‘We matter, I matter, to God and always have,’ says TWU head coach of women’s basketball Cheryl Jean-Paul, in an essay published at the start of Black History Month. (TWU)

‘We matter, I matter, to God and always have,’ says TWU head coach of women’s basketball Cheryl Jean-Paul, in an essay published at the start of Black History Month. (TWU)

A call for tolerance and inclusiveness from coach at Trinity Western University during Black History Month.

‘We matter, I matter, to God and always have,’ says Cheryl Jean-Paul

Let Black History Month “take you on a journey of self-reflection and transformation,” Trinity Western University (TWU) coach Cheryl Jean-Paul said in an essay published on the university website on Monday, Feb. 1 with the title A Different Life Journey On A Shared Street.

“We can all do better. We can all be better,” said Jean-Paul, head coach of women’s basketball at Langley-based TWU.

She described how she has the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have A Dream speech hanging in her office, “and every time I read it, I wonder, how would he speak into our situation today?”

Even in what Jean-Paul called the “Western Canadian, British Columbian, Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley context… we are still referring to the fear of what and who remain unknown to us and our consistent struggle.”

She made a call for tolerance and acceptance of people “whose skin tone is different, whose syntax is unfamiliar, whose name is challenging to pronounce, whose food is mysterious, whose look is ‘exotic’, but who, as our brother and our sister, should still bring harmony to our life.”

READ ALSO: Pandemic has forced university athletics to slow down and pay attention, says head coach of women’s basketball at Langley’s TWU

“If I am to be honest, there are times when I’ve slowed down long enough to remember that I don’t always fit,” Jean-Paul said. “But that’s not the calling God had in store for me, to feel less than because I’m not the same. We matter, I matter, to God and always have.”

“We are all human, we share fears, tears, laughter and joy,” Jean-Paul added.

“We did not grow up in the same home, or attend the same church or school, but yet, if we believe the Bible to be true, then we are the most important kind of family – adopted spiritual kin.”

READ ALSO: Spartans bench boss wins coach of the year

Jean-Paul added TWU athletics has initiated a group of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People Of Colour) and “ally student-athletes and staff,” who have come together as the Diversity and Anti-Racism Council (DARC)

“We want to enhance communication and education that initiates long-lasting change,” Jean-Paul said.

Her post noted that the coach is of Haitian and German-Mennonite descent, born and raised in Winnipeg and currently living in Langley.

Is there more to the story? Email: dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

LangleyracismTrinity Western University

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A memorial to Hudson Brooks outside the South Surrey RCMP detachment. (File photo)
Officer who fatally shot Hudson Brooks recounts ‘absolutely terrifying’ incident

Const. Elizabeth Cucheran testified at coroner’s inquest Tuesday morning

Riverside Calvary Church in Walnut Grove. (Langley Advance Times file)
B.C. is ‘stereotyping’ churches as riskier for COVID than other spaces, lawyer argues

Judge said that freedom of expression, religion are not at issue in the case

Which came first? Actually, you might not need the chicken at all pretty soon. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Painful Truth: Eggs without chickens?

What does that do to poultry farmers?

A player is checked in prior to the start of play in a North Langley Softball video produced to demonstrate COVID-19 safety measures are in place (Danica Reed video/special to Langley Advance Times)
Playing it safe: North Langley Softball produces COVID safety video

Intended to answer parental concerns about precautions while practicing during a pandemic

Vancouver Giants president, governor and majority owner Ron Toigo welcomed the provincial announcement made on Monday, Mar. 1, 2021 that the province could soon allow WHL teams to resume competitive play. (Vancouver Giants/Special to Langley Advance Times)
UPDATE: Return to play by Vancouver Giants team confirmed

Owner, coach and players pleased by news WHL will resume play in B.C.

A health-care worker looks at a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Palais de Congress site as Quebec begins mass vaccinations based on age across the province, Monday, March 1, 2021 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Nearly 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses arriving in Canada this week: Anand

Anita Anand says she’s received assurances from the vaccine manufacturer

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

Vancouver and Victoria both have a MySafe machine to help reduce overdoses

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Black Press file photo)
Agassiz boy, 11, dies from ‘extensive injuries’: Homicide team

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

Dr. Amit Desai of St. Francis Hospital receives a COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 17. (Photo courtesy of CHI Franciscan)
B.C. has now vaccinated more people from COVID-19 than total confirmed cases

B.C. has reached a milestone, vaccinating roughly 1.6% of its population from the coronavirus

Abbotsford Regional Hospital (Black Press file photo)
Nurse assaulted at Abbotsford hospital in same ward as 2019 dumbbell attack

‘Completely unacceptable that nurses continue to be assaulted,’ says union president

Nanaimo RCMP are looking for a suspect who smashed the window of an adult toy store and made off with more than $1,200 in merchandise. (File photo)
Vancouver Island sex shop out $1,200 in merchandise after suspect steals ‘colossal’ product

Suspect smashed window of Nanaimo store, cutting himself in the process

Most Read