Our Goal

Welcome to the SOAR Initiative. We invite you to join us in the process of Studying Our Attitudes Racially. This is a special collection of projects in our ongoing efforts to ensure Southern Adventist University is a safe and welcoming environment, regardless of race or ethnicity.

People speaking to each other

The Challenge

Seeing and understanding our own attitudes can be challenging. We each have a unique perspective of the world around us and can be blind to what does not fit our own experience. We may become trapped in our viewpoints or fail to recognize that there is anything to address.

Students on the promenade

Welcome to SOAR

SOAR is a four-part initiative designed to move us beyond our limitations and blind spots to a deeper and more informed view than is possible without intentional, collaborative effort.

Funding from the Lumina Foundation makes these efforts possible.

1 The Lecture Series

A large part of our academic narrative is the richness we gleam from the work of others. Our SOAR lecture series seeks to invite nationally renowned speakers to help us learn more about ourselves racially. We're inviting diverse thinkers to the dialogue to discuss topics such as racial unity within Adventism, civil debate, and more. Stay connected to make sure you don't miss any of the guest presenters.

Journalism students speaking in class

“Dr. Williams’ presentation was enlightening and inspirational. He builds a strong case that should be considered and acted upon. It won’t be easy to change the bias and stereotyping that is built into us. Bringing about change will take the wisdom of God to move us forward in a way that brings people along versus having them close their minds and not be willing to even consider the challenge. Having the anger for injustice and behaving in a way like Jesus that channels the anger to bring about change and win hearts.”

Lecture 1 - Dr. Seneca Vaught

Lecture 2 - Dr. David Williams

Download Slides

2 Your Oral Histories

Our stories are who we are and collectively compose our identity, our life. The oral histories component of the SOAR Initiative invites you to tell your story. In partnership with Pass It Down, a specialized storytelling platform, students, employees and alumni can record their stories online. Courageously telling and listening to each others' stories can help us understand more fully our history and transform the future.

People speaking to each other outside

3 The Amazing Race Competition

The Amazing Race is a campus-wide competition intended to inspire cross-cultural engagement and collaboration. Students will form racially and ethnically diverse teams. Each team will work together to propose a solution to racial barriers on campus. The student body will vote on the best solution and the winning team will be awarded funds to carry out their plan. Interested students can register with the Student Association office. Stay tuned for voting opportunities.

LAC Night Out

4 The Research

The driver for effectiveness in education is research. Our university will conduct quantitative and qualitative studies that aim to assess the changes in racial attitudes, perceptions, and understanding based upon participation in SOAR Your involvement as employees and students will be key to a wholistic understanding of our growth.

Smiling young woman

Your opinion matters to us.

One of Christ's most effective tools was the power of stories, and we have the opportunity to take action and strengthen ours. To explore our story with love and tell it to the world with grace; to join forces to see our present and make a difference for the future. this is our chance to take action and SOAR.