March 28, 2022
Darius Potts, Chief of Police in Ankeny Iowa, discusses the challenges facing law enforcement officers during a time of distrust and gaps between the police and the community. He is the first African American to be Police Chief in Ankeny, IA.
As Chief, he feels that one of his responsibilities is to decrease the stress levels that his officers face. That is accomplished in part by promoting communication and yearly structured mental health support for every officer.
Throughout his career in law enforcement, Potts has had to strike a balance between being an officer and dealing with the experiences of those in the communities he served. He explains the importance for both officers and the community to understand the long history of mistrust of police and that it is not a new phenomenon. African American candidates in law enforcement especially must grapple with this as they consider the profession.
Ankeny is a growing community, but the recruitment of officers is down. Fewer people are taking an interest in this profession. At present, his department is down seven staff members. The department will need more women and men for a growing community. Potts is optimistic about law enforcement and would encourage young people to consider it as their life work. With all the present-day challenges to law enforcement, Potts believes it is a noble profession.
February 28, 2022
Dr. Russell Dalton, Professor of Religious Education, Brite Divinity School, Fort Worth, Texas, discussed his interest and research in social justice in preparation for a forthcoming book. He shared that his motivation for this research came from the lack of religious education addressing social justice praxis.
In general, religious education may advocate for social justice but not give congregational members the practical tools for addressing social justice in their respective locations. As a model, he has used the educational method of the Freedom Riders of the Civil Rights period in presentations on social justice as well as the of Jim Lawson workshops in Nashville. Both require critical reflection on what participants anticipate happening in their actions It is important for people to know the risks in social justice work and to trust their fellow co-participants in the work. At the conclusion of the conversation, Dalton gives some practical ideas that congregations can use to equip themselves to work on social justice.
March 1, 2021
Dr. Quintin Robertson, Instructor & Director of the Urban Theological Institute & Black Church Studies Program at United Lutheran Seminary, reflects on the 40th Anniversary of the Urban Theological Institute at United Lutheran Seminary. He shares a historical overview of the Institute focusing in on the unique features of the program. Robertson also describes the changes that have taken place in the Institute including increased endowment, online courses, and the Black Church concentration.
April 20, 2020
Award-winning vocalist, writer and multi-genre performing artist Queen Esther joins Katy Giebenhain for a conversation about her developing one person show and what’s been visible and not visible in her first impressions of Gettysburg. A winter artist-in-residence at the Gettysburg National Military Park, Queen Esther is based in New York City. Jazz, Blues, Black Americana, alt-rock, swing, gospel and beyond – these are the musical waters she swims in. Among her extensive collaborations is the avant-blues duo Hoosegow she formed with guitarist Elliott Sharp. Blues Matters Magazine calls her “… modern, yet not flashy while holding true to herself with firmness and a forthright approach and style.”
Many thanks to our host site for this interview, Waldo’s and Co. on the Square in Gettysburg. The Artist-in-Residence program is made possible by the Gettysburg Foundation and The National Park Arts Foundation, with support from the National Park Service.
Special thanks also to The Seminary Ridge Museum.
October 21, 2019
Dr. Susann Samples, Professor of Foreign Languages at Mt. St. Mary’s University, discusses her Delaplaine Seminar professorship at Mount St. Mary’s University. The professorship’s faculty seminar centered on “The Black Diaspora in Europe” with the goal of introducing this topic to a wider audience and to begin the process of “decolonizing” the curriculum.
In this conversation she explores the historical background and readings relevant to the study of the African Diaspora in Europe. She also discusses the importance of the seminar for a Catholic University and the desired outcomes of the seminar.
October 7, 2019
Dr. Richard Stewart, Professor Emeritus United Lutheran Seminary, discusses his current history project funded through a Louisville Institute grant. This oral and written history project seeks to collect and archive the experiences of being African American in contemporary Lutheranism. His work is a race against time to gather first hand accounts whenever possible and track down family members and peers of those who have passed on for their second hand accounts and memories of those early pioneers.
To learn more about this project listen to the interviews visit: http://rnstewart.blogspot.com/
August 13, 2018
In this episode Dr. Scott Hancock discusses the work of the historian. In particular he talks about his research interest in the African American experience and the Underground Railroad. While it is part of the 19th century, the underground railroad continues in our times with people crossing borders, human trafficking, etc. In addition, he discussed the state monuments on the battlefield and what they are teaching and saying to onlookers.
July 3, 2017
Dr. Nelson Strobert, Professor Emeritus of Christian Education, Gettysburg Lutheran Seminary, and author, Daniel Alexander Payne, distinguishes between a tourist and a traveler, and cites three travelers of color who journeyed to Paris to round out their education, and discovered “liberty, equality, and fraternity” as they had not in America.
March 13, 2017
Pastor Yehiel Curry of Shekinah Chapel describes his own path to ordained ministry, and his work with the Lutheran Church in developing a relevant, exciting ministry, geared toward Black men and their families in Chicago. He is dynamic, passionate and wise, and you will love his story!
January 2, 2017
Dr. Donnella, Chaplain of the College at Gettysburg College, shared his thoughts on Black Lives Matter, Immigration, Inter-religious dialogue, and Pope Francis. While he expressed his hopes in light of these topics, he also was saddened by the lack of religious and civil tolerance during the recent political issues in the United States.