Statement from the Deans about Sewanee

Date: March 19, 2021

Late yesterday afternoon, the Deans from the Episcopal Seminaries issued a statement about the on-going events at the University of the South. News of vandalism at the residence of the Vice-Chancellor coupled with racial slurs being heard at a Lacrosse game have focused attention on racism at Episcopal educational institutions. Episcopal institutions are supposed to anticipate the reign of God; they are supposed to be places of authentic welcome, where all are honored. As leaders in our Seminaries, the Deans spoke with one voice affirming their commitment to racial justice.

Virginia Theological Seminary has its own context and history. 2009’s No Turning Back by the Rev. Joseph Constant ’03 captured the many stories of our African American graduates who found Virginia Theological Seminary racist and difficult. We are continuing to reflect, challenge, and confront our own racist tendencies.

This is vitally important work. The future can be different from the past. Let us again recommit to the importance of this work in this place.

The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham Ph.D.
Dean and President

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