Monday, April 12, 2004
Lee Roy Berry to lecture on Mennonites, African-Americans and U.S. Constitution April 20
GOSHEN, Ind. – Attorney of Law and Goshen College Associate Professor of Political Science Lee Roy Berry Jr. will present the lecture, “The Problem of Assimilation: Mennonites, African-Americans and the U.S. Constitution,” on Tuesday, April 20 at 7 p.m. in Newcomer Center 17. The lecture is free and open to the public.
As minority groups, both Mennonites and African-Americans have struggled with the question of assimilation into American public life and culture. In the course of this struggle, the two groups have come to very different understandings of the role of constitutional law: Mennonites have tended to avoid the legal system as a means of advancing their concerns about issues such as conscientious objection, while African-Americans have generally regarded the law as a crucial ally in their quest for justice and equal rights.
Professor of History John D. Roth said, “Though Mennonite attitudes toward law may be changing, these contrasting approaches to politics and the legal order help to explain why African-American Mennonites sometimes feel out of step with traditional understandings of the denomination.”
Berry, a local attorney, will draw on his experience as an African-American Mennonite and his keen interest in constitutional law for this lecture. He received a grant from the Herman Wells Foundation to do research on this topic. The lecture is sponsored by the Goshen College History and Political Science Department.
Goshen College, established in 1894, is a four-year residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college’s Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron’s Best Buys in Education, “Colleges of Distinction,” Kaplan’s “Most Interesting Colleges” guide and U.S.News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” edition, which named Goshen a “least debt college.” Visit https://www.goshen.edu/.
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