Open Letter to Tony Campolo & Response

UPDATE 04/23/14: Below is an open email to Dr. Tony Campolo. We currently have 203 co-signors! Please stand with us! To add your name as a co-signor, please send an email to info@oneeastern.com with your name and relationship to Eastern University (i.e. “Joe Smith, Class of 2013″ or “Jane Smith, Parent of 2013 Graduate” or “Jamie Smith, Professor of History”).


April 10, 2013

Dear Dr. Campolo,
The Eastern University community loves you. For decades, you have been a voice for the marginalized, the oppressed, and the ignored; and you have earned the deepest respect and appreciation of the Eastern University community. It is in that light that I write this letter asking for your clear and public support for all members of the Eastern University community regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity. Currently, Eastern University is not a safe place for sexual minorities because the university refuses to guarantee that they will be free from discrimination.

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“Caution: This article may corrupt you. (And make you laugh)”

Michelle Katzman2We are very excited to welcome Guest Contributor, Michelle Katzman!

I want to take some time to thank my fellow writers who have posted articles on behalf of Refuge and OneEastern. Your words are encouraging and remind me that I was not alone in any of my experiences at Eastern. There were many times I was singled out on campus, but somehow I never felt alone. I always knew which friends, groups, and professors I could turn to.

Even though I graduated in 2010, I still return to Eastern from time to time. During one of my most recent visits, I attended Refuge. This was 3 years after graduating and I knew very few people on campus at this point. To my surprise, many of the group members greeted me by name and many had already heard of my story.

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“I’m Tired”

AdamWoodWe are very excited to welcome Guest Contributor, Adam Woods!

Editor’s Note: While we recognize and value views such as Adam’s within the Eastern community, we would like to note that our mission is first and foremost to be a sanctuary to all–sides or not.


I’m tired.

I’m tired of watching the news to see what prominent people will say about my value as a person. I’m tired of reading blog posts and articles about what Christians should do about the gays. I’m especially tired of how each post engenders the same played-out debate among its commenters.

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Welcome aboard, Angélique!

We are excited to welcome aboard Angélique Gravely, who will serve as OneEastern’s Editor (in addition, unavoidably, to other roles)! Angélique is a recent 2013 graduate of Eastern University where she double-majored in English and Psychology. She was also a recent guest contributor to OneEastern with her post, “A Queer Experience of Christian College”. Angélique will be managing all of the posts on the website. So, if you know of someone in the Eastern University community who has a post to contribute, send them to Angélique at angelique@oneeastern.com. Welcome, Angélique!

“A Queer Experience of Christian College”

JenKaneWe are very excited to welcome Guest Contributor, Angélique Gravely!  Angélique is a 2013 graduate of Eastern University.

I have this bad habit of telling myself that my personal suffering or experiences of injustice are unimportant, because they are not always the kind of suffering discussed. They’re not that deep traumatic suffering which crushes your heart and shakes your soul when you acknowledge their existence; therefore, my experiences must be trivial regardless of how deeply they still hurt me. I tend to feel like my suffering is not bad enough to share with people outside my close friend group because there are so many people who suffer more;thus,I keep parts of my story to myself in order to make room for those people who really deserve to have their stories heard.

Well, I’m trying to get over that which is why I want to write about my problems with the Christian college I attended. Problems rooted in the fact that I’m queer.
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“Christianity and LGBTQ Sexualities: Weaving a Narrative of Reconciling”

JenKaneWe are very excited to welcome Guest Contributor, Jen Kane! Jen is a 2011 graduate of Eastern University.

This post is a story. In a way, it is my story. And in a way, it is bigger than my story.

I was raised in the suburbs and went to public schools. I spent summers at the beach. I watched romantic comedies with my friends at sleepovers. I went on dates with boys. And like many other childhoods, mine included going to church. During my adolescent years, that meant that I came to understand homosexuality as a sin. That was the teaching of my faith tradition. But that is just the beginning of the story. This, like many other stories of life, is a journey.

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A Reply From Dr. Tony Campolo

A few weeks ago, we posted “An Open Letter to Dr. Tony Campolo” asking him to stand with us and to support an anti-discrimination policy at Eastern University for sexual minorities. Below is Dr. Campolo’s reply. Please stand with us! Our original letter currently has 187 co-signors! To add your name as a co-signor, please send an email to info@oneeastern.com with your name and relationship to Eastern University (i.e. “Joe Smith, Class of 2013″ or “Jane Smith, Parent of 2013 Graduate” or “Jamie Smith, Professor of History”). Also feel free to leave comments below!


April 26, 2013

I am responding to the open letter addressed to me from OneEastern, a group of Eastern University alumni, regarding the hopes and fears of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) people who attend Eastern University, or will be attending the university in the future.

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We need your help!

We have been in dialogue with Dr. Tony Campolo regarding our open letter seeking his support for a more inclusive anti-discrimination policy at Eastern University. Dr. Campolo is planning to respond to the letter and has asked for first-person accounts of discrimination based on sexual orientation or perceived gender identity occurring at Eastern University. The accounts have to be first-person, we do ask for the accounts to identify any staff or faculty that took part in discrimination, or harassment (in any year, in class or out of class), but you will remain anonymous (if you would like your name to be attached to your story, please let us know). Please help us gather the stories by sharing this request with your friends and classmates.  All stories can be sent info@oneeastern.com.  Please note: the purpose is not to convince Dr. Campolo that there is discrimination, rather, it is to support his forthcoming response and our call for a more inclusive anti-discrimination policy.

An Open Letter to Dr. Tony Campolo

Below is an open email to Dr. Tony Campolo.  We currently have 187 co-signors! Please stand with us! To add your name as a co-signor, please send an email to info@oneeastern.com with your name and relationship to Eastern University (i.e. “Joe Smith, Class of 2013″ or “Jane Smith, Parent of 2013 Graduate” or “Jamie Smith, Professor of History”).


April 10, 2013

Dear Dr. Campolo,
The Eastern University community loves you. For decades, you have been a voice for the marginalized, the oppressed, and the ignored; and you have earned the deepest respect and appreciation of the Eastern University community. It is in that light that I write this letter asking for your clear and public support for all members of the Eastern University community regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity. Currently, Eastern University is not a safe place for sexual minorities because the university refuses to guarantee that they will be free from discrimination.

Continue reading

An Open Letter to Eastern University and the Justice Conference

An open letter to Eastern University and the Justice Conference
By: Sabrina L. Valente, MA

In February, the Justice Conference will be held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. Eastern University, my alma mater, is the local host for the conference. According to the Conference’s website “the vision of the conference is to reach tens of thousands of people over the next decade through an annual gathering that educates, inspires and connects a generation to a shared concern for the vulnerable and oppressed. This is motivated by the driving value of the conference, what Ken calls a theology of justice, that an understanding of God should compel love for others and engagement in justice.” The conference features speakers on a wide variety of topics from child trafficking to HIV/AIDS to poverty, always seeking to do right by those who are oppressed.

There’s just one problem. The Justice Conference completely ignores the very real need for justice with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.
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