The Equality Ride stop at Cornerstone University is April 23, 2007.
If you are a student at Cornerstone University, an alumni of Cornerstone University, or a concerned citizen in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area and would like to help with the Soulforce Equality Ride’s visit to Cornerstone University, please register below.
Our visit to Cornerstone University was unique. Our initial conversations with the administration demonstrated that the administration had no interest in the Equality Ride or our message. That theme carried into the time we actually spent at Cornerstone University.
On April 22, 2007, we arrived at Cornerstone University at night to conduct a candlelight vigil. With all the Riders and several community members, we gathered with candles lit outside of the campus. A large crowd of students began to assemble in front of us. Our Co-Directors and we approached the students to welcome them to open conversation and to get to know us. Upon approaching the students we were stopped by administration to be warned that we are not welcomed and if we didn’t leave campus we would be treated as trespassers and be arrested. Before we knew it, there were over 50 students that came to us to have some amazing conversations.
We returned to campus the next morning for our visit on April 23, 2007. Once again we were reminded that we were not being welcomed by the administration to the campus. Two of our Riders, Stephen Krebs and Matt Hill Comer, delivered a stone tablet bearing a message of: Christ, Service, Love, and Community, to the campus. But were arrested in this effort. The students continued to have conversations with us, expressing their apologies to us for the actions of the administration.
The next morning, we returned to Cornerstone University yet again, but to engage in chapel with students. We sat next to students with the desire to worship alongside them. Instead, Tom Emigh, Vice President of Student Development, approached the microphone to ask that we leave, expressing that we are not even welcome there. After a few minutes, we began to leave chapel, but to only be followed by the students that also rose from their seats to leave the chapel with us.
The visit to Cornerstone University was empowering.
Read about Cornerstone University and GLBT equality.