When she learned that the Centers at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago need to self-sustaining, student Kwame Pitts wanted to find a way to help the Albert "Pete" Pero Multicultural Center. Working with other students and LSTC staff members, Pitts has organized "Many Voices, One Song" a benefit concert to be held on Sunday, October 7 at 4 p.m. in the Augustana Chapel at LSTC. Admission is free, but generous donations are requested. Donations gathered at the concert will benefit programming for the Pero Multicultural Center.
"I’d like the benefit concert to be an annual event to bring attention to all that the Pero Multicultural Center does as well as to sustain it," Pitts said. "I also want the concert of lift up and honor two of our elders – Dr. Albert "Pete" Pero and Dr. Cheryl Stewart Pero, director of the Center.
The family-friendly concert will be a mix of professional musicians and talented LSTC students. The line-up includes Korean drummers, music from Africa, Native flute player Bill Buchholtz from the Kateri Indian Center, Indian/Asian music, roots rock, the LSTC Cantorei, Turkish folk music, the LSTC Gospel Choir, and Latin American music. Students Francisco Herrera and Lucy Wynard and staff members Sara Trumm and Kim Ferguson are also part of the team planning the benefit concert.
The concert will be one of the 2012-2013 Chapel Music Series concerts and is co-sponsored by A Center of Christian-Muslim Engagement for Peace and Justice.
Pero Center builds bridges among cultures
LSTC’s Multicultural Center, established in 2006, was renamed in 2011 to honor Albert "Pete" Pero Jr.’s efforts to make the Lutheran church a multicultural church. Dr. Pero was the first African Descent Lutheran in the United States to earn a Ph.D. in systematic theology. He was the first African Descent faculty member at LSTC, where he taught that our oneness in Christ through baptism leads us to "cultural self-transcendence" -- unity in diversity.
Each year, the Albert "Pete" Pero Multicultural Center sponsors month-long celebrations on campus of Latina/o, American Indian/Alaska Native, African Descent, Arab/Middle Eastern, Asian/Pacific Islander, and European-American heritages as well as the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration. This year there will also be a lecture on the topic of "Multiculturalism in the ELCA for the 21st Century" on Monday, October 8, the day following the benefit concert. "We hope that a lectureship will become an annual event," said Cheryl Pero
Grounded in Dr. Pete Pero’s idea of cultural transcendence, the vision for the Pero Multicultural Center includes cultural-specific programming that "helps people develop an awareness of their own cultures to give people the language to transmit that culture to others, enabling them to build bridges to other cultures."
Program Coordinator, A Center of Christian-Muslim Engagement for Peace and Justice
The Lutheran School of Theology (LSTC) is dedicated to bearing witness to the good news of Jesus Christ. Based in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, it is the leading urban Lutheran seminary training students for purposeful vocations in the global community. Aligned with its Lutheran heritage and built on a foundation of intellectual rigor, LSTC’s innovative, nationally recognized curriculum gives students skills for visionary Christian leadership in the public sphere.