reverend steve miller
In his address to students, faculty and staff, Reverend Steven Miller discussed his personal experiences with racism and the importance of embracing change.
Photo provided by Manchester University

Reverend Steven Miller Holds VIA on Racial Reconciliation

Ali Risner

Reverend Steven Miller spoke at the Love and Compassion VIA on Nov. 8 in Cordier Auditorium. Miller is the founder and CEO of the United States Christian Leadership Organization, and a human rights organization dedicated to achieving racial equality.

Miller believes that reconciliation, “the action of making one view or belief compatible with another,” is a concept that has become foreign to us. Indeed, racial reconciliation has become an apparent issue in U.S. society over the years. “We don’t understand what it is to live like in this country anymore,” Miller said. He went on to explain about how diversity—or the lack of diversity—can affect people’s lives as well as their work.

He then moved on to a personal story that perfectly reflected his point. He moved to Texas to a school that was racist: every employee of color was eventually fired from the school. Miller then went on to find each of those individuals and interviewed them about what happened. He was able to then type up an 85-page, single-spaced paper, took it to court, and got many of those individuals a job by the end of his two years in Texas. He got even more racially diverse people than before to work at this school again, including some coaches. Miller said that society must embrace the change to become a better community together.

After he told his personal story, Miller moved on into ways in which a university can do something to engage with diversity. He said that students must branch out as young adults and change how they treat each other and how they act around each other. He did note that some people will not embrace the change and will advise others not to as well. He advised against this perspective. “Don’t call them back into the tribe, let them fly,” he said.

After closing his speech, Miller gave the opportunity to anyone there to ask him questions they may have been wondering about during the speech. Many people were able to ask questions about how to properly branch out or effective ways to approach people. He explained how a simple hello can start up a friendship. Others were given the opportunity to speak about their opinions and how they feel that society has become diverse.