African-American Church Studies program engages with one of California's largest and longest-running celebrations
Fuller Seminary and its African-American Church Studies program participated Saturday in the 32nd annual Black History Month Parade in Pasadena.
With the theme, "Black History: A Legacy for the Present and Our Future," the parade is one of the largest and oldest Black History Month parades in California. More than 90 entries were featured including marching bands, dancers, equestrians, service and youth development groups, community leaders, and others.
"I was excited by the reception Fuller received and glad to know that Fuller is expanding our partnership with the African-American churches and community in the Pasadena/Altadena area," said Dr. Joy Moore, Associate Dean for African-American Church Studies, and leader of the Fuller parade group.
"Many people including church groups and others in the community watching the parade were familiar with Fuller and eager to cheer us on," noted MAT student Avril Speaks. "It's encouraging to know that we have a presence and have influenced our community in some way."
Hundreds of people lined the streets as the parade proceeded down Fair Oaks Avenue from Charles White Park in Altadena to Robinson Park.
"I came out to support the African-American Studies program as it participates in fellowship with the community-at-large - and specifically with the African-American community," said Tawanna Benbow, who is studying in the MAT program, with an emphasis on theater and the arts. "It was a wonderful and rich experience."
Stephanie Johnson, an MATM student, said she marched to embrace support for Fuller in its efforts to bring awareness to differences in American culture. "Although one, we do have things that make us all so unique and special," said Johnson. "Being able to recognize this brings holistic healing in our community."
"It was awesome to see black history not only acknowledged but celebrated in Pasadena," shared Breonna Carter, MAT student. "The community support was incredible!"
Chom-Chai, a ThM student from Nigeria, shared his hope that the parade would stimulate ongoing reflection on history which will "sharpen our vision" for the days ahead. "The future is promising, if we are willing to learn."