By: Rebekah Crozier
Last year, the Office of Diversity and Intercultural Initiatives hosted Samford’s inaugural Lead with Love campaign in the week leading up to Valentine’s Day. The week consisted of events designed to promote leading with love on campus. Current pandemic-related circumstances have caused this year’s Lead with Love week to look a little different than last year’s, but the Office of Diversity is still committed to hosting these campus-wide events.
This year, the Lead with Love events will be spread throughout the entire spring semester. The campaign started off with a virtual candlelight service on Sunday, Feb. 7 at 6 p.m. This worship service was offered as a convocation event and streamed live on the Office of Diversity’s Facebook page. The service featured several speakers, including R.A.N.S.O.M. Leader Egypt Davis, Women’s Volleyball Coach Keylor Chan, Dean of Cumberland School of Law Henry “Corky” Strickland and a performance by the Samford Gospel Choir. Assistant Provost for Diversity and Intercultural Initiatives, Denise Gregory said this virtual event was successful in bringing together students and faculty to open a discussion on leading with love and courage.
“Through the events we wish to highlight the opportunities we all have to show love and kindness to those with whom we interact, despite any perceived differences,” Gregory said.
The next Lead with Love event will occur on March 9 at 10 a.m. in Brock Recital Hall. Due to March being Women’s History Month, this event will be “A Morning of Empowerment.” It is an event intended to honor the female presidents of Historically Black Colleges and Universities in Alabama. This event will also consist of President Andrew Westmoreland presenting the Mann Medal, Samford’s highest ethic and leadership award. For anyone interested in attending the event virtually, it will be livestreamed.
“The purpose is to have conversations, events, activities that create an opportunity to learn about something or someone different then you,” Gregory said, when asked about the purpose behind starting Lead with Love week.
Despite the difficulties that have arisen from COVID-19, the Office of Diversity is striving to make this year’s Lead with Love events as effective and beneficial as last year’s with the intention of bringing the campus together in love and leadership.