Michael Timothy Nixon serves as the Legal & Policy Coordinator for the Fair Housing Justice Center (“FHJC”) in New York , NY. He has a law degree from the John Marshall Law School (JMLS) in Chicago, Illinois and a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan . During law school, Michael worked as a Civil Rights Law Clerk at the JMLS Fair Housing Legal Clinic.
Michael loves to communicate, and he strives to do so through writing, blogging, and hosting a podcast. He looks forward to communicating with you on a variety of topics including civil rights law, sports, ministry, parenting, relationships, and food (he loves food).
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I clicked through from Spectrum Magazine’s Website.
Thanks for the article!
Thanks for reading!
Michael, I’m taking the liberty of sharing with you an email I sent to a number of SDA thought leaders as well as the CEO of the named hospital. Let me know what you think. If you’re interested, I can email you the response from the CEO.
Greetings, ladies and gentlemen.
I trust all is well with you, your loved ones, and your ministries.
My name is Luis Acosta and I’m a Ph.D. student at Walden University. I have a question for you that I asked NAD president Daniel Jackson. He cc’d me in a forward of my email to Columbia Union president Dave Weigley. I haven’t heard back yet from the latter possibly because the answer to the question might take some time and research.
The question is simple, but I am aware that the answer is certainly not: What would it take to rename Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park, MD to the Lucille Byard Memorial Hospital? (A new hospital building in the Gaithersburg Adventist HealthCare System is being built to open in early 2019. Is this good timing?) We have, for example, the White Memorial Hospital, so why not a Byard Memorial Hospital? Mrs. Byard was denied care at what was then the Washington Sanitarium and Hospital because she was black. As you know, it was the justifiable outrage of black Adventists in response to Mrs. Byard’s death that served as a principal catalyst for the resulting intentional structural segregation based on ethnicity in the NAD. (Though it was a wrong solution to the problem, God worked mightily in spite of it and through it to reach African Americans for Jesus as well as for other socially equitable changes in the NAD). Why can’t that kind of energy be mustered again to make a change that may lead to greater awareness and meaningful transformation? And if not structural change, at least respect? Jewish people know well how important memorializing is. And God has taught us the importance, as well, through the command to remember Him weekly as Creator of all things and of all people.
An apology in 2015 to black Adventists from Lake Union Conference president Don Livesay acknowledged that a mere apology was not enough. What gesture would be better than a well-intentioned apology? I have implied such a gesture in my question above. Can you imagine the healing (symbolically appropriate to the hospital setting) that could begin to take place? If you could, would you and other Adventist thought leaders begin to suggest–to those who would yield to the energies of your influence–the renaming of Washington Adventist Hospital to the Lucille Byard Memorial Hospital?
If there are others whom you believe should receive this email, please, send me their e-addresses or, at the least, could you forward this email to them?
I would welcome your thoughts on the idea of renaming in her honor the hospital where Lucy Byard could have and should have been cared for these long years ago without regard to her ethnicity.
Grace and Peace.
Luis F. Acosta, M.Div.
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All I can say is wow! This is an amazing idea and I love the way that you presented it to both President Jackson & Weigley. I am definitely interested in speaking to you more about this as well as learning what the response of the hospital’s CEO is. I have always wonder if there ever actually has been any formal apology from the church and/or the hospital to the Byard family for this incident. Feel free to shoot me an e-mail so we can discuss this further: email@example.com
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