Message From VP Nixon


For more than three decades, beginning in 1988, Americans have observed National Hispanic Heritage Month during the 30-day period of Sept. 15–Oct. 15.

In particular, Sept. 15 holds a special level of significance in the Hispanic community because it commemorates the anniversary of the independence of the countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively. We also think of our Brazilian community during this time of the year, as they commemorated their independence on Sept. 7.

As this month of recognition begins, I would like to invite you all to join our campus community as Andrews University celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month under this year's theme: “Unidos in the time of COVID-19.”

The global COVID-19 pandemic has affected and continues to affect each one of us in a variety of ways. As we discussed during our online Social Consciousness summit this past April, the pandemic has sadly had a disproportionate impact on Latina/o and African American communities. In spite of all of the difficulties and hardships that could work to divide us, our Hispanic Heritage Month planning committee aims to celebrate the strength and resolve that persists within the Latina/o community and which pushes and inspires that community to continue to endure and thrive as a people. You can find more detailed information about Andrews University’s celebration on our Hispanic Heritage Month website.

As a special kickoff for our Hispanic Heritage Month, I would like to highlight a co-curricular opportunity that will take place tomorrow on the Andrews University Facebook page and YouTube channel. The Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Campus Center co-curricular series will kick off tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. with a program called “The Brown Church: An Interview with Daniel Duffis.” Born on the Colombian island of San Andrés, Daniel currently works for the Department of World Mission at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, where he completed his MDiv (2016) and is also pursuing his PhD in mission and intercultural theology.

This conversation with Pastor Duffis has been sparked by the recently released book titled “Brown Church: Five Centuries of Latina/o Social Justice, Theology, and Identity” written by Robert Chao Romero. Romero describes the “Brown Church” as “a prophetic ecclesial community of Latinas/os that has contested racial and social injustice in Latin America and the United States for the past 500 years. As such, Brown Church is a multivalent category, encompassing ethnic, historical, theological, spiritual, and sociopolitical dimensions. In every instance of racial and social injustice in Latin America and the United States over the centuries, the Brown Church has arisen to challenge the religious, socioeconomic, and political status quo...The Brown Church has done all of this in the name of Jesus.”

In this conversation, Pastor Duffis will highlight Romero’s uplifting of theologians such as Bartolomé de Las Casas, Gustavo Gutiérrez, Justo González, Ada María Isasi-Díaz, Elizabeth Conde-Frazier and E. René Padilla who have challenged narrow and unbiblical views of the gospel and proclaimed that Jesus has come to save, redeem and transform every aspect of our lives and the world.

On October 2 and 3, we are excited to have José Rojas join us virtually for the Proximity Vespers and Latino Sabbath services. As you may know, Pastor Rojas is certainly one of the pre-eminent voices in Adventism who has helped to shape the spiritual journey of Latina/o Seventh-day Adventists around the globe.