Antioch is a place that I will never forget and that I will always remember. As a spiritual person I now know that it is God (whatever name you choose to give him/her) who blessed me with the know-with-all to choose Antioch College and to complete my undergraduate education. It was an American education unique to liberal arts education in America. To this day I cannot thank my human ancestors who preceded me in the Civil Rights Movement and the Abolition Movement before it at Antioch College in little old Yellow Springs Ohio. I neither am prepared to let go or to say good-bye. It is a sincere prayer of mine that Antioch College remains open and that the Board of Trustees and the Antioch College Continuation Corporation agree to such an autonomous agreement.
I did not know as a teenager entering Antioch College that I’d settle down in Yellow Springs Ohio nor that I’d enjoy working with students, faculty, staff, and administration of Antioch College as an adult well into my thirties. Yet it is true. Here I stand having been impacted by and hopefully at my best impacted Antioch College in miraculous ways only God could conjure up. Now it is important to me that all you agnostics and people that do not believe in God out there not right me off as a televangelist or evangelical Christian with the Christian Right or something.
Believing that this is not the case I appreciate your time and your understanding as we proceed with this particular piece of writing. It is at Antioch College where I remember becoming an adult and first finding my voice. Now I found this voice in various venues. It was fun all the while educational and an equal exchange between fellow students, staff, and faculty. I truly open space where everyone could learn together.
The SOPP was first revealed to the adoring public when I was a Freshman at Antioch. For those of you who have read my writing before you all know that I was interviewed in Newsweek, Eye to Eye W/ Connie Chung, and Front Page W/ Ronald Reagan Jr. True stories. My desire to be famous was fed by becoming a media love child. I simply approached every news team and so went the scheduling of interviews of my friends and I. I do not have any pictures from my Antioch College days that I can readily find in my hunt for Red October (seriously folks I’m just kidding about the Sean Connery film)
I was in a record breaking number of student films videos and plays while a student. I don’t know if any record is kept of these things.
In this struggle to write this piece I can think of some tear jerking memories both tears of joy and tears of sadness.
It seems that being incarcerated for a political demonstration in ‘95 is one of the sad tearjerkers. I did not ever foresee such a life as a Sophomore and nor did any one else ever foresee such an experience in Higher Education. Upon freedom I was offered a Plea Bargain that immediately expunged my record by Columbus, Ohio’s Franklin County Courts, Judge, Prosecutor, yada yada yada. My pro-bono lawyers, God bless their hearts, recommended it and next to jail time it did look appealing. In hindsight the Columbus P.D. only offered the plea bargain, because in my humble opinion, they knew they made a big mistake. We could of counter sued for everything but the kitchen sink. I returned to Antioch a hero, not a self desired nor given title, that is real. We all stood for truth, justice, honor, equality, and peace. We studied, traveled, and worked side by side. The rest of my Antioch experience tops even this story and the thing about Antioch is that we grow as a community together.
Now It is not necessary for me to archive my Antioch College experience here. That is done in the Record. What will become of Antioch College? I was one of the first to declare that we do not need the property and that we can have the same ideals and teachings in a different location in Yellow Springs. The truth is that the land that Antioch lives in is sacred. It is a magical land unlike anything else anyone else has experienced in life. Forgive me for being sentimental.
Another story to share. My fiancé Ms.T. (pronounced Misty) and I met on campus during a homecoming where Louise Smith cast me in a play about the history of Yellow Springs and Antioch College. I did dishes to make ends meet and Ms.T. was my office manager. This was in ‘03, the terrible year the Iraq Genocide began. We’d planned to get married on Antioch College’s Campus during the summer of ‘09. What is the fate of our beloved safe space of joy.
What words of wisdom can I leave with the Antioch Record for what may possibly be its last issue. Brother Where Art Thou? Nick Clooney, George Clooney’s father, is working on helping to save Darfur in the Sudan. The Sudanese government has launched a barbaric genocide against the people who live in this part of their country.
In prayer that the people of Darfur, Iraq, and Inner City America will live in peace. Amen.
I pray that Sen. Obama gets the nod and is elected president. It will be an historic day and has been ever since he decided to run for office. I praise God that both he and Sen. Clinton are firsts every day in America as they continue their race for the Democratic Nomination for the President of the United States of America.
From the bottom of my heart, I feel that Antioch College is the best American Education any college student in the world can get. The classroom, co-op, classroom format allow the Antioch College student insight into society, life, and culture that no other school provides.
Albeit, I am biased, however, not alone. Academic journals and College ratings have always rated Antioch College at the top of their intellectual recommendations to students everywhere for as long as I can remember. It is my prayer that big business, war profiteers, and oil mongers will not destroy the precious land that Antioch has changed American History for the better on.
The International, Inter-cultural diversity of Antioch College is one of my fondest memories and joys of current events here as they unfold on campus.
I traveled with a group of students as a student to see Henry Louis Gates Speak at the Victoria Theater in Dayton, Ohio. Also in the mid-nineties James Farmer came to speak and I was able to see, meet, hear, listen, and ask questions of this late great Civil Rights Worker all in the Antioch Inn. Dr. Steve Schwerner taught me Cross-Cultural Studies. Dr. Masolo taught me African Philosophy. I traveled all over America with Antioch College’s African American History Cross-Cultural Studies Program and the Environmental Field Program. The Undoing Racism Workshops conducted by New Orleans People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond and hosted by Bill and Joan Chappelle’s Wellness Center took up residence here in our village. I had the privilege and honor of being the first and last Undoing Racism Coordinator of the Wellness Center during the summer of ‘95. I was twenty then, the age of my soon to be stepson Randal.
Om Shanthi Om
Non-stop Antioch Rocks