Today I had lunch with Glen Kinoshita, the Director of Multi-Ethnic Programs at Biola University. I first met Glen at The Gathering, where Rachelle Chuang (DJ‘s wife) introduced me to him. After running into him a few times on campus, we decided to have lunch.
Glen told me a little about what he does at Biola. Much of what he does includes advising undergraduate students of color at Biola University. The goal of Multi-Ethnic Programs is to serve the minority students on campus, but also to create opportunities for racial reconciliation, especially through different student events such as Reconciliation Chapel and various rallies meant to educate the entire student body about the evils of discrimination, prejudice, and ignorance.
He shared with me that while he has received a positive response from many of the minority students, he has gotten resistance from other people. One of his biggest frustrations is that most of the resistance has come from individuals who have not participated in these events to even see what they are about.
Some of the voices have wondered if Multi-ethnic Programs is causing more division because they magnify a problem and cause people to take sides. Glen’s response is that: it takes education for people to wake up to issues.
Perhaps it takes making others uncomfortable or ruffling a few feathers, but true healing comes from knowing the brokenness. I wonder how many of us shy away from talking about race and ethnicity because it makes us or others feel uncomfortable. I wonder if discussing what is seen as a divisive topic will ultimately prove to be the first step towards redemption. Let’s continue the conversation, everyone. We cannot tear down walls unless we acknowledge that they exist. These issues are not simple, and we cannot pretend that they are.
Can we first acknowledge, inform, and discuss the brokenness that exist, then ask God to begin a healing process?