Diversity & Justice: a Young Person's Perspective

March 14, 2021
At my school, I am a part of a club called ‘Teens for Tolerance.’ It shares many of the same goals of the Diversity and Justice taskforce of the synod. Because this club is so new, and we don’t have any funds, we decided to sell donuts in the common area at our school to raise money for club t-shirts, and speakers to come in and talk to our club.

I had volunteered to help sell the donuts in the mornings and during lunch, and I was pleasantly surprised at how supportive people were of our club, but there was one interaction I had while selling donuts that disappointed me.

A girl came over and she wanted to buy a donut and she had paid for it and she asked what I was selling them for. I told her that we were selling the donuts to bring in speakers to our club and buy t-shirts, and then she asked what the club was trying to accomplish, I was proud to tell her that we were trying to raise awareness for minority groups who get silenced in our community, and help educate the school on how to be more open-minded people to those who are different than us. Let me tell you, her face turned red, she backed up and said well I’m a republican, and walked away. I was shocked. Since when did being a republican mean you couldn’t support issues of justice in your community?

Diversity and Justice isn’t political, and it was never meant to be. It is working for basic human rights for those who don’t receive it. It is working for love for all of our neighbors.

In this season of Lent while we reflect over the life of Jesus and our own, I ask of you, do not let your political views shape how you view the work that must be done to make sure that all have equal rights, and that all are loved. And remember, it is never too late to start educating yourself.

-- Elaina (high school student, and member of the Southeastern Synod Task Force)