Adjunct professors featured in local newspaper for their call against racism

LEAD pledge

Last week, two adjunct professors from the School of Religion were featured in the Chattanooga Times Free Press for their call to action against racism. The event took place at Miller Park in downtown Chattanooga, and it was aimed at church leaders and members to address racism within the church. 

Adjunct professors Troy Brand and Nicole Parker are the writers behind the LEAD pledge, which stands for Listen, Embrace, Advocate and Dream. The professors wrote the pledge as a way to encourage healthy conversations among Christians in recognition of racism as a present issue in church. 

Although the pledge was written by two members of the Adventist church, it is meant for Christians of all denominations and backgrounds, according to Parker. 

“I think the protesting and the fact that we are creating a pledge is a testimony that we’ve failed as Christians,” she said in an interview with the Accent. “If we were perfect Christians, we wouldn’t have an issue with diversity.”

During the last few weeks, Parker worked with her children to write the pledge after the children insisted they attend a Black Lives Matter protest downtown. 

“We wanted to do something that would take the spotlight off of whether you can say Black Lives Matter or not, because I think that’s starting to become a distraction from the reality that black lives are precious to God and should be precious to us,” Parker said. 

Organizers of the LEAD initiative are currently working on a 40-day challenge on how to apply the LEAD pledge to daily life. To learn more about LEAD or sign the pledge, visit

Nicole Parker’s children helped write the LEAD pledge. Photo courtesy of Nicole Parker.

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