By Andrew Shuman ’19
Thursday October 26th, Gordon College hosted a live Q-union video lecture event. The event was titled, “Healing Our Divided Nation,” and sought to focus on the cultural and ideological differences that separate America’s diverse national heritage, in order to bring healing, common ground and mediation of conflict.
From the uniquely Christian perspective, this live video event hosted three speakers including, David Brooks, Dr. Kara Powell and the Christian artist Propaganda. Respectively, each spoke about cultivating virtue, addiction to technology and the need for solidarity and intersectionality during this time of racial, ethnic, cultural and ideological division in the United States today.
Along with live video lectures, the event hosted three Gordon students to share thoughts and ideas concerning, “Healing Our Divided Nation.”
Brooks, who is a cultural commentator, and columnist for the New York Times, was introduced first and spoke to the deep need for conversation in our current cultural climate. A focal point of his lecture, was the need for us as individuals to ask better questions of others when we engage in conversations of disagreement, and to participate with humility.
Brooks explained humility to be radical self awareness, to be challenged and sharpened by others; Brooks said that we need to be continually asking the questions, “what are my strengths, and what are my weaknesses?”
Powell, author of Right Click, spoke secondly and introduced the great accomplishments of technology, as it creates space for communication across great distances. She then contrasted the communication technology brings with the isolation that it also participates in.
Powell explained that technology alienates us from others and limits our face to face social interactions with others. Powell also spoke to how technology affects individual’s relation to God. Powell said, “Technology is not only making us numb to each other, but it can also be making us numb to God.”
Propaganda spoke last, and began by introducing the many divisions of our nation. He explained the divisions come from our blindness to the pain of others, and a nature of selfish individualism.
Propaganda said, “When I stand on my own island and I say that I’m the only one that got problems, what it does is it undermines all of our works of justice.”
Propaganda explained that he himself has different pains and lack of privilege as an African American male, than women have. He noted that black women have different forms of suffering than white women have, bringing up the example of the early women’s suffrage movement, “The women’s suffrage movement was not about all women’s rights, it was about white women’s rights.”
Propaganda explained the powerful need for intersectionality, especially in the context of Christian community; the community needs to recognize the problems of the self, the problems of the ‘other,’ and how we can stand in solidarity through intersectionality.
Chris Perednia (‘19), a Gordon College student, spoke at the event, along with Benji Suprice 18’ and Isabell Monteiro (‘20). Each spoke independently of prompts from the video lecture, but tied in ideas concerning, “Healing Our Divided Nation.”
When asked what he wanted the audience to take away, Perednia responded, “I wanted to get people to think about who they were looking out for, and who they were loving… who do you consider your neighbor, and who are you willing to make sacrifices for?”