To the Community of Bethany College,

As I consider the state of affairs right now, the word “suffering” bears down on my heart. Across the nation and here in West Virginia, clear signs of anguish, disbelief, fear, pain, mourning, and helplessness are evident everywhere. Our world is suffering on indescribable levels, and we want to make sense of it all, yet we struggle daily to find the words.

But we know the latest names: Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, and our prayers go out to their families during this deeply troubling time. Together, as Bethanians, we are called to promote the creation of a world of worth and value – and we must – now more than ever.

Four weeks ago, we were blessed to have nationally recognized social justice advocate and president of Repairers of the Breach, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, virtually share remarks with the Class of 2020. I now want to draw your attention to an excerpt from the mission of Repairers of the Breach: “Our deepest moral traditions point to equal protection under the law, the desire for peace within and among nations, the dignity of all people, and the responsibility to care for our common home.”

As Bethanians, we are guided by a moral and ethical compass as we work through the suffering that pervades society. We are honorable, humane servant-leaders, and through our shared humanity, I encourage our community to reach out to each other, and to others whom we know are hurting, tired, and feeling helpless and marginalized in our turbulent world.

We must do better to uphold our founding principle of equal protection for all. We must confront structures that create racial disparity and divides. We must bridge understanding where and whenever needed and give voice to the voiceless. We are #ONEBethany. Let us show the nation why.


Rev. Dr. Tamara Nichols Rodenberg