Jan 29, 2008

E.Q.U.A.L.I.T.Y. Factor Movement

by Bridget Scales

     On August 28, 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., the honorable Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke these powerful words, “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’” The nation trembled at King’s powerful “I Have a Dream” speech, and now, almost 45 years later, his speech is still ringing in people’s ears.
     The Center for Multicultural Enrichment at Liberty University, along with Director Daveta Saunders, is trying to fulfill that dream through the E.Q.U.A.L.I.T.Y. Factor Movement. The word E.Q.U.A.L.I.T.Y. is an acronym that stands for “esteem, qualify, understand, awareness, listen, inclusive, trust, and you are the factor that will cause us to unify us.” Each letter represents the different qualities or characteristics that are emphasized in the weekly workshops in the area of relating to others. The overall purpose of the E.Q.U.A.L.I.T.Y. Factor Movement is to serve, educate and excite the Liberty University community about unity and cultural diversity.The E.Q.U.A.L.I.T.Y. Factor Movement is designed for the Liberty University student body to enjoy.
     The movement’s main focus is uniting and celebrating diversity at Liberty University. In order to be an example to all of society, the student body needs to congratulate the differences students have, celebrate the commonalities and work together. “The program represents individuals who are trying to bring Dr. King’s dream to reality at Liberty University,” Saunders said. “Dr. King in his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech said, ‘I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal’…. “From a biblical perspective, Malachi 2:10 states, ‘Do we not all have one father? Has not one God created us?’
     Although the student body is very diverse, we still need to come together and focus on the commonalities and bind together to cause change in our society as followers of Jesus Christ.” The E.Q.U.A.L.I.T.Y. Factor Movement believes that every event should be a ministry tool. Saunders mentioned that even though the focus is mainly for Liberty University, the community would also be impacted. The students that are involved in the E.Q.U.A.L.I.T.Y. Factor Movement are also part of Lynchburg’s Community Dialogue on Race and Racism.
     The movement does not end with Lynchburg. Saunders verified that the program has also been shared with other student affairs personnel from other Christian colleges and universities at the National Christian Multicultural Student Leaders Conference. To add to the exciting and powerful force of the movement, the Center4ME has added workshops and activities. The semester’s theme is “Expose the Spiritual Side of Racism.” The first forum, an event entitled “Being Black at Liberty,” will take place on Feb. 1 from 7-10 p.m. in Campus North 1500. It will reflect alumni and current African American student’s lives at Liberty University so that the audience will be able take “a walk in their shoes.” The activities and events are only a means to the end goal. “The ultimate goal is to have a campus-wide appreciation and respect for every individual despite their ethnicity, political views, height, weight, religious belief, gender or socio-economic status,” Saunders said. “Furthermore, the more students involved the better, because this message will not just affect Liberty students but will spread beyond the mountain and into our society as a whole.”

Contact Bridgett Scales at bascales@liberty.edu.


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