Becoming Beloved Community

In early November, the University hosted “Becoming Beloved Community,” an initiative sponsored by the Bushnell Board of Trustees and the Office of the President to begin campus and community conversations about a Biblical perspective on racial reconciliation. Over a series of two days, a thoughtful and award-winning panel of guest speakers guided members of the local and University community through experiences that informed our worldview, advised our advocacy, and inspired our passion for unity.

The thoughtful and accomplished panel of featured guests included Rasool Berry, Lisa Fields, Dr. Mac Pier, and Bishop Claude Alexander. Berry and Fields are the creators of the documentary “Juneteenth: Faith & Freedom”. Alexander and Pier are the co-authors of Required: God’s Call to Justice, Mercy, and Humility to Overcome Racial Division (2021). Special events included a special screening of the documentary followed by a panel discussion on Juneteenth and the film’s creative journey as well as a joint choir performance by the Bushnell Chorale and the UO Gospel Choir. Additionally, several large-format panel discussions, led by the symposium guests, were held with local church and ministry leaders, business leaders, and members of the Bushnell community.

Kim Williams, Chair of the Bushnell Board of Trustees and co-managing member of McKay Investment Company, LLC and Oak Leaf Property Management, said “We are hopeful this series of events will result in a lasting impact that helps our community to overcome racial division.”

“We are learning to love our community the way God loves us,” said DeLeesa Meashintubby, Executive Director of Volunteers in Medicine and pastor of St. Mark’s CME Church in Eugene, Ore. Pastor Meashintubby serves on the Bushnell University Board of Trustees and was part of the genesis and planning of “Becoming Beloved Community.” Added Bushnell University President, Dr. Joseph Womack, “We feel blessed to be joined by such friends and consider together how we as a community might benefit from genuine reconciliation in unity.

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Community film screening of “Juneteenth: Faith & Freedom” with campus guests as moderators.
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Joint performance of traditional spirituals with Bushnell Chorale and the University of Oregon Gospel Choir.
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Event leadership team with campus guests during a community ministry lunch in the Morse Center.

Featured Guests

Juneteenth: Faith & Freedom | Featuring Rasool Berry & Lisa Fields

Film Summary: A Black American, troubled by the legacy of American slavery and the misuse of Christianity to justify it, travels throughout Texas to discover how Juneteenth reveals faith and a fight for freedom in an unjust society. This unscripted documentary invites viewers into the story of Juneteenth, the holiday recognizing the end of legalized slavery in Texas, through the eyes of a Black man learning about the holiday from the direct descendants of those liberated. The journey starts in Galveston, where the liberation was first announced, to the site of Freedman’s Town in Houston, and then to Dallas, all along including the voices of historians, artists, community organizers, and leaders of the Black Church. Learn how Scripture inspired the faith of the enslaved people and how newly liberated men and women credited God for their freedom. The story serves as a parable that offers hope and the insight that faith in Christ can be the greatest weapon against injustice. (summary adapted from and Our Daily Bread Ministries).

To watch the documentary visit:
Presented by the Our Daily Bread Voices Collection and Our Daily Bread Media

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