Blake Thomas, former director of Bridge-Builders, a service learning ministry of Forge for Families in Houston, Texas, will serve as interim director for Westmont Intercultural Programs.
“I am passionate about diversity and reconciliation and committed to creating authentic community,” Blake says. “I hope that I can be an asset as Westmont faculty, staff and students navigate the conversation surrounding diversity, race, reconciliation and justice on campus.”
“Blake has a strong faith, vibrant personality and an eagerness to serve well at Westmont,” says Edee Schulze, Westmont vice president for student life.
Thomas says he will take time to fully understand the racial climate at Westmont and identify specific needs before making changes. “It’s my goal to facilitate a space for students of color to process and dialogue about their experiences in society and at Westmont, while serving as a bridge of equitable unity,” he says. “The most important and impactful thing that I can do as I start is to listen, learn and find ways to partner with students, staff and faculty.”
While serving at Bridge-Builders, Blake developed and taught curriculum covering topics such as biblical justice, cultural intelligence, poverty and community development, multiculturalism and race, and reconciliation. “We started with the belief that every individual member and segment of the body of Christ has something to offer the rest of the body,” he says. “That also means that every member has something to learn from other parts of the body. As we worked with students and church leaders, we entered into a process of mutual growth as every party involved was conformed more thoroughly to the image of Christ.”
Blake, a graduate of Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, is pursuing a Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary.