The following speech was given at the March 20, 2019. CISA Press Conference:
My name is Jung Ha Kim, and I’m a faculty and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Sociology Department at Georgia State University.
I came here to add one more body count to support and to express my solidarity with CISA.
I, too, went through the seminary training a generation ago and am feeling heartbroken and proud at the same time.
I understand that Columbia Theological Seminary is not alone; and what has been happening here is not an isolated, one-time incident.
And that is why I feel heartbroken because the systemic marginalization of seminarians of color is still rampant and wide-spread, (even) in this day and age.
But I also feel proud to stand with CISA for revealing the hypocrisy of institutional racism.
Seminaries such as CTS celebrate their ever-globalizing campuses on the one hand, BUT systematically disempower the people from the global communities on the other hand.
What CISA rightfully demand (at this time) is also very common-sense.
That is, if Columbia Theological Seminary is truly committed to what it says, (and I quote) that it “not only trains students to become pastors but to globally connected leaders,” (end quote), then it needs to practice its mission – (perhaps,) first by taking seriously how globally connected people are experiencing this institution.
If we are, indeed, sisters and brothers of the same God, then, I’d also wish to add my prayers for CISA’s struggle for equity, representation, and full human dignity at Columbia Theological Seminary (and beyond).