College of Arts and Sciences

Our Beloved Community


What an extraordinary moment! An impeachment trial blazes a fiery opening to this election year. In Cincinnati and across the county, we feel the pull to retreat still further into our polar camps. Weariness, cynicism, and feelings of powerlessness hover in the air.
How refreshing then, at this moment, to be reminded by colleagues how we—individually and collectively—can speak meaningfully and intelligently to the larger community.
Last week, in response to a city council member’s call to remove a statue—a gift from Mussolini—from Eden Park, Tom Strunk responded publicly with a thoughtful and authentically complex reflection grounded in his own academic expertise.
Then on Tuesday Adam Clark wrote from his own deep academic expertise to a public audience about the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. There are lessons, he argues, for us this year:

“King saw a hidden wholeness beneath the brokenness and division in human life. He didn’t see our choices as being between black versus white, republican versus democrat, gay versus straight, for him the choice was clear: chaos or community.”

King calls us, Adam continues, to be courageous and to “see the hidden wholeness, which [King] refers to as Beloved Community.”
Tom and Adam are by no means alone. Other colleagues too are charting ways to speak authentically from our expertise and experiences to the challenges of our day.
Several such efforts are coalescing in Take It On 2020, the initiative recently launched by Father Graham. I hope that you, like me, will engage this project and take meaningful steps to get involved.

Together we can shape the year ahead—and we should.