The St. George’s community will take part in an important initiative this year, School Chaplain Jackie Kirby announced in her sermon on Sept. 28. Named the “Beloved Community Initiative,” the program will be comprised of events focused on the history and legacy of race and slavery in the United States, Rhode Island, and St. George’s.
The program seeks “to move St. George’s closer to what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. described as the ‘Beloved Community,’ characterized by compassion, kindness, mutual understanding, and respect for the dignity of every human being,” according to the Rev. Dr. Kirby.
"The Beloved Community Initiative is seeking to center our focus on gaining a broader understanding and appreciation of pivotal social justice moments in the school's history by reflecting on the experiences and stories of members of the broader St. George's community," SG Director of Equity and Inclusion Dr. Kim Bullock said. "Through educational programming and our partnership with the Center for Reconciliation, the initiative also seeks to share the impact and history of African heritage and culture in our local community as well as provide context for understanding the connection between these historical events in today's current events and on St. George's campus."
Funded by a grant from the George Arents Jr. Cerimon Fund and in conjunction with the Center for Reconciliation based in Providence, the initiative is being led by Director of Diversity Dr. Kim Bullock, Associate Head for Student Life Mervan Osborne, Alyson Mulhern, P’19, ’21, and the Rev. Dr. Kirby.
Former SG Chaplain Hays Rockwell was the first chapel guest speaker for the initiative on Oct. 4. He delivered an address about his experience as the advisor to Conrad Young, the first black student to attend St. George's.
Reporter and editor Timothy Phelps '65 was the second chapel guest speaker on Oct. 18. Mr. Phelps worked for the Providence Journal, St. Petersburg Times, Baltimore Sun, New York Times, Newsday, and the L.A. Times, covering the U.S. Justice Department and legal affairs in Washington, D.C. Video of his talk is available here.
Future chapel speakers will include Sylvester Monroe ’69, and local Muslim, Christian, and Jewish preachers.
To watch Chaplain Kirby’s Chapel Talk introducing the initiative, click here.