Morehouse College: The Epitome of an Education for Liberation

This fall I will attend Morehouse College on a domestic exchange because I desire an education for liberation. Education for liberation is an educational philosophy that was first introduced by the former President of Tanzania Julius Neyere. Neyere believed that a classical education catered to the interests of the elite and a select few, and discovered that an education for liberation promotes self-reliance, the common good, fairness and equity. In the future I hope to continue to be of service to my community, therefore, I believe an education that places emphasis on positive social change will strengthen my activism. Neyere’s educational philosophy is at the heart of the mission of a Morehouse College education. This is the primary reason why I have decided to attend Morehouse College as a domestic exchange student.

Morehouse College epitomizes an education for liberation. In a class presentation during the second semester of my freshman year at Bates College, I called Morehouse College a fine exemplar of Neyere’s philosophy. One of the mottos of Morehouse is “redefine yourself, redefine the world”. Julian Thompson, a 2007 graduate of Morehouse College from Philadelphia expresses that “they [Morehouse] expect you to be socially and politically aware…the commitment that this school has shown toward community permeates every facet of your education.” Students, faculty, and friends of Morehouse who I have spoken with and documents that I have read, all describe in similar terminology this philosophy as the cornerstone of a Morehouse College education. From the start of Morehouse’s freshmen orientation programs to commencement and beyond, students at Morehouse are strongly encouraged to be beacons of hope and light to the world. Students become engaged with the Morehouse ideal of service to others, through provocative institutional marshaled activities that include a freshmen orientation program called The Crown Forum which introduces students to working professionals and sometimes Morehouse alumni who are agents of social change. In addition, students participate and co-sponsor service learning programs for the student body and faculty often engage students in enriching class discussions on the world’s social issues. Education at Morehouse is personally transformative. Morehouse College provides an education that develops the whole person because it is committed to strengthening its students intellectually, spiritually, socially and most importantly their social conscious.

Growing up in the city of Philadelphia and having to continually see those living in economically considered poor circumstances struggle to achieve the American dream of self-sufficiency, has prompted my interest in becoming an advocate for social justice. In order to become an effective community activist I believe it is necessary for me to meet and connect with those who share similar activist ambitions. The Morehouse College ideal on service will provide me with a social network of like-minded students, faculty and administrators who are determined to change the social landscape of our nation. By associating with these undividuals I will gain more knowledge about ways to achieve positive social change and perhaps acquire a greater sense of urgency to discover ways to change policies and enact laws that reshape communities as well as individual behaviors.

Being a student at Bates College has been great, yet I’m convinced that a Morehouse education will enhance my undergraduate experience because Morehouse’s ideal of service coincides with many of my ambitions. I want to experience an educational philosophy that has moved many Black men towards great heights in service to their community, and I can only truly understand this philosophy by attending Morehouse College.

Therefore, as I pursue a life of humanitarian interests, I believe that as a student at Morehouse I will benefit immensely from being cultivated by not only a Morehouse College liberal arts education, but also a socially responsible education that works to change lives.

Morehouse College has a rich legacy of graduating students who aspire to change the world. I wish to be a part of this legacy, because I long to see the day when people can be proud to live in a world of fairness and equity.

Yours in the struggle, I am

Brother Phillips

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Bates, Morehouse and Spelman Colleges

The connection between Bates and the nation’s two premier historically black liberal arts colleges — Morehouse for men and Spelman for women — dates to 1940, the year Benjamin E. Mays ’20 began his 27-year Morehouse presidency.

The Bates-Morehouse-Spelman Exchange Program was established in 1994, the centennial year of Mays’ birth. While the program has had modest student participation from both sides over the years, Bates is now focusing greater attention on this and similar initiatives, part of redoubled efforts to incorporate a wider spectrum of people, perspectives, and disciplines within the Bates experience.

Courtesy of the Bates College Website. http://www.bates.edu/x173268.xml

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Published in: on May 17, 2008 at 6:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Introducing Brother Phillips: You can lean on me

Anthony A. PhillipsSome sociologists have suggested that humans are by nature relational beings and are in constant need of each others services. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once noted, “we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.” In many ways, my faith calls me to act benevolently towards others, and to reject the individual for the greater good of community. Hence, my faith teaches me that love advances the larger goals of altruism. In short, my faith calls me to act as Brother Phillips.

 In my salutations, I often sign off as Brother Phillips, not because I wish to carry a sense of importance, authority, and nor for some sort of narcissistic self seeking pleasure; however, I do so to confirm with others that I wish to be of service to their interests, be a confidant in their time of need and to convey that I am sincerely concerned about their well being. Thus, here at Bates and beyond, I will seek to affirm in all my actions that I am truly both my brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. I realize that in my attempt to bestow this sense of “brotherly affection” onto humankind, I will not be perfect because humankind is not infallible.

 With this in mind, I will never end my advocacy for human eternal peace, love, justice, serenity and mutuality. With each others support we can foster a beloved community. As philosopher and Princeton University professor Kwame Anthony Appiah puts it, “We have to act as if freedom is possible even though we can’t provide any theoretical justification for it.” If we position ourselves in our world as loving brothers and sisters, we will not be far from reaching this end. Thus, as we undergo the struggle for complete human liberation from internal affliction, I offer you my shoulder to lean on and I can only hope that you will extend your shoulder for me to lean on. I am my brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. I am Brother Phillips.

 Lean on Me

Sometimes in our lives we all have pain
We all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there’s always tomorrow

Lean on me, when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on
For it won’t be long
‘Til I’m gonna need
Somebody to lean on

Please swallow your pride
If I have things you need to borrow
For no one can fill those of your needs
That you don’t let show

Lean on me, when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on
For it won’t be long
‘Til I’m gonna need
Somebody to lean on

Bill Withers, legendary R&B singer and song writer 

Yours in the struggle,

 Brother Phillips