Anthony Pinn, chicago, communities of color, Ethnicity and Religion, George "Tink" Tinker, James Cone, Kwok Pui-lan, M. Shawn Copeland, Miguel De la Torre, Otto Maduro, Society or Race, Stacey Floyd-Thomas
Although a space has been carved out for scholars of color, the scholarship taking place within that space continues to be ignored; and because there are numerous sessions and groups during Academic conferences – so many of our sessions are forced to conflict with each other, seldom providing the opportunity for scholars of color to cross-pollinate. Scholars of color must ask if we inadvertently constructed impressive exclusive cul-de-sacs from which to master our particular disciplines. Like a four-leaf clover, our separate cul-de-sacs operate side-by-side with few of us ever venturing into the adjoining communities. Solidarity may occur from time to time, but it usually happens with little intellectual engagement. If we rile against most Euroamericans for not engaging our scholarship, then in all honesty, we must also hold ourselves accountable, for few of us, in our numerous books and articles, actually quote or dialogue with other communities of color.
Many of us are content to remain within our own academic niche. Others, because of the numerous sessions at academic conferences, are unable to ever visit the neighboring cul-de-sac. More disturbing is when scholars of color are oblivious to how they and their communities are locked into structures that cause oppression to other communities of color. Where do we explore how our separate marginalized communities remain complicit with disenfranchising other groups, whether those groups are marginalized due to darker skin pigmentation, language, gender, sexual orientation, economic class or different religious traditions?
To this end, Stacey Floyd-Thomas, Anthony Pinn, and Miguel A. De La Torre propose creating The Society of Race, Ethnicity, and Religion (SRER). The purpose of this multi-discipline Society is to create a space where communities of color can gather to discuss among themselves so as to advance their scholarship though the power of synergism – a space where we can engage, learn, and be challenged from communities of color other than our own. Please note they are not the leaders of the Society, just coordinating the first meeting. At our first meeting in April, 2013, we hope a leadership council is established representing a male and female representative from each community of color.
Dr. Miguel A. De La Torre (Iliff School of Theology), Dr. Stacey Floyd-Thomas (Divinity School, Vanderbilt University) & Dr. Anthony Pinn (Rice University) are co-founders of The Society of Race, Ethncity, and Religion (SRER). They are also coordinating the first SRER meeting in Chicago 2013. For more information, you can like the group “SRER” on Facebook.