GCC Alumni in Support of Dr. Jemar Tisby
#1As a GCC alum ('03) who is also a minority, I find the board's recent report and treatment of Dr. Tisby egregious. I wonder if you really comprehend how your actions and words sound to BIPOC. I guarantee you that you have students on your campus right now who feel unsafe and afraid to express their fears in light of this report. There is a reason that GCC has always had a white majority in the student body. There is a reason that Sunday morning is still the most segregated hour in America. When will GCC and the Church start to listen to voices of BIPOC, and not just those that align with them politically? When someone of color asks you to take action in today's modern civil rights movement, perhaps you should sit with that challenge and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal your blind spots and convict your heart rather than cater to the scared cries of those offended by and fearful of CRT. If you truly wish to see the makeup of the student body reflect the diversity of the world, you need to listen to other parts of the body of Christ other than the white majority. In dismissing Dr. Tisby you have dismissed the African American Church in this nation. Dr. Tisby (not Mr.) was used as a pawn in the board's political game and he deserves an apology and restitution.
Laureen Naik (Washington, D.C., 2022-04-29)
#4I agree with Dr. Tisby that "The committee at Grove City College that generated this report thinks they have defended Christian orthodoxy when in reality they have merely asserted their commitment to a regressive and narrow type of fundamentalism that opposes racial justice" - and that is contrary to Scripture. Libby Magee Coles ('03)
Libby Coles, Esq. (Durham, NC, 2022-04-29)
#16The College administration and Board need to review, completely, their personal biases, both racial and political, and strive to teach students to think critically rather than follow your own philosophies. If what you believe is right and true, the students will see that.
Catherine Fithian (Elk Grove, 2022-04-29)
#24History should not be whitewashed.
Melyni Bronson (Peterborough, 2022-04-29)
#28Class of 2001
Meredith Bricker (Rockford, 2022-04-29)
#32(Class of 2011)
Cassandra Dasher (Salisbury, 2022-04-29)
#35As an alum of GCC, I have been disheartened by the college’s turn to the hard right at the expense of permitting students to be exposed to opposing viewpoints. I have read Dr. Tisby’s books and although they are difficult to read as a white woman, I fully recognize that while I may not have personally participated in some of the egregious things that have been done to people of color over the decades that it IS my responsibility as a Christian to acknowledge those wrongs and work towards making amends. However, the only way to do that is to make oneself aware of the issues to begin with.
Stephanie Ashbaugh (Stevens , 2022-04-29)
#39I appreciate the commitment of GCC's students to the humble way of Christ.
Irish Noble (Flagstaff, 2022-04-29)
#40Dr. Tisby has been maligned. His livelihood is being threatened because someone has a political agenda. Dr. Tisby has written many articles and books in the public realm that speaks to his stance on CRT. It is obvious someone with no understanding of CRT is attacking Dr. Tisby and his character.
Bobbi Atkinson (Elk City , 2022-04-29)
#43I am in complete agreement with this petition.
Mary Graupmann (Bettendorf, 2022-04-29)
#47I'm signing because I believe in Dr. Tisby's work. I find his theology sound as well as his work towards racial reconciliation within on our country.
Given the integrity that Dr. Tisby has consistently shown as well as his hard work, this University has no place to try and slander him.
Wesley Lowrey (Sterling, 2022-04-29)
#51I’m signing to support Dr. Tisby, believing that his work is founded on his faith in Christ and his belief that all people were created in God’s image and thus entitled to the same dignity and value.
Joel Davis (Minneapolis, 2022-04-29)
#54Class of 1994
Philomena Paulisick Harbaugh (Oak Park , 2022-04-29)
#55My daughter was a student when Dr. Tisby spoke in chapel. She was so pleased to see the college invite him. However, she transferred out of GCC, partly due to the lack of diversity, one semester later.
Tracy Berthin (Avon, 2022-04-29)
#56Accurately representing the history of racism in the US Christian community should be welcomed, not condemned. Racism and the impact of racism will only be healed when we are not afraid of the ugly truths.
Janet Richards (Redmond, 2022-04-29)
#57I transferred out of Grove For unrelated reasons, but I was there when Dr. Tisby gave his chapel talk and I have been deeply grieved by how GCC treated him in their report.
Elise Berthin (6478 Cleary Road, Avon NY , 2022-04-29)
#61I find the report issued by GCC Board of Trustees absurd, and its treatment of Dr. Tisby appalling. I believe the board owes Dr. Tisby a public apology, and should encourage discussions of the history of racial injustice in this country on campus.
Laura Storrs (Washington, DC, 2022-04-29)
#62The committee’s report was poorly researched and shameful. The attacks on Dr. Tisby and minority faculty and staff are unwarranted.
Allison (Mock) Breeding 2008 (Lexington, VA, 2022-04-29)
#63Not only are my husband and I alumni, but for the past 4 years I have volunteered in the very organization that Dr. Tisby founded, The Witness. It’s funny how the idol of GCC is conservatism, the definition of such being a preservation of something against change. Of course another word for change is growth. I consider the years the led me from GCC to working at the Witness evidence of incredible growth for me personally. It forced an engagement with history that I was not given as a History/ Education major. It forced development of empathy to lay down my tight fisted identities and to listen with humility to the experiences of others that I was culturally conditioned to be both ignorant and apathetic to previously. It gave me the desire to sit under the leadership of Black Christians in a space where they could be authentic because they need not fear the kind of retaliatory racially violent responses like this report and the rhetoric within it. If missional drift is considered distancing myself from such an institution (which isn’t the same thing as distancing from God in case that reminder is necessary), then consider me “drifted”.
Aimee Saunders (Emmaus, 2022-04-29)
#64On a smaller note but tied to respect, the committee should also apologize to Dr. Tisby for referring to him as Mr.
Natalie Kahler (Brooksville, Florida , 2022-04-29)
#65I’m signing this because I support Jemar Tisby and believe that his message and words are so important - I wish I had had the opportunity to hear this when I was a student at GCC.
Megan DeMontaigne (Eagleville, 2022-04-29)
#68I listened to Jemar Tisby's chapel live (my daughter was attendng GCC at the time) and found no orthodox Christian theological concerns. The reaction of the GCC committee to use CRT as a dog whistle to reject all other views with a broad stroke lacking any significant critical thinking is concerning.
Dave Berthin (Avon, 2022-04-29)
#71Accountability is needed with this disrespectful treatment of Dr. Tisby.
Becky Schmidt ( , 2022-04-30)
#72Class of 1994
Leslie Craven (Gibsonia, 2022-04-30)
#75As a GCC graduate and mother of an adopted son from Ethiopia, I’m distressed by the actions taken by GCC and its Board of Trustees. They can and should do better. Stop distorting and politicizing Christianity, you’re pushing people away from their faith with actions such as these. I stand with Jemar Tisby and all of my fellow alumni and GCC community or support open dialogue on such important matters as these.
Jennifer Schlosberg (Yardley, 2022-04-30)
#80I wish the college had honest conversations about race when I went there
John LaDue (Poplar Bluff, 2022-04-30)
#87I’m signing because social justice is not anti-biblical. It’s all over the Bible, and Tisby has done American Christianity a service by helping to reveal our blind spot.
Jonathan Huber (Denver, 2022-04-30)
#89This needs to be spoken and shared and taken to heart by GCC. Social justice is a key element of our walks as Christians, and to discourage and ban that subject on campus, particularly through the ungracious mischarecterization of CRT and the silencing of members of this campus, is shameful. Matthew 25, Micah 6, Amos, Isaiah, and other books and passages of the Bible make clear the significant place individual, social, and institutional justice ought to have in Christian life. If the board truly means what it says about desiring a community of ethnic diversity and harmony on this campus, it should repeal its April 13 report and apologize to those who have been hurt, including both Dr. Tisby, Dr. Lewis, Dr. Hollenberger, and Justin Jose. If GCC continues down the course it is on, it will only do further harm to its witness and to brothers and sisters of color both here and in the broader Christian community. GCC, please do not continue to idolize “conservatism” over Christianity. Please do not prioritize your own reputation over love of neighbor and full adherence to principles of Scripture. Please be a courageous and faithful school.
Josh Ledyard (Greensburg, 2022-04-30)
#90I'm signing because of my concern that the board is putting appeasement of donor base over faithfulness to Christ. I agree wholeheartedly with every word of this petition.
Karen Fulton (Irwin, 2022-04-30)
#92The Committee Report was more of a patchwork of political talking points than an actual investigation - in particular with regard to points A. and E. How can we take seriously a report which makes conclusions about a class and its required readings when not one committee member attended even a portion of any class period, nor read the books? Why were students not interviewed? Could it be that truth was less important than the position the committee wanted to take? CRT is not even taught in this class. How many students of this course were interviewed and asked about that? I have read that none were. How can this be called an investigation with these rather obvious steps not taken? With respect to item E. - I have followed Jamar Tisby on social media for years and read his books. He is indeed the same person now that he was in 2019. His theology is sound and he loves Jesus. Perhaps the truth he shared just made the committee members uncomfortable. Why on earth would a Christian liberal arts college not want its students to understand such a relevant social issue, critically assess the information and come to their own conclusions about how best to respond in light of the gospel?
Minnich Michelle (Winston Salem, 2022-04-30)
#102I am signing because this bad-faith engagement with the scholarly work of racial reconciliation slows any progress and not only that harms the witness of the church.
Ernest Lewis Jr. (Graham, 2022-04-30)
#107Class of 2006
Andrea Mitton (Baltimore, 2022-04-30)
#109As an alumn, I was proud to be part of a college that valued the free exchange of ideas and did not bow to political pressure from the left or the right. Instead of fearing Dr. Tisby’s message or shutting down talk related to racism or justice, Christian institutions should be spearheading this discussion with love and humility. I am disappointed.
Sarah Huber (Denver, 2022-04-30)
#110As a minority alumni of GCC, I am ashamed and embarrassed by the way the college has handled this situation.
Luke Johnston (Columbus, 2022-04-30)
#112This report should not be representative of grove city. Please apologize to Dr. Tisby AND the other staff unjustly slandered in the report. Please reject this report. Jesus and the church are wholly disappointed in the actions of the committee.
Emily Clark (Grove City Pennsylvania, 2022-04-30)
#113Dr. Tisby is a wonderful academic who should have been welcomed and thanked for his presentation. Instead he has been attacked and maligned. I am angry that my college is choosing to act in such a hateful and disrespectful manner.
Maddie Myers (Pittsburgh, 2022-04-30)
#124As an alumni and a person of color, I am so saddened at the way Dr. Jemar Tisby has been treated by the GCC board. It is discouraging and disheartening to say the least and without an apology I fear the college will never get to a place of diversity that reflects the richness of all God's people-all fearfully and wonderfully made. GCC board, this is no way to treat a brother in Christ. Please apologize.
Mary Anne de la Torre (Fair Lawn, 2022-04-30)
#130the health of our student body, and the work towards racial reconciliation with the thought of the Body of Christ in mind has nothing to do with CRT.
kaitlin gutwein (carmel, 2022-04-30)
#132As a GCC graduate, I know that the college is capable of living up to its own ideals of freedom, liberty, and critical thinking by honoring students’ ability to discern diverse ideas and perspectives instead of censoring or punishing those ideas. Furthermore, as a predominately white institution, GCC has a tremendous opportunity to learn from the experiences of black Christians and should honor those who seek to share their experiences and perspectives, not malign those offerings.
Kristen Usher (Fairfax, 2022-04-30)
#133Christian principles in dialogue and the proper way to engage in higher education.
Brian Kannel (York, 2022-04-30)
#134I am signing because I care about my alma mater and want it to change from a college who focuses and panders to its politically conservative views and instead gives way to the love and compassion Jesus has for all his children. I want to see a change in the school and it’s community to be loving and understanding to all no matter of race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. like we are called to do.
Brandon Roman (Tully, 2022-04-30)
#135I stand in solidarity with the alumni of GCC
Gordon Curry (Boston, 2022-04-30)
#136Class of 2017
Jason Dauer (Pittsburgh, 2022-04-30)
#139Dr. Tisby does not deserve this treatment. The Board must do better.
Benjamin Allison (Austin, TX, 2022-04-30)
#140I agree with the statement. I pray that out of this moment comes a period of soul searching and new commitment to knowing, learning from and serving the full body of Christ. We need to ask biblically committed brothers and sisters in Christ outside our context questions such as- What are the factors that have led to the culturally homogenous makeup of the student body? Are there overt sins in our past that need to be brought to light and repented of publicly? How can we be a leader in the work of repair that is needed due to any complicity with and/or participation in racial injustices? In the reformed context we have a wonderful template for works of repentance, lament reform and repair. It is not too late. GCC can become a leader among Christian colleges in this work. GCC has an opportunity in this moment to chart a new path forward that looks more like the Kingdom of God envisioned in Revelations 7.
Michael Murchie (Henrico, 2022-04-30)
#141I am a 2011 graduate of GCC and have been saddened by the misrepresentations in the trustees report. Would be glad to see some of this corrected in an official capacity.
Anthony Jantzi (Pittsburgh, 2022-04-30)
#143Grove City College has a choice to make about its legacy. What lasting impact does the college wish to make in the lives of students, the community of its professors and other academic leaders, and even on society as a whole? The report from the Trustee’s sub-committee was an embarrassment to the college. The full Board of Trustees should repeal that report and issue a new one that honors the pursuit of truth in an environment that freely encourages academic integrity and a Christ-filled humility that values life long learning. It should abandon the inaccurate pop-CRT definitions from conservative political activists that equate it to an all encompassing worldview and gospel statement. Academic integrity is absent when Western Civ humanities courses minimize or ignore racial injustice and white supremacy, or when it blocks the voices of the professors and teachers who talk about these uncomfortable topics. Academic integrity is absent when a college chooses to malign a Christian theologian and historian like Dr. Tisby and disregard the truth about what he actually said in his chapel message. The committee of the Trustees should have strongly rejected the damaging viewpoints of the petition that led to its report, rather than affirm the essential belief that Christian theologians like Jemar Tisby are not in equal standing with Christian conservatives, and therefore may not be allowed to speak in a chapel service. Such beliefs as these lack integrity and Christ-filled humility. After college, students entering the world will face difficult challenges and their faith and core beliefs will undoubtedly be tested at times. A school that values truth over conservative popular opinion will impart a stronger educational foundation that will benefit students and the communities they live in for many years beyond the short time they are at the school. Professors and other formative leaders on campus are the models for life long learning, and the school should should be faithful in treating these men and women well and not place undue restrictions on what they teach or the book clubs they help facilitate. The petition seeks actions akin to McCarthyism. This is evident first by the witness of the students who have personally experienced forms of racism and sometimes overwhelming bias on campus and also the professors who have spoken about the mistreatment they experienced during the Trustee’s investigation. These experiences should bring about a response of compassion from school leadership and an unencumbered desire to care for their wellbeing, not rejection and exclusion. Second, it is obvious that in the hands of Christian CRT scholars an honest look at the history of racism and oppression is not a gospel statement. If both sides of this debate support racial justice and desire a campus community where black students and faculty can feel at home then efforts such as the Diversity Council, the OMEI, and the EDUC 290 class should be encouraged and supported so that POC students and faculty can flourish, rather than reduced and marginalized. The choice of legacy is clear and I hope the Trustees show courage to follow Christ rather than the appeals of politically minded anti-CRT parents. If they support CRT hysteria instead of justice, then the people watching and learning from your example will see a very poor example indeed.
Ed Crane (Ambler, 2022-04-30)
#146Following Jesus calls me to seek to walk according to His way and have integrity. Dr. Tisby a brother in Christ has been libeled and misrepresented and GCC to maintain it's own integrity needs to issue it's own apology. Integrity on the colleges part does not need to mean agreement in everyway, but misrepresentation and libeling a brother in Christ calls for repentance.
Jerry Hibma (Minneapolis , 2022-04-30)
#147Thank you for standing and speaking truth. Hard and ugly, it often makes one uncomfortable, but it's the only way to affect real tangible, sustainable change.
Vanessa Harrigan (Pennsylvania, 2022-04-30)
#151I was disappointed to learn of the ongoing attempts to limit academic freedom on GCC's campus. As an educator, I know how essential it is for our students to have the opportunity to learn about a variety of viewpoints, and specifically to learn about the backgrounds of diverse students so they can teach them well. This is what I think God calls us to do as teachers. Any attempts to limit or silence discussions of race on campus will ultimately harm our students.
Alison (Seefeldt) Hooper '08
Alison Hooper (Tuscaloosa, 2022-04-30)
#152I am in full agreement with this petition. The board’s report is appalling and totally unacceptable.
Barry Little (Willow Grove, 2022-04-30)
#155GCC class of 2010
Leigh Valencia (Spring Hill, TN, 2022-04-30)
#156The board should apologize to Dr. Jemar Tisby because he has been misrepresented and the board should not fall into the trap of working off misrepresentations.
Deana Holmes (Mesa, 2022-04-30)
#157I agree wholeheartedly with this letter to the board. The GCC board has maligned and mistreated a brother in Christ in exchange for the approval of “some” men and for political and financial gain. It is sinful and shameful. More than a public apology the board needs to show public repentance and make restitution with Mr Tisby as well as the student body and faculty, especially to the people of color. Mr Tisby’s calls for racial reconciliation and justice are Biblical and Christ centered.
Tamara Davis (Greeley, 2022-04-30)
#158Class of 2024
Annie Smith (Attleboro, 2022-04-30)
#162The arguments against critical race theory do not represent the theory accurately
Kay Higuera Smith (Azusa, 2022-04-30)
#164I'm incredibly disappointed by the committee's report and the expressed commitment to "conservativism" over creating an environment where students can be challenged to grow, academically, spiritually, and socially. Dogmatism does not foster true growth!
Rev. Dave Myers (Concord, CA, 2022-04-30)
#1691. We ought to speak truth.
2. The entire Bible is interwoven with the theme of justice
3. Ruby Bridges is younger than my parents. It's not like a switch got turned and now racism has poof disappeared.
4. As Christians we are supposed to be the ones who give a picture of God's Kingdom, not "Conservative" authoritarianism
Loyal Hall (Reedley, 2022-04-30)
#170As an education major who benefitted from a variety of teaching experiences, I believe students should be empowered to learn from professors and speakers of a variety of racial and cultural backgrounds. Likewise, they should be introduced to a framework of teaching that encourages proximity to students and communities of color as well.
Sarah Hauver (Frederick, 2022-04-30)
#171I’m a Christian who has been deeply impacted by Dr. Tisby’s work. I support him fully.
Crisanne Werner (Sheboygan, 2022-04-30)
#173Jemar Tisby is above reproach and is a crucial voice on racial Justice and healing. I have carefully reviewed the report and read the testimony of GCC teachers involved in this controversy. Jemar deserves a formal apology. I have carefully reviewed the report and read the testimony of GCC teachers involved in this controversy. I’m a parent of a GCC student, and I strongly recommend a careful postmortem to investigate the origins and biases behind the report.
Mark Fedeli (Bethesda, 2022-04-30)
#176If GCC is to stand with integrity and for academic excellence, they cannot subdue or ignore beliefs that they feel are not politically helpful to them. As a Grove City Al I cannot support my school in silencing marginalized voices for the sake of white supremacy.
Erin Gates (Hickory, 2022-04-30)
#180I’m signing because I have long admired the prophetic and uplifting work of Dr.Tisby. As an alum of Grove City College I am deeply ashamed by the way in which it has responded to the chapel he led.
Kaela Yates (Chicago, 2022-04-30)
#181I completely agree!
Elisabeth Walker (Mount Laurel, 2022-04-30)
#183Racial justice IS Biblical justice and Grove City is straying from core Christian beliefs ..
Nate Anderson (Chicago, 2022-04-30)
#186I know that my alma mater can be above this atrocious report. I hope that they will return to their goal of being a “city of a hill”—a city that seeks to include people of all races and ethnicities, from students to staff to speakers.
Elizabeth Colosimo (Leesburg, 2022-04-30)
#187Speaking about racism is necessary in our country. Dr. Tisby is doing a good work.
Gary George (Florissant, 2022-04-30)
#188This farcical witch hunt is out of control and needs to stop.
Alexander Welch (Orange, VA, 2022-04-30)
#189I believe Grove City needs to be an example of doing what’s right when they’ve done hurtful, wrong things.
Missy Strong (Mount Ephraim, 2022-04-30)
Linnea Haase (Fredericksburg, 2022-04-30)
#193Freedom of discussion is important. Students were NOT required to come to his speech, rather chose to come of their own volition. Also, use specific citations in your work GCC 😂 . Expected better.
Shelbi Henkle (Midlothian , 2022-04-30)
#195I am so very grieved and upset to learn about this report- it’s findings assert general accusations without merit or evidence. Grove City College would truly reflect Jesus by showing humility and an openness to grow and learn. Reflecting Jesus to the world does not look like libel or disrespect to a fellow brother in Christ.
I strongly ask the board to reconsider this report, issue an apology to Dr. Tisby, and take a hard reflective look at GCC’s role in racial reconciliation. It has the potential to do so much good here, not harm.
Do better, GCC.
-Gretchen (Ames) Malik, ‘08
Gretchen Malik (Henrico , 2022-04-30)