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Grove City College addresses “CRT”


GiggleOfGirls
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Well, my alma mater is doing shitty things again and I wanted to share because the situation might be of interest to folks here. 

 

Grove City College in Grove City, PA is a very small Conservative Christian college. Interestingly enough, attending GCC has led to some serious deconstruction of Christian beliefs for many folks (including myself). 

Spoiler

I first learned about social inequality/SES (socio-economic stratification) in an education course there in the early 2000s. I also heard many other students’ responses to the idea that inner-city schools needed good teachers (I vividly remember overhearing a conversation one day between three students walking behind me on campus about how they definitely only ever wanted to teach at the “good schools in the suburbs” after our teacher had encouraged all of us to teach in inner city schools for at least a few years).

 

Basically, GCC was where I first saw extensive examples of hypocrisy amongst Christians. 

 

Some current and recent students have reported that the atmosphere on campus has become very hostile and divisive in recent years.
 

Anyhow, last month, a special committee issued a report and recommendation regarding the issue of critical race theory/CRT being promoted on the college campus and causing “mission drift” (whatever that even means). 

Link to the report:

https://www.gcc.edu/Portals/0/Special-Committee-Report-and-Recommendation_0422.pdf

 

 

Professor Warren Throckmorton (who was my advisor when I was a sophomore there and whose blog I’ve seen linked on FJ with some regularity) seems to be one of the only voices of reason coming from the college. 

 

Grove City College Rejects “Wokeness,” CRT in New Report: https://religionnews.com/2022/04/25/grove-city-college-rejects-wokeness-crt-in-new-report/


Bits from the article under the spoiler: 

Spoiler

“The school, which has just 2,400 full-time students, was first accused of promoting critical race theory, an academic framework that sees racism as embedded in institutions and policies, in a November petition authored by Grove City parents and alumni. The petition alleged that this “destructive and profoundly unbiblical worldview” was asserted at the college in a fall 2020 chapel presentation by Tisby.”

 

……

 

“Warren Throckmorton, a professor of psychology at Grove City, said he doesn’t have a lot of confidence in the report’s findings because it offers a faulty definition of CRT. According to Throckmorton, the report says CRT embraces biological distinctions — however, he said, CRT rejects biological distinctions because it sees race as socially constructed. He also pointed to a footnote that says: “Our references to CRT include popular ‘CRT-adjacent’ advocacy cloaked in the secular or religious language of social justice.’”

 

“That could be anything, couldn’t it?” asked Throckmorton. “So when they say they found CRT, what did they really find?”

 

“While the report promises not to ban books, Throckmorton said that promise has done little to reassure professors who are questioning if and how to teach on topics like health disparities or social justice in the classroom.”

 

….

 

“Another board member, David Forney, is pastor of a Charlottesville church and has offered a list of racial justice resources to his congregation on the church website, including TED Talks by Bryan Stevenson and the books “How To Be an Antiracist” and “Between the World and Me,” both of which the report characterized as promoting “pop-CRT.”

 

“I am puzzled that these resources are considered fine and helpful for a board member to recommend to his congregation but are considered off-mission for our faculty to assign as study resources for a college course,” Throckmorton said in an email to RNS. Neither Breen nor Forney could be reached for comment.”

 

_______

 

Mentioned in the report is the Director of Multicultural Education and Initiatives. The Collegian (GCC Newspaper) is backing him up and posted a lovely summary of his work at the college (part of which is to help minority students feel welcomed on the 94% white campus).

 

Screenshots under the spoiler:

Spoiler


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_______

 

A couple of additional articles. The second article has links to many more sources of information:

 

What is a Conservative Christian College? On the Grove City CRT report: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/anxiousbench/2022/04/what-conservative-christian-college-grove-city-crt-report/

 

Article by a recent graduate: https://onlysky.media/rebekahkohlhepp/grove-city-colleges-anti-woke-report-contradicts-its-stated-christian-values/

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  • 3 weeks later...

Jemar Tisby, the person who gave the ~20 min chapel talk a couple years ago about his book (title in the spoiler/quote below) re: the church’s complicity in racism has written an open letter to the GCC board of trustees since they accepted the committee’s findings (part of which accused Tisby of promoting CRT).
 

It’s a lovely calling-out, here’s the beginning and there’s an audio link at the website as well so you can listen if you’re so inclined. 
 

https://jemartisby.substack.com/p/an-open-letter-to-the-board-of-trustees?r=dfab0&utm_medium=ios&fbclid=IwAR1NACibyMJqTUCubq0WjUz2OeaTxSU_SCx3d1ug2737NNAWUGvfAv9ijfs&s=r#details

Spoiler

In October 2020, I traveled from my home on the Arkansas side of the Mississippi Delta to Grove City College. At the invitation of some faculty and staff, I gave a chapel presentation, met with students of color, met with the now defunct Advisory Council on Diversity (with the college's president in attendance), and gave a talk in the evening about my book The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church's Complicity in Racism. 

Throughout my time on campus, I found the students respectful, engaging, and inquisitive. Although some, it was clear, did not agree with my statements about racism, they did not seem to harbor any animosity while I was present. 

Imagine my surprise when over a year later a group of concerned “parents and former students" wrote a petition entitled "Save GCC from CRT"and named my chapel presentation as one of the instances of mission drift and the promulgation of Critical Race Theory. 

You call the creation of this sub-committee and its report "extraordinary." Indeed it is extraordinary in the attempt to officially and comprehensively impede racial reconciliation and racial justice at the school.

And the open letter just gets better from there. He calls out the board chairperson who is also the CEO of DuPont (and who is being a blatant hypocrite — talking as though he’s pro-racial justice as CEO and anti-racial justice as chairperson). 
 

He calls out the college for being more concerned with their “conservative” image than their actual Christianity. 
 

It’s a good read. 

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