Hope College Black History Month keynote speaker: Austin Channing Brown

Wednesday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m.

Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts Concert Hall

Open to the public. Admission is free

Austin Channing Brown is one of the leading voices and writers tackling racial justice in our society. The author of “I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness” comes to Hope College to both speak and lead great conversation regarding faith, racial justice, and womanhood. Her book reached the top-20 on Amazon’s Best Sellers List last Spring and has been critically acclaimed by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist. The book addresses how and why much of our society and institutions push for diversity but still fall short of their goals. Austin uses her own stories and experiences to engage one in the complexities of social class, race, schools, businesses, prisons and more. Austin’s words are nothing short of intriguing and will be sure to captivate the Hope community.

There will be a book signing at the Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts following the presentation.  Members of the audience may bring their own copies for signing; books will also be available for purchase.

The lecture is a collaboration of the college’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion, Student Activities Committee, Black Student Union, Campus Ministries program and GROW Collaboration.

Why Hope Students Should Attend

If people are believers and passionate about social justice or want to learn about how those to come together, they should come to this event. In her book, she talks about how the church has sometimes played a role in oppression. Our world is very divided and many students feel that even on Hope’s campus. We can change that! If students come I know they will leave empowered and my hope is that they will have the courage to call out racial injustices they see in their lives. – Lydia Berkey, Chief of Culture and Inclusion for Student Congress

Favorite Quotations From I’m Still Here

“Whiteness wants enough Blackness to affirm the goodness of whiteness, the progressiveness of whiteness, the openheartedness of whiteness. Whiteness likes a trickle of Blackness, but only that which can be controlled.” – Chris Bohle, Associate Director of Student Life

“Our only change at dismantling racial injustice is being more curious about its origins than we are worried about our comfort. It’s not a comfortable conversation for any of us. It is risky and messy. It is haunting work to recall the sins of our past. But is this not the work we have been called to anyway? Is this not the work of the Holy Spirit to illuminate truth and inspire transformation? It’s haunting. But it’s also holy.” – Lydia Berkey, Chief of Culture and Inclusion for Student Congress

Why Hope Students Should Read I’m Still Here

For those who have read it, the book has opened a lot of students eyes to what it’s like for students of color to be in a world made for whiteness. I believe it made those students think about what students of color face on a daily basis in life here at Hope and in the world. Things they have the privilege of not having to deal with or consider when they leave their dorm room every day. – Lydia Berkey, Chief of Culture and Inclusion for Student Congress

What We Are Interested In Hearing from Austin

Austin Channing Brown has made it clear that when she speaks publicly, it is to empower the black women in the room– I’m ready to hear her do just that. – Alicia Leitzen, SAC Director of Events

SAC is honored to partner with these other student groups to bring a speaker to Hope’s Campus that will closely impact every student. Please join us Wednesday night in Jack Miller at 7pm. Austin Channing Brown is a voice you will not want to miss.

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