Walter Kim became the NAE president in January 2020. He also serves as teacher-in-residence at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, Virginia, after ministering for 15 years at Boston’s historic Park Street Church. He has spent nearly three decades preaching, writing and engaging in collaborative leadership to connect the Bible to the significant intellectual, cultural and social issues of the day. He serves on the boards of Christianity Today and World Relief, and on the Advisory Council of Gordon College. Kim received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, his M.Div. from Regent College in Vancouver, and his B.A. from Northwestern University, and he is a licensed minister in the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference.
The Boston Common is the most familiar parcel of America to me. For 20 years, I walked across this park thousands of times for my commute to work. I sat on its benches for lunches, and I watched its trees cycle through their beautiful array of colors. This place was home. Then, one day, someone yelled a racial slur at me.
Suddenly, I was a stranger in a strange land.
What transpired at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 made millions feel like strangers in a strange land. How could this happen in America? Many factors complicate the assessment of that day, but the challenges of race are involved. We have certainly come a long way in our national journey toward justice; instead of the Chinese Exclusion Act, for example, we have the Civil Rights Act. Yet the presence of white supremacist groups and the pictures of nooses show there is a long way yet to go.