Brian Gault, Assistant Pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church and Desean Dyson, Head of School at The Redeemer School (TRS) spoke to the Rotary Club of North Jackson at the club's August 25, 2020, meeting. The subject of their presentation was racial equality. The link to the meeting, including Gault's and Dyson's presentation follows:
Gault came to Redeemer in 2018 from the Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS) where he served for 23 years and received a Masters of Theology degree. His current responsibility is for Shepherding and Discipleship. Dyson came to TRS in 2014 from Hinds County Public Schools where he was an administrator. He is currently pursuing his Doctor of Education degree at the University of Mississippi. He is also an adjunct instructor at Belhaven University.
Gault's thesis is that our country only can achieve racial reconciliation if we follow biblical principles. He quoted both Old and New Testament scripture saying that if we follow only the Darwinian principles we will pursue the exercise of power, whereas the biblical references refer to all people. He proposes a three-legged stool as the basis for reconciliation. The first leg is the image of God. God says that all persons are equal,  Our founding fathers said: "We hold the truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." The second leg is justice. He referenced the "Black Lives Matter" movement saying that black lives haven't mattered for most of the 400 years black people have been on the North American continent and that we all have an inherent sense of justice. We should not show partiality in our lives be that racial, class, or others. Justice means looking out for those who do not have power. The third leg of the stool is Love. In order to move to racial reconciliation, we must have love. Jesus said, "Love your neighbor as your self." Move from defensiveness to confession. Avoid partiality and listen with care and concern. Deeply listen to someone different from yourself.
Dyson said to resist fatalism  He used the example of a birdcage, where one bar is insufficient to hold the bird, but twenty bars properly placed can do the job. He also used the example of British educator, Sir Ken Robinson, who argued that children do not grow into artistic creativity but are educated out of it by school systems that prioritize academic achievement and conformity instead of liberating imagination and initiative. We shouldn't put our children in educational bird cages. Dyson then gave the example based on a study that concluded young black males are over disciplined. He said the at TRS, they tell parents that a child may be expelled or suspended for disciplinary reasons, but that is the last straw. First, the school will confer with the parents and try to develop a plan for the child that they can all accept. He practices giving people the benefit of the doubt and has his teachers follow the same principle.
We thank Gault and Dyson for their presentation and for what they are doing for our youth. The link to the meeting and their presentation follows: