Diversity

BGSU’s Christina Lunceford reflects on a legacy of fighting for equality during MLK tribute

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Christina Lunceford has been thinking about her legacy lately. In introducing Lunceford as the keynote speaker for the annual Martin Luther King Tribute Friday, university student Morgan Hollandsworth noted that this was Lunceford’s  last day as Assistant to the President for Diversity and Inclusion.  Lunceford, who had a split role at Bowing Green State University for the past couple years, will become interim chair of the Department of Higher Education and Student Affairs and part of the leadership team for the College of Education and Human Development.  Lunceford said in this period of transition she’s looked back at those who helped guide her to become who she is as an educator, scholar, and mother. Some are unknown outside her family, others more renowned. Yet each struggled for social justice “with integrity, resilience, and joy,” she said. “I am definitely part of each of these legacies. I do my best to make sure their investment in me was worthwhile, and I take that responsibility very seriously to do good with what they instilled. It’s important that the legacy continues.” Lunceford started with her grandmother Lyda Mae Saunders.  Lunceford said growing up in East St. Louis, Missouri, her father “started fighting, stealing and drinking at a young age.” Bowling Green High School Madrigals perform “Tshosholoza” with David Siegel, left, on percussion, and Kam Frankfort singing lead. Her grandmother moved with him to the outskirts of Dallas, where she taught, taking advantage of some of the opportunities just opening up for blacks. Yet she knew she needed more, so she went to graduate school in Denver, because what she needed was not available to her in the South at that time. Lunceford still wears her grandmother’s 1958 class ring. Her father, Ronald Lunceford, went on to become a sociologist and counseling psychologist. He met her mother in Kansas where he went to train teachers working in newly integrated schools. As a mixed race couple their lives were “adventurous,” Lunceford said. They relocated to southern California, where he taught and together they founded a clinic for black and…

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