The Southern Baptist Convention’s Committee on Nominations says social media discussion helped reinforce its commitment to propose a diverse slate of nominees for trustee boards and committees when the SBC gathers in Dallas.
“The committee itself had a repeated discussion” at its March 15-16 meeting in Nashville “that our goal was to make sure that we increase the diversity of the nominees,” committee chairman James Freeman told Baptist Press. Despite that goal, the committee’s selection process generated 67 Anglo nominees for 69 open positions, according to the SBC Executive Committee’s tally.
During their meeting, the Committee on Nominations initiated measures to rectify the lack of diversity, Freeman said. The committee began to consider additional remedies this past weekend when Southern Baptists on social media expressed dissatisfaction over the committee’s preliminary report, which was published by BP April 25.
The Committee on Nominations is charged with making nominations to the Executive Committee, SBC entity trustee boards and the Committee on Order of Business. Nominees will serve if elected by the messengers to the SBC annual meeting June 12-13.
At its March meeting, the Committee on Nominations agreed that a subcommittee appointed to fill all remaining trustee and committee slots and all vacancies that come open before the SBC annual meeting would “make sure we can find qualified individuals of ethnicity to fill those slots,” Freeman, a Kansas City, Mo., attorney, said.
As of May 1, there were six open slots. The Committee on Nominations subcommittee is called upon to fill some 5-10 open positions annually, according to the Executive Committee.
Among social media commentators expressing concern over the preliminary report, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary President Daniel Akin tweeted April 27, “This is extremely disappointing in terms of ethnic diversity. Very! We have got to do better than this. Our trustee boards must reflect the whole SBC.”
In a follow-up tweet the next day, Akin said, “I am hearing hopeful things from the SBC Nominating Committee about their final report and the need for greater ethnic diversity. Their work is not finished and they are sensitive to the concerns being expressed. I say pray for them & give them a chance.”
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Source: Baptist Press