Prior to profiling Morehouse’s new president in the pages of Diverse, we reported online about his speech at the HBCU Week conference last month where he essentially outlined some of his plans for the all-male college.As you’ll you read on the Letters page (see pg. 4), people have expressed varying opinions on some of his initiatives, in particular his decision to have freshmen wear sports coats to class.
Some readers agree that these young men need to not only walk the walk and talk the talk, but they have to look the part. Others argue that perhaps he’s going too far and may be treating Black men as a homogenous group — one in which they all are guilty of portraying a “thug-like” image. What do you think? Read more about Franklin in our Spectrum profile.
In our features section, contributing editor Lydia Lum reports on the increasing membership of Asian American students in campus Christian groups. For example, InterVarsity Christian Fellowships has experienced a 20 percent increase in Asian membership over the past 10 years. Dr. Rebecca Kim, a professor at Pepperdine University, researched Asian American evangelism across the country for her book God’s New Whiz Kids and found that among the more than 50 Christian groups on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, 80 percent of the members were of Asian descent even though they make up 40 percent of the student body. Why the growing interest? You’ll have to read Lydia’s story to find out. InterVarsity has found that as membership rates have increased for most minority groups, the rates for Caucasian membership have declined, according to an article on Churchexecutive.com.
It’s no secret that many campus Christian groups have made headlines over the past few years, largely due to issues surrounding membership. Several groups have filed suits against colleges and universities over the years maintaining that they should be able to restrict membership to those that share their beliefs and values and be recognized as an official campus organization, thereby qualifying for funding from the college or university. In many cases, this means excluding gays and lesbians. Last year, a U.S. district judge ruled against a campus Christian group at the Hastings College of the Law, which maintained that it should be able to receive campus funding, but not open its membership to gays, lesbians or “non-believers.” Ultimately, the judge ruled that the group was free to determine its own membership but without funding from the school.
Lastly, Diverse correspondent Susan E. Smith takes a look at the diverse range of memoirs about Muslim women. There are as many books as there are experiences with a growing appetite among Western readers to learn more. In “Defeating Stereotypes,” Smith talks to Drs. Aminah McCloud of DePaul University and Kecia Ali of Boston University about the growing popularity of this genre of literature.
Hilary Hurd Anyaso
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