Message from Rev. Dr. Darryl Jenkins, Judson Board Chair | Judson University Christian College

A message from Rev. Dr. Darryl Jenkins, Chair, Judson University Board of Trustees

Judson University Community Members,

This past Sunday was Pentecost. Instead of a celebration of every people, every language and every culture, the United States erupted into centuries old heartbreak concerning the sin of racial injustice. The events of this past weekend were precipitated by the death of George Floyd by a police officer in Minnesota. However, Mr. Floyd's death and thousands like it before him are the result of sinfulness. Judson University, as a Christian institution, is committed to bringing the light of Christ to the world, and we condemn the unnecessary death of Mr. Floyd, and the many others to include: Eric Garner (Staten Island, NY), Michael Brown (Ferguson, MO), Laquan McDonald (Chicago, IL), Tamir Rice (Cleveland, Ohio), Walter Scott (North Charleston, SC), Freddie Gray (Baltimore, MD), Sandra Bland (Naperville, IL), Jamar Clark (Minneapolis, Minn), Alton Sterling (Baton Rouge, LA), Stephon Clark (Sacramento, CA), Botham Jean (Dallas, TX), Breonna Taylor (Louisville, KY), and the countless others whose last breath were not captured on a device and never mentioned in forms of media, yet they remain precious in the eyes of God.

As a community of Christ-followers we would like to acknowledge the hurt and pain being felt by the members of our Black communities not only at this time but also in moments past. I understand that pain and hurt. As an African-American man, the struggle for racial equality has been a lifetime pursuit for my generation, the generations before me and our future. I have experienced prejudice in varied forms of injustice as a Black man in America from being stopped by police, monitored while shopping, in academia, and the injustices in the corporate and business community. As a Pastor our church members and I fight against racial and social injustices in the community every day.

The events of this past weekend have had a felt impact on the Judson University community. Students have taken to social media to express their hurt, anger and frustration. One Judson student was brutally beaten and robbed as he left work by individuals participating in the rioting and looting that diminished the importance of peaceful protestors marching for equality and justice. To our Judson University students whether you are a traditional student in Elgin, an adult student in Rockford or a graduate student, I share on behalf of the entire Judson University community please know that your pain is our pain. It is felt by each of us, and our hearts ache as your hearts ache. Our students have reached out to University leadership to seek ways to respond what has transpired, and University leadership has also reached out to the students as well as to faculty, staff and community leaders to continue to actively work towards racial equality. We will not be deterred in our collective work to fight against systemic injustice.

On Friday, May 8, I accepted the leadership role as Chair of the Board of Trustees at Judson University. I did so because I know our commitment to Jesus Christ and to living out that commitment through words and actions. President Gene Crume, Provost and Chief Academic Officer Gillian Stewart-Wells, Associate Vice President for Diversity and Spiritual Development Curtis Sartor, and the faculty and staff work every day to address inequality, provide educational opportunities for people of color, and show that God's love knows no limitations that humans can assign to each other. Like our country and every country around the world, we have a long way to go. However, the Judson University community has been, remains and will be committed to this struggle.

I choose to serve in this important leadership role at Judson University because of my wife LaDawne and our families, because of those who have come before in this struggle, and because of the students at Judson University and the next generation of leaders who will inevitably be responsible for continuing the vision of our Lord Jesus Christ of sharing the peace of God to every man, woman and child around the world. In addition to doing our part at Judson University, we would like to invite every member of the Judson community to pray for God to end racial injustice, pray for God to heal the hearts of those who carry hate and act upon it, and pray for God to reunite us in God's perfect vision of love, peace and hope.

Darryl Jenkins ZGod Bless,

Rev. Dr. Darryl Jenkins, Chair

Judson University Board of Trustees





Related Links: Please see Judson University's Pledge to Diversity and our Affirmation Statement on Diversity.

See Rev. Dr. Jenkins' article in the Summer 2018 issue of Judson Today, "Fueling the Power of Unity." The issue focus was "Embracing Diversity."

Judson University, Shaping Lives that Shape the World