Blair’s Scholar-in-Residence Reflects on ‘Beloved Blair’ at Chapel
Joanne Miceli

The Blair community once again welcomed scholar-in-residence Timothy Patrick McCarthy, PhD, to campus during its weeklong celebration of the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. McCarthy, an award-winning scholar, teacher, public servant and human rights activist, is a professor at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government and a visiting professor of public service and social justice at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service. Throughout the week, he joined student- and faculty-led seminars and spoke to Blair LEADS classes, in addition to addressing the entire community at Thursday’s Chapel (to watch Dr. McCarthy’s Chapel, click “play” below).

Dr. McCarthy reflected on “beloved community” in his Chapel speech, referring to the term that Dr. King popularized to describe a world without poverty or prejudice, guided by love and nonviolence, and where peace and justice prevail. “It is not a place without conflict, as there is no place without conflict,” Dr. McCarthy said. “But it is a place where reconciliation, redemption, renewal and healing are all possible.”

Illustrating his talk with stories from his childhood and teen years, Dr. McCarthy described how he has grappled with loneliness during his lifelong search for connection and beloved community. He also shared the two practices that he believes are essential to creating such communities: People must be “boundary crossers” and “bridge builders.” He challenged the members of the Blair community to take on these roles in concrete ways going forward to create a “Beloved Blair.”

“I am blessed and grateful to be a part of this community, for this is a beloved community,” he concluded. “My promise to you is that, as I toggle in my own life between connection and loneliness, I will always come to this place to find connection. I will work with any and all of you to cross those boundaries and build those bridges to create a Beloved Blair.”

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