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Transformation Happens Here: Where History Meets the Future

By Rev. Kevin 'Rev Kev' Kosh Jr.

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Sankofa is a Ghanaian term that means, “It's okay to go back and get that which is at risk of being forgotten."

It's sometimes represented as a bird that is always said to be moving forward. However, the Sankofa bird's head faces backward with an egg in its mouth. This suggests that it cannot move forward, just as we cannot move forward unless we look back and acknowledge our past. The egg represents children and the future, which can move forward only if we connect them to the past.

We invite you to "look back" and see where history meets the future.

Did you know that Black History Month started as Negro History week in 1926 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson?

College students at Kent State University in 1969 demanded that Black History Week be moved to a monthlong celebration. President Gerald Ford would later affirm the actions of those students, when in 1976, he called upon the public to "seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout history" (see https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/black-history-month). Hence, the first national observance of Black History Month.

When young adults are spiritually rooted and know their history, they can make a difference.

John and Charles Wesley, from whom we draw our Methodist heritage, also started as college students. As a part of the "Holy Club" at Oxford University, they focused on prayer, Bible study, and spiritual discipline. They would go on to influence what we now call Methodism.

When young adults are spiritually rooted and know their history, they can make a difference.

Colleges, historically and currently, are still fertile ground where faith meets social actions. Therefore, we need to acknowledge the importance of the work in our colleges and the need for our continued support of them.

We would like to spotlight the Tennessee State University (TSU) Wesley Foundation and its tribute to civil rights leader Ruby Bridges and TSU’s partnership with Hispanic ministries in the community.

See the links below for information:

Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee, is one of a number of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).

The Tennessee State University Wesley Foundation, under the leadership of Rev. Michele Morton, continues to provide a safe community where God’s love and grace are proclaimed, faith stories are experienced and shared, the Holy Bible is studied, leaders are groomed, and worship is vibrant and transforming. The young adults who are part of TSU’s Wesley Foundation have created programs to celebrate earth day and environmental Justice, partnered with Tennessee Justice to talk about healthcare disparities facing the state, and nurtured leaders who will serve as elders in The United Methodist Church. At TSU Wesley, the National Network of Young Adults was encouraged to grow into what it has become today, a network of more than eleven campus ministries serving more than five hundred young adults nationwide in the name of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Campus ministries are where transformation happens and where history meets the future.

So let’s support our HBCUs.

For more information on SBC21 and the work with colleges, please reach out to Rev. Dr. Michael Bowie at [email protected], or Rev. Kevin Kosh at [email protected]. If you would like to support the TSU Wesley Foundation or learn more about its work, please visit tsuwesley615.com.

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