The Seventh Annual Jericho Project
The Humanities Bldg. Room # 113
7:00 p.m., February 22, 2001
Mr. Victor Leon Franklin: The Convener
The Meistersingers: Dr. Darryl G. Nettles, Director
Purpose of the Jericho Project: Ms. Brandy S. Peoples
Presentations: Dr. James A. Montmarquet
Ms. Sharisse R. Edwards
Dr. William H. Hardy
Introduction of Speaker: Mr. Andrew L. Power
The Speaker: Dr. Lucius T. Outlaw, Jr., Professor of Philosophy and Director, African American Studies program, Vanderbilt Universit
Remarks: Dr. Gloria C. Johnson, Head, Dept. of Languages, Literature and Philosophy
Dr. William D. Lawson, Dean
The College of Arts and Sciences
The biblical Hebrew story of Joshua and the courage displayed to lead his people to eventually destroy THE WALLS OF JERICHO is well known to bible readers everywhere, (Josh. 6:1-27). In the professional fields of Philosophy, the Law and Protestant Religious Ministries, today, there exist an almost unspoken WALL of racial and gender exclusion and/or entrance difficulty.
In Philosophy, recent statistics from the American Philosophical Association (APA) will show there to be over 10,300 professional philosophers as members of the faculties at colleges and universities or in Think Tanks in the United States. Among this group, a little over 145 persons are of African descent. And, only some 16 women of African descent have an earned Ph.D. in the field and two of them are no longer employed in higher education.
Further, the combined statistics gathered from the seven major black church organizations in the country, (The National Baptist Convention, USA; The National Baptist Convention of America, Inc.; The Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc.; The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church; and The Church of God in Christ), reveal some 85% of African Americans claiming membership to one of them. In a recent work: “The Black Church in the African American Experience,” by Dr. C. Eric Lincoln and Dr. Lawrence H. Mamiya, it was disclosed that the median age of today’s black clergy (over some 55,000) is about 53 years. Additionally, in our current social period of inclusiveness and cultural diversity, very few African American women are said to be in the pool for ordination and other professional ecclesiastic service. This fact of near exclusion of black women is most alarming and significant because the black church has a membership ratio of about 70% women to 30% men. Also, another statistic that seems crucial to the future of the African American Church denominations: only 1/5 of all black pastors have an earned seminary degree, according to a recent study. And, in the legal profession, the most recent attacks against Affirmative Action in admissions programs at our nation’s Law Schools might spell a potential shortage in the number of African Lawyers as we proceed through the 21st century.
So, The Jericho Project at Tennessee State University has been fashioned to attract gifted students who will become majors/minors in philosophy and/or religious studies. Our full range of course offerings will not only constitute a program for majors in philosophy and religion but will assist interested students who have selected English, Political Science as well as other disciplines. Once our students (regardless of race or gender) declare their academic status, it will be our goal to further excite them intellectually to prepare for the potential careers in philosophy and/or religion and or the law. From our research, positions will be open to them as our society moves clearly into the 21st century. Students having had an exposure to what it takes to withstand the rigors of philosophy and religious studies will be uniquely prepared to be accepted into a number of graduate schools and/or professional programs as in the law and so on. They will help, (using the metaphor), bring down the intellectual, social, economic, political and religious barrier WALLS OF JERICHO that currently exist in philosophy, religion and the law.