Spring semester speakers make headlines with positive news

Two prominent newsmakers who visited Heidelberg in the spring semester are making headlines for big accomplishments. How awesome that Heidelberg is on the cutting edge, bringing movers and shakers to campus to engage with, challenge and inspire our students!

Future NYC councilman

On Feb. 22, Heidelberg hosted Yusef Salaam, one of the “Exonerated Five,” as a keynote speaker for the HYPE Career Ready® program. While on campus, Yusef talked candidly about being wrongfully accused and imprisoned at the age of 15 and later exonerated in the famed Central Park jogger case. Although he endured unspeakable injustices, he found purpose in his life – the same type of purpose he encouraged Heidelberg students to seek out for themselves.

Now, Yusef is in the news for a different reason – one that represents an opportunity for redemption. In his first foray into politics, he was the winner of the recent New York City Council primary election, representing Harlem. He won the election hands-down and is almost guaranteed a seat on City Council in the November general election.

Read the Yahoo.com news story here.

Future UCC General Minister

More recently, the Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia Thompson was elected by the United Church of Christ General Synod Monday as the first woman, and the first Black woman, to lead the denomination as General Minister and President. Just seven weeks ago, Rev. Thompson, a Jamaican immigrant who is also a published author, was on Heidelberg’s campus to deliver a stirring sermon at the Baccalaureate ceremony. 

She will take over on Aug. 1, replacing the outgoing General Minister, the Rev. John Dorhauer, who gave the Baccalaureate sermon at Heidelberg in May 2017. Heidelberg has a long-standing affiliation with the UCC.

According to UCC.org, Rev. Thompson currently serves as the UCC’s current officer for global concerns and interfaith relations, speaking frequently about building connections on all levels.

Read the UCC’s coverage of its historic vote here.

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