Prayer vigil encourages discussion

Communal prayer brings awareness to concerns of racial minorities and a call for reconciliation.


Anna Warner/THE CHIMES

Samantha Gassaway, Writer

On a chilly Monday morning, Nov. 16, a prayer vigil was conducted by the Biola bells in light of events this past week at the University of Missouri. Todd Pickett, dean of spiritual development, began the event with a plea for reconciliation and care from students in regard to racial discrimination around the country.


Following Pickett’s introduction concerning Biola’s need for vigilance, Brad Christerson, professor of sociology, offered words of encouragement to all students. Christerson explained that underrepresented students of color on college campuses across America rightly feel they are unequally valued or cared for. He urged Biola students and faculty to listen to God’s call for justice in these situations and to pray for administration as well as people affected by racial discrimination everywhere.


Then, two Biola students stepped up to the mic and passionately described their experiences and their frustration with a seemingly blatant, uncaring demeanor by students. Stephanie Lindo, junior journalism major, retold her story of last year’s racial reconciliation awareness movement. She explained how several students created a cross with posted pictures and testimonies that was promptly torn down and thrown away three different times.

Grenisha Parker, senior sociology major, came to the mic confused as to how members of the Biola community could be progressing through classes and activities every day as if its students did not fear for their lives. She expressed her frustration at how Biola seemed almost ignorant to the struggles of the people in its community, and urged the surrounding crowd to pray for hope and for redemption.


Pickett led the final prayer portion of the event, in which participants gathered in small groups and sent forth prayers of hope and restoration.

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