Civil Rights to Be Focus of College Conference

Article excerpt

Byline: Robert Sanchez Daily Herald Staff Writer

Inside the classroom, a small group of Wheaton College students learned the work of the Civil Rights Movement isn't over.

Once they got outside the classroom, those students were determined to do something to help further the cause.

The result is a conference this week at Wheaton College, called "The Civil Rights Movement and the Church: the Unfinished Journey," which was created and organized by students.

"We are hoping to get everyone on campus to focus on the issues brought up during the Civil Rights Movement ... and the issues that still need to be dealt with regarding race, reconciliation and segregation," said Chris Stanley, one of the student organizers.

The conference begins 7 p.m. Wednesday and ends at 9 p.m. Saturday. All the events will be held on the Wheaton College campus and are free and open to the public.

Among the speakers are J. Kameron Carter, assistant professor of theology and black church studies at Duke Divinity School, and the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, a Cincinnati pastor who co-organized the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Martin Luther King Jr.

"It's a unique opportunity to see a broad cross section of speakers who can help put into today's terms what we still have to accomplish as a nation in terms of unity," said Rodney K. Sisco, director of Wheaton College's Office of Multicultural Development.

All those speakers are coming to Wheaton thanks to the work of students.

"It's amazing to me," Sisco said.

Stanley, a 22-year-old senior, and several other classmates got the idea for the conference last fall during a civil rights class taught by Hank Allen. The associate professor challenged the students to take what they learned "and do something about it," Stanley said.

Student Shannon Golden said the decision was made to have a conference to honor the upcoming anniversaries of the Brown vs. …