ago, when Morehouse College would not allow a gay/straight alliance (GSA) student organization to meet inside of it’s gates, the Absalom Jones Episcopal Center welcomed the young men into our space and the chaplain assisted them with the process of becoming a recognized student organization on Morehouse’s campus.
While we no longer host GSA meetings at the Center, we continue to offer support for Morehouse College’s queer community by registering and marching in Atlanta’s Pride Parade. This year, 17 young black men representing Morehouse College and AJEC, came out to the Pride Festival and marched in the parade.
The Troy Davis Solidarity March and Vigil
I wish that I could write about my involvement in the struggle to halt the execution of Troy Davis… I wish that I could better articulate my gladness for the countless students from all of the AUC who rallied on his behalf… But the reality is that my grief and disappointment have rendered me speechless. So, perhaps this clip will tell enough of the story of the hope and the strength of my students.
This prayer circle, led by students from the AUC, was held outside of the prison in Jackson, GA on the next that Troy Davis was executed.