January 2, 2017, 8:22 AM

On the road with Hope

Friends, the article below was written by one of our new interns Spencer Lim. Spencer will continue documenting our group’s experience during and after the Montreat Colleagiate Conference, which centers on the story of the Tower of Babel and God’s gift of diversity when the Israelites wanted to build a wall and remain untouched by the world around them. We are excited to be bringing a group of 14 folks with us to the conference this year. We hope you’ll join us on this journey as we share our experiences through video, writing, and photography, as we risk being vulnerable in naming our truth. You can also follow us at on Facebook at Friends of Hope.

Peace and a Happy New Year,

Rev. Tricia Dillon Thomas


Hope students attending the Montreat Collegiate Conference, focused on race relations this year, participated in an overnight lock in at the Hope House. Scheduled weeks before, students accepted that going to this race relations conference would be challenging and thus committed to strengthening the collective relationships among the. With race being such a tense issue in today’s climate, making this stride for a diverse understanding and strong team building was imperative.

6pm on a Friday night students joined at the Hope House for food and fellowship while enjoying pizza and other snacks, conversing about the day and breaking the ice. What was is so interesting is the diverse group of students participating on this trip and the equal attempt everyone made to find a common ground. A Q & A, organized by one of the student leaders, asked us general questions about thoughts and experiences with regarding race and prejudice on our campus and throughout life.

In an effort to gain a broader understanding of different race perspectives, students first watched the movie Crash (2004) and the following morning Dear White People (2014). Giving different perspectives of race and social class in a post 9/11 era, Crash was sure to make light of the everyday stereotypes and prejudices we make and perceive about others on a day to day basis and the lasting effects this can have on the decisions we make.  Dear White People touching on race relations between white and black at a PWI during the Obama era, as well as the complexity of intersectionality, which addresses race, sexuality, gender identity, and sexual attraction. The movie shed light on the struggles of not being accepted as your full self because of social norms and the fear of being misunderstood and outcast.

After each of the movies students opened their journals and wrote down thoughts, feelings, and responses they experienced. Some recorded their reactions via video and afterwards everyone came together to express and build upon thoughts and ideas. This way students were able to record how they felt about the movie personally with no bias, and take from those organized thoughts what they were comfortable sharing in group conversation. Students’ journaling and sharing experiences among one another turned out to be an emotional and humbling exchange.

Afterwards photos were taken as a group to document the experience and post for Facebook. The lock in was a great success and there will be more to come as the journey to Montreat develops.

-Spencer Lim


Post a Comment