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With Malice Toward None Initiative

The With Malice Toward None initiative is part of the university’s commitment to support conversations that model civil discourse connected to the 2020 presidential election. A series of virtual events also will be offered for students, churches and the community.

“This presidential election provides an opportunity for university leaders, church leaders and community leaders to reflect on how we wish to move forward and how we regard those who may vote differently from us,” says University President Dr. Fred Whitt. “While Lenoir-Rhyne serves as the host for this initiative, all members of our community are encouraged to form group discussions in their churches and organizations to gain a better understanding of our neighbor and to respect different political beliefs.”

With Malice Toward None conversations and programs are being supported in the residence halls at the Hickory campus with additional discussions offered for graduate students at the Asheville, North Carolina, campus and the Columbia, South Carolina, campus. These programs help students, particularly first-year students, engage in thought on their political beliefs and provide an opportunity to hear from their peers on beliefs that may be different from theirs.

Sign the With Malice Toward None Pledge

“Regardless of how the election turns out, I will not hold hate, disdain or ridicule for those who voted differently from me. Whether I am pleased or upset about the outcome, I will seek to understand the concerns and aspirations of those who voted differently and will look for opportunities to work with people with whom I disagree.” 

Sign the Pledge

Upcoming Virtual Webinars & Conversations

As part of a semester-long effort, LR will offer the following community virtual webinars and conversations:

Voter Registration

Student registering to vote at voter registration table

Ongoing Events Through Friday, Oct. 9

As part of an effort to engage students in the election process, Lenoir-Rhyne kicked off a voter registration event on Tuesday, Sept. 22, to celebrate National Voter Registration Day, a massive cross-country effort to register voters well in advance of Election Day this November. Additional registration events for students will be offered through Friday, Oct. 9, which is the voter registration deadline for the 2020 general election.

Voter Registration Resources

Author Jim Wallis: “Civic Leadership in a Politically Fractured World”

Tuesday, Oct. 6, 7 p.m. (Virtual Lecture) | Register for Webinar

Jim Wallis

A globally respected writer, teacher, preacher and justice advocate, Jim Wallis will discuss, “Civic Leadership in a Politically Fractured World” during a Lenoir-Rhyne virtual lecture. Registration is required.

As part of his discussion, Wallis will recommend ways that students, staff, faculty, churches and the community can prepare for respectful, earnest conversations regarding the 2020 presidential election, which promises to be one of the most divisive in American history. LR students will have an opportunity for small group conversation on various dates following the event.

A New York Times bestselling author, Wallis is the founder and president of Sojourners and the author of 12 books, including “Christ in Crisis,” “America’s Original Sin,” “God’s Politics,” and “The Call to Conversion.” He served on former President Barack Obama’s White House advisory council on faith-based and neighborhood partnerships and has taught faith and public life courses at Harvard University and Georgetown University. Known as Coach Jim by some, Wallis also served for 22 seasons as a Little League coach for his two baseball playing sons. Learn more about the author at sojo.net.

Emma Sellers: "Diversity and Inclusion at LR"

Wednesday, Oct. 14, 11 a.m. (Webinar) | Register for Webinar

Emma Sellers

Since the establishment of the Office of Multicultural Affairs in 2012, the LR student body has become more diverse, reflecting trends seen across the United States. This provides a unique opportunity for the university to focus on providing an inclusive environment for all students and discuss some of today’s topics related to social justice.

Emma Sellers, director of multicultural affairs at LR, will lead a virtual webinar, which is free and open to the public; however, registration is requested.

In her 14th year at Lenoir-Rhyne, Sellers’ presentation will center on the ways LR is working to meet the needs of a more diverse population. The webinar also will highlight initiatives and programs that are in place to ensure an inclusive campus community. Participants will learn about ways they can support these efforts and there will be time reserved for questions. In her role, Sellers works with all divisions within the university at all three campuses to reach diversity and equity goals.

Speaker Forum Promotes Conversation among Different Political Views

Date & Time - to be determined

In an effort to consider the diverse views of the political parties, LR will host a virtual forum that encourages conversation from a Democrat, Republican and independent voter. In a conversational format, speakers will discuss topics on social justice, religious issues and more. Once the presenters are confirmed, additional information, including registration, will be available on this page.

Chapel in early morning with rising sun

Day After Election Prayer 

Wednesday, Nov. 4, 10 a.m.

To encourage unity and prayer after election night, LR will conclude the semester-long initiative with a virtual prayer. The prayer, led by Christy Lohr Sapp, interim campus pastor, will be specifically for newly elected and re-elected officials. The event is open to LR students, faculty and staff.