Messiah College's Use of Prison Labor
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By forming a contract to save the College money, Messiah is supporting an industry that is so deeply tied to the racial oppression and injustice in this country. For a Christian College, that strongly identifies with and preaches the notion of reconciliation and fighting injustice, feigning ignorance on this topic is heartbreaking to those that are witnessing this happen.
Messiah preaches a message of wanting to be a diverse and multicultural and multi-ethnic campus. But by doing this action, you are slowly shutting that door on non-white students, families, and communities. Imagine if a student, that falls under the racially and marginally oppressed umbrella, attending Messiah College found out about this, would it make them feel safe knowing that their school is full of hypocrisy.
Part of the Mission Statement for this school is that “We don’t just serve because it’s the “right thing to do”; we serve because God calls us to open our hearts to the poor and needy and to work for justice wherever injustice prevails.” So how can these actions be reconciled?
We want Messiah to recognize that by taking these actions, they were feeding and supporting a system of racial injustice and oppression.
We want Messiah to publicize to the campus community, to donors, students, staff, and perspective students that they outsourced a department of student jobs to prison laborers.
We want Messiah to pursue conversation with Multicultural Council, SGA, and Christian Ministries about this topic and about any topic in the future that would deal with similar issues, how to approach it from a Christian perspective and to pursue dialogue and consider differing perspectives.
We want Messiah to have a person(s) in positions of power on campus that would be included in these decisions and conversations and would have the ability to educate administration about topics that they are not aware of.
We want Messiah to understand that supporting this industry adds to the societal ideology that prisoners don’t deserve to be human beings, that they aren’t redeemable, that for some reason they weren’t created in the image of God just like everyone else.
We want Messiah to end this contract with SCI Somerset and take active steps towards fixing the oppressive system of Prison Labor.
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