DR. EMMANUEL MCCALL RACIAL JUSTICE & LEADERSHIP INITIATIVE
AT SIMMONS COLLEGE OF KENTUCKY
The launching of this special endeavor, the Dr. Emmanuel McCall Racial Justice and Leadership Initiative, will take place at the historic black Simmons College in Louisville, Ky. The purpose of the McCall Initiative is to create avenues for God's imperfect church to move toward meaningful unity between racially diverse communities. Each year during the month of February, special emphasis will be given to the McCall Initiative. Churches and individuals will be asked to contribute financially and encouraged to participate in the McCall Initiative efforts listed below.
Dr. McCall was the first to cross racial barriers in Baptist denominational work and education. His courage met by real opportunity afforded him to become a true trailblazer. Motivated by Dr. McCall's life experience, the initiative will create opportunities for courageous African American men and women in the United States to lead by:
- Making Simmons College of Kentucky, the National Baptist Convention of America, Inc. (NBCA) School and Headquarters, the recipients of fundraising efforts to support the higher education of courageous African American leaders
- Recruiting African American students from Simmons College of Kentucky to participate in global mission initiatives offered by CBF's StudentDotGo program.
- Continuing to build bridges with Simmons College of Kentucky through the National Baptist Convention of America and CBF African American Network as voices of conscience to help bear greater witness to Jesus Christ and advance racial healing and social change.
Inspired by Dr. McCall's work leading predominately African American churches to work collaboratively with predominately Anglo churches, the initiative recommends the following racial justice efforts for its churches in Kentucky:
- Identify ways CBF's Advocacy Tool kit can empower churches to further racial justice efforts
- CBF Participating with other clergy in the NBCA network to work on racial justice issues
Dr. McCall gained a new awareness of racial disparities in the segregated South in the early 1950s as he traveled to and studied at Simmons College of Kentucky. During the 1960s, Dr. McCall was part of a pioneering team of African American and Anglo pastors who intentionally met regular in Louisville, Ky., to read, study and pray together. The intent of the group was to stave off racial tensions ignited around desegregation. Because of the forward thinking and action of these clergy, the rise of racial conflict was limited in their community. As a result, the initiative will offer proactive racial justice & leadership efforts designed to limit cultural clashes and violence in local communities by:
- Soliciting Racial Justice Peer Learning Groups that would follow a reading list developed by CBF & NBCA and informed by the model of Empower West in Louisville, Ky. It will be an effort to encourage white and black clergy to journey toward racial reconciliation and action
- Organizing racial Justice retreats, workshops during CBF State and Regional Organization annual meetings, and at CBF's General Assembly each summer
- Developing a church renewal experience around Racial Justice
- Continuing to work with Simmons College of Kentucky, National Baptist Convention of America International, Inc. and Progressive National Baptist Convention on the Angela Project