Hire GRACE to do an independent investigation of Columbia International University

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The current president of Columbia International University faces ongoing litigation in Davitz v. Ohio Christian University where Dr. Smith is named as a defendant and is accused of wrongful termination and intimidation. His son, Doug Smith, has also been publicly accused of ongoing sexual and racial harassment in the workplace.  CIU continues to publicly express their confidence in, and support for, the new president and his son; yet, the administration has not yet given the public any reason to accept the alleged perpetrators’ denials over the words of multiple witnesses and complainants.  We are no longer confident of the safety and respect of women and minority students at an institution that is willing to accept the word of powerful men over the words of the vulnerable.  As a result, we call for CIU to hire GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in a Christian Environment) to conduct and independent investigation of CIU’s past and present practices in responding to disclosures of spiritual, sexual, and racial harassment, abuse, and assault. GRACE is an evangelical, non-profit organization led by Boz Tchividjian, grandson of Billy Graham.  As explained on their website, “GRACE’s team has extensive professional experience interviewing victims of abuse, perpetrators of abuse, and witnesses with relevant testimony…GRACE’s investigative arm includes multiple former child abuse prosecutors as well as psychologists with expertise in abuse and trauma, and each investigation will get a hand-picked team for maximum relevancy and effectiveness. What’s more, we round out each investigative team with one or more theologians and clergy members who have made trauma and abuse a specific area of study.”