SCORR envisions a nationwide conference

Separating from Biola, SCORR hopes to broaden its reach, not to signal a decommitment from diversity at Biola.

Students+and+other+attendees+participate+together+in+activities+to+increase+their+knowledge%2C+appreciation+and+empathy+for+diverse+viewpoints+during+one+of+the+many+workshops+for+SCORR+Conference+in+2016.

Eliana Park/THE CHIMES [file]

Students and other attendees participate together in activities to increase their knowledge, appreciation and empathy for diverse viewpoints during one of the many workshops for SCORR Conference in 2016.

Caleb Jonker, News Editor

On Dec. 1, President Barry Corey announced that the Student Conference on Racial Reconciliation will transition into an independent conference. 

THE TIME WAS RIGHT

Chief Diversity Officer Tamra Malone said that following the 2021 conference, SCORR’s first virtual conference, they realized SCORR’s potential reach. 

“It helped us begin to reimagine the conference for the future,” Malone said.

Director of Diversity Education and Training Glen Kinoshita added that 2021 marked SCORR’s 25th anniversary. Reaching this milestone, Kinoshita explained that the SCORR team took the opportunity to reflect on the conference. 

“When you reach a point like that, it’s time to make some decisions,” Kinoshita said.

SCORR’s mission remains the same despite the transition. According to Malone, the vision SCORR pursues is to broaden its reach to communities beyond the West coast. Christian higher education is becoming more diverse, according to Malone. 

“We are hoping to work and lock arms with others that will help us pursue kingdom diversity within our nation,” Malone said.

COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY

Although SCORR allowed Biola to show its commitment to diversity in the past, the university made additional efforts to support diversity on-campus.

This year Biola announced its Institutional Diversity Strategic Plan, a formal plan that addresses diversity through specific initiatives to pursue equity at Biola. According to Malone, this plan is the first of its kind at Biola.

Malone added that although the conference no longer directly relates to the university, students still have opportunities to engage. 

In Corey’s email, he announced the integration of a new curriculum to the First Year Seminar programs. The curriculum aims to help students to develop skills in cultural humility, biblical justice, loving our neighbor, Christian hospitality and intercultural conversations.

“We want to make sure that we equip our students with the skills and knowledge that they need to engage diversity, and continue to talk about diversity Biblically as well,” Malone said.

Malone added that the design of the First Year Seminar class equips students to engage at the university—contributing to student success through implementing institutional diversity. 

“We have a diverse student body that needs to be prepared to engage a diverse world for the Lord Jesus Christ,” Malone said. 

MOVING FORWARD

As details of the conference are reimagined. Kinoshita expressed that the SCORR team continues to lay the foundation of the transitioning program. One of the first steps they are taking involves constructing an executive board of directors from across the country.

“Obviously it’s a huge undertaking and it’s going to take a lot of assistance from across the country,” Kinoshita said.

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