Multnomah University will be hosting Mosaic Week February 5-9. MU’s Student Government, New Wine New Wineskins, the Counseling Department, and Student Life have joined forces to create a series of events meant to spark critical thinking and dialogue around issues of diversity, inclusion, cultural identity and justice.
Student Government Intercultural Inclusion Chair Beatrix Li is inviting the entire MU community, including staff, faculty and students, to participate. “The heart behind Mosaic Week is to paint a glimpse of the eschatological community of the multi-ethnic, diverse body of Christ through creating spaces that honor, empower and support Multnomah students in their ‘otherness,’” she says.
Mosaic Week will kick off with a showing of The Guitar Section, a short play exploring themes of racial identity, justice and equality in contemporary society. A discussion with the playwright, Michelle Lang, will follow. MU will host eight other events during the week, including discussions on self- and communal care facilitated by the Counseling Department; a brunch chat about peace-making with Dr. Domani Hintze-Pothen; a special multicultural night in the cafeteria; and several other reflective activities.
For Li, it’s important that the week’s events reflect the diversity of interests and cultures found within the student body. “We do not seek to be monolithic in our events,” she says. “Quilted through theology, literature, history, psychology, the arts and story-telling, we want Mosaic Week to be a bridge-builder and connective tie between the disciplines and passions in order to find common ground.”
The events are also designed to move along a specific trajectory and build upon each other. “We hope to begin the week with themes of how to understand and respond to injustices before moving toward themes of reconciliation and peace-making,” Li says.
This pursuit of justice and peace in times of turmoil ultimately comes from Christ’s own work stated in Luke 4:18-19: “freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” This is the ultimate ending for the story of God’s people — to live in a world where Christ rules with justice, reconciliation and peace.
“A theology of justice speaks against structures that bind people, because the Trinitarian God is the God with the oppressed,” says Li. “Ultimately, justice seeks to heal wounds from the shattered glass of history and injustice, and create instead a beautiful, redemptive mosaic.”