Leslie Rogers, who is the Director of the Intercultural Development Office here at Trinity, joins Dr. Joshua Jipp and Dr. Michelle Knight for a conversation. The IDO serves to “promote unity in diversity through engaging students in each of their journeys through identity development, spiritual formation, and intercultural competency,” and Leslie’s brilliant vision and commitment helps make it the beautiful place that it is.
Josh and Michelle begin by asking Leslie about her story, a truly inspiring account of how she originally did not want to attend university but was inspired to do so by Rev. Dr. Charlie Dates (a friend of the pod!). During her time, positive interactions with professors and nourishment from her community helped her to find an inroad in academic study, ultimately earning both her undergraduate degree and MDiv at Trinity. During this time, Leslie developed a passion for developing leaders with a special focus not so much on garnering a platform but in shaping their character in the entirety of who they are. Being well-acquainted with the school, Leslie also shares what she considers to be the blessings and shortcomings of being at TIU. She loves the togetherness and proximity a Christian university offers, but realizes that there is a challenge to being a Black woman in an evangelical institution, especially in its limitations with regard to offering students of color an opportunity to learn deeply from their own communities. She helpfully provides some advice for those facing similar challenges, assuring students that God sees them, validates them, and grants them dignity and worth. She also recommends having designated places of “refilling” in order to avoid being burnt out.
Along the way, listeners will also discover…
Leslie’s directorship of the Intercultural Development Office is truly impressive, and you can learn more about it here. You can also enjoy Leslie’s preaching and writing here, and be sure not to miss her podcast, In Process, which explores Christian leadership.