Magazine article Phi Kappa Phi Forum

Power: N., Energy, Force or Momentum

Magazine article Phi Kappa Phi Forum

Power: N., Energy, Force or Momentum

Article excerpt

Were you perhaps the slightest bit uneasy to see the word power on the front cover of this issue of the Forumi Did you perhaps pause before opening the pages to imagine how multiple meanings of that single word might be employed by the writers and columnists?

My scholarship on the role of women in religion focused on one meaning of power - authority. Specifically, by what means, and what authority, does a church body determine who may or may not serve as clergy, deacons, or in any leadership capacity? Who can speak, and who says so?

That question came to the forefront on March 24 when the student survivors of the Valentine's Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida organized a massive protest against gun violence in Washington, D.C., and in cities around the country and world. Critics challenged the leaders of the movement, most not yet old enough to vote, as to their authority to speak.

But speak they did, and in their speaking was power.

Students from Parkland, Chicago, Newtown, students who had huddled together seeking safety from gunfire, students who had lost siblings and friends, students who have grown up practicing active shooter drills like some of us practiced duck-and-cover during the Cold War. These young voices are saying enough and calling for change in laws that they believe might offer them the opportunity to focus classroom time on their studies rather than their safety.

This is power.

Young people were on the front lines of another movement that changed America, the civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s. …

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