During a gathering and unveiling event, “Remembrance & Reconciliation” September 21 at Anderson University, the memories of five Anderson County victims of racial violence were honored and the sculpture was unveiled at Thrift Library, where it can be seen by the public now through February 2024.
At the event were Anderson University administration, faculty, staff and students and also various community leaders. The afternoon’s activities began with a program of solemn remembrance in the Daniel Recital Hall of Rainey Fine Arts Building. Giving welcoming remarks was Anderson University Vice President for Diversity, Community and Inclusion, Dr. James Noble.
“This sculpture is just one way our campus community has embraced our role as the hands and feet of Jesus. We hope this sculpture and our larger efforts promote kingdom diversity, will reflect the truth that Christ alone can heal every wound, dry every tear and mend every broken heart,” said Dr. Noble.
Anderson University Professor Emeritus Dr. Stuart Sprague shared a history of reconciliation efforts spanning from immediately following Jackson’s death to the creation of the AAR&RI. Dr. Sprague recalled a condemning sermon preached by Anderson First Baptist Church and later Anderson President Dr. John F. Vines on the Sunday following Jackson’s death, noting that the participants in the violent act “taught much of defending virtue but are not themselves distinguished by virtue.” While there have been several efforts at reconciliation since, Dr. Sprague said disparities continue to exist in areas of “health, wealth, education, incarceration and other social measures.” He called for the audience to live out what Dr. Martin Luther King termed “beloved community.”
“When freedom, health and resources are shared by all, estrangement falls away, reconciliation can lead us to a beloved community. This is not only why the Anderson Area Remembrance and Reconciliation Initiative began, but also its sole purpose for continuing its work. We welcome Anderson University and all of the other organizations who would like to join us in this sacred effort,” Sprague said.
To read the complete release and recap by Anderson University, CLICK HERE.