Mahle lectures: a short recap

The 2022 Mahle Lectures have concluded with plans for continuing the conversation around anti-racism into the April and next fall.

Anika Besst, News Editor

This year’s Mahle Lectures themed “Let’s Not Go Back to Normal: Racial Reckoning, Repair, and Reconciliation” concluded on March 13. 

Chaplain Kelly Figueroa-Ray, who arranged the events with help from others in the Hamline community and other organizations, is happy with how the lectures went and very thankful to everyone who supported and helped. 

“I’m incredibly pleased with how the 2022 Spring Mahle Lecture Series went,” Figueroa-Ray wrote in an email. “A huge thank you to all who made this all possible – especially the Mahle family for their generous endowment which made everything possible and for President Faynesse Miller’s support, words, and presence on Thursday and Friday’s events. As the new chaplain, I also want to especially thank Vice President and Dean of Students Patti Kersten for her imagination, unwavering support and help making things happen. ” 

The lectures partnered with Say Their Names Northfield and two local United Methodist churches, the Hamline Church and Hennepin Avenue. 

The lectures also worked with local Black-owned businesses: Soul Bowl, Bad Wingz, Pimento Jamaican Kitchen, Trio Plant-Based, Jambo Africa, Afro Deli and Grill, Sammy’s Avenue Eatery and Breakfast Bar of MN, who catered meals. As well as Wolfpack Promotionals who printed the tee-shirts and totes, which Figueroa-Ray said was an “honor and a privilege” to work with these businesses.

There will be a Community Fair related to the March lecture series held at 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on April 3 at Camphor Memorial United Methodist Church in St. Paul. Camphor Memorial is the only African-American United Methodist Church congregation in the entire state of Minnesota. 

We hope communities surrounding Camphor Memorial, along with members of the Hamline University, Hamline Church, and Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church communities have the chance to do important healing work and relationship building that is required to repair our communities together,” Figueroa-Ray wrote. 

Some plans as of now include drum circles, art therapy, healing tools and activities, intentional community building interactions, yoga, hula hooping, along with more, Figueroa-Ray included. 

This event takes place at the beginning of the month of Ramadan. Figueroa-Ray said they will ensure that food provided at the fair can be boxed up for those who are fasting during the day to be eaten later at home in the evening.