NASHVILLE, TN — SEAL-Social Justice, Advocacy, Equity and Leadership is an initiative at American Baptist College. “It is a new, unique program designed to attract, educate, and develop the next generation of indigenous community –based, equity-informed community leaders. It will utilize a curriculum continuum linking undergraduate coursework, secondary school enrichments and civic education for youth in or from approximate low-income neighborhoods,” said Phyllis D. K. Hildreth, vice president of Strategy, and Institutional Advancement and director of the SEAL program.
The Dan and Margaret Maddox Charitable Fund has provided a $25,000 grant to support the program. Through leadership and innovation, The Maddox Foundation partners drive social change and the idea that we all can live in harmony with nature and one another.
“The Maddox Charitable Fund is pleased to partner with ABC on this significant initiative,” said Kaki Friskics-Warren, Executive Director of the Maddox Foundation.
We are able to fulfill our mission as a foundation by partnering with non-profits and educational institutions, such as ABC, in order to engage in the community and transform conditions that hold people back,” she added.
The SEAL program is designed in three levels. Level One is geared toward undergraduate students, identified as SEAL scholars, who will focus on Conflict Management and principles of Restorative Practice and Reconciliation. Level Two focuses on secondary school student outreach. This group of junior and senior high school students will participate in extended symposia on designated justice, equity, advocacy and leadership themes. Level Three has a community outreach perspective. This area will expand its civil rights education tradition by providing free community workshops to respond to unfolding issues of public justice.
The grant covers the period of July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020. “As an anchor for social justice scholarship and praxis, American Baptist College will develop, implement and evaluate a year-long, tri-level curriculum, equipping students as agents of reconciliation and growth,” said President Forrest Harris.
ABC has a 95-year history of being a place of refuge with thought-provoking ideas and developing thinkers who are change-agents in the community and society at large. Civil Rights activists, C. T. Vivian Congressman John Lewis, and others are examples of this tradition and its power.