I am a proud faculty member of Texas Tech University, an institution I believe in for its ability to effect change and to promote diversity.
Every day, I drive down 19th Street along the southern edge of campus, and every day, I see advertisements for the Hillsong United concert, which will take place at Texas Tech’s own United Supermarkets Arena on Friday, April 26.
Our students, too, see this ad, but I wonder if the administration is aware of the public stances Hillsong United has taken during a time of increased violence toward and restriction of the LGBTQIA community.
Hillsong United is a worship band that travels the world representing the Hillsong Collected group of megachurches. This is a church that, unlike Texas Tech University, does not affirm folks on the LGBTQIA spectrum. According to Brian Houston, the global senior pastor of Hillsong, "Hillsong Church welcomes ALL people but does not affirm all lifestyles. Put clearly, we do not affirm a gay lifestyle and because of this we do not knowingly have actively gay people in positions of leadership, either paid or unpaid."
Per the Texas Tech mission statement, "The university is dedicated to student success by preparing learners to be ethical leaders for a diverse and globally competitive workforce.”
Hosting a group on campus that explicitly denies the humanity and affirmation of queer individuals goes against this very mission, and I ask that the administration withdraw Texas Tech from hosting this event.
Dr. D. Gilson, Assistant Professor of English