MBA student reflects on 21st Century Wilberforce Emerging Leaders Conference

Students pose in front of the Washington Monument

Taking part in the 21st Century Wilberforce Emerging Leaders Conference, 20 students ventured to Washington, D.C. last week with the Cook School of Leadership. The conference aimed to educate and equip young professionals to advocate for religious liberty.

The DBU team attended lectures and workshops regarding the Christian’s call to fight for human rights, the history of religious freedom, biblical teaching on suffering and perseverance, and how to frame one’s message for maximum impact. They also had the chance to speak with congressmen and senator representatives regarding specific bills related to religious liberty issues.

MBA student Richard Tomlinson, reflects on his experience here:

“I was unaware that there were so many battles happening in governments around the world regarding the oppression of religious liberty. Although it was an important issue to me before attending the conference, I realized how little educated I was on these current events.

As Christians, we need to stand for religious freedom for all people, and we can only accurately do that by educating ourselves on how the human right of religious freedom is being threatened around the world.

The Director of Policy and Coalitions at 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative stated in a lecture, ‘If you don’t act on your power as a citizen, then you are not stewarding your citizenship well.’ This stuck with me throughout that day because I realized how many opportunities we have as American citizens to play a part in the government’s actions, whether it be voting for our elected officials, lobbying, or writing letters to our senators and congressmen to voice our convictions on an important issue going on at the time.

Throughout the conference, speakers made similar comments all geared toward the same point: advocating for or against policies is less about the issues themselves and more about helping the people affected by the issues. It’s about the people. Whether I am in business, politics, or nonprofit work, I want to be a Christ-centered leader who works for the good of people.

A major takeaway was how many good Christ-centered people I met in D.C. who are working there to make a positive impact in both our country and the world. Sometimes we can get caught up with all the mess that we see in news media outlets, so it was refreshing to meet people with Christ-centered hearts and a passion to help people through political avenues.”

Written by Richard Tomlinson

Richard is an MBA student at DBU.