Black History Month is a time to listen to the stories, history and experiences that have shaped the Black community locally and across the nation. Five of Trevecca’s Black leaders recently shared their perspectives on the importance of Black History and the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. Terrence Schofield
Associate Provost, Mission Excellence and Reconciliation
How has Dr. King impacted your life?
Dr. King said life’s most persistent question is ‘What are you doing for others?’ His life has taught me how to care for people. Every day, I am challenged to see the uniqueness of individuals made in God’s image. We all came over here on different ships but now we’re in the same boat. This Black History Month, I challenged students to reach out and develop relationships with those who are different from them. You’ll find that life is hard for everyone and we all need support and a kind word.
Women’s Basketball Coach
How have you been impacted by the resilience of Black leaders in the face of adversity throughout history?
When I think about what people before me had to endure, it seems like my journey pales in comparison, even when it gets hard. I especially think of voting and how people laid down their lives so we could have the opportunity to vote. That is a simple thing that a lot of people take for granted. Things have gotten progressively better but there is still improvement that needs to be done. I feel so blessed by all the people who have fought for a better country and I hope that now they are rejoicing when they see what has come out of their suffering.
Director of Institutional Effectiveness/ Assistant professor of leadership studies
Is there an aspect of Black history that specifically resonates with you?
I believe the church was at the start of a lot of the Civil Rights Movement. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and many others started in the church. The church provided leverage to the Black community and the movement for equality. On the fun side of Black history, I always think about the music. There are so many different genres: jazz, blues, R&B, rap and gospel. I believe that Black History Month is really a time for us to talk about spirituals and hymns and anthems that shine through and tell our story.
Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach
What was it like to grow up in the years following the Civil Right Movement?
I was born in 1956 so I remember the night Martin Luther King Jr. was killed, although I am not sure I really understood it. My teachers and parents instilled in me that being Black was not a deficiency in any way. I learned there was nothing I could not do if I was willing to work hard enough, but I was also taught that I had to work twice as hard for half as much. It's tough nowadays because in my day, the rules weren’t fair but they were clear, you knew what you were up against. That’s not as much the case now and the younger generation won’t accept that their lives aren’t fair, and that is a good thing.
Dean of Online Learning and Support Services
How did Martin Luther King Jr. pave the way for you to pursue your own dreams?
He paved the way for me through his boldness and confidence. He sacrificed a lot to make sure I have the opportunities that I currently have. I feel like Dr. King’s life aligned with God’s purpose for him to grow God’s kingdom. Having his life aligned with that purpose has allowed me to know that I can live out my own purpose that God has for me. I can serve in roles that have a positive impact on the people around me and lead as King led.