Picking Up the Torch

“If I can help somebody, then my living will not be in vain.” Kimberleah Bledsoe is making Dr. King’s words real in the lives of the people in her hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is a graduating senior and, as one of the School of Religion’s majors, talks about her experience with genuine appreciation for the content she has learned and the variety of opportunities to actively work on issues important to both individuals and communities. “It is with the support and encouragement of my professors and Dean that I am empowered to pick up the torch and contribute to the fight for racial equity and justice, while caring for the souls in my community,” says Kimbrerleah. 

Lots of Opportunities

Attending the Florida National Student Leadership Forum on Faith and Values, representing the University as a faith and values panelist with some of Florida’s elected officials, presenting a thought-provoking think piece on medical ethics to her professors and fellow majors, and a visit to Mims, Florida, where Harry T. Moore, the first martyr of the Civil Rights Movement was born and killed, are experiences that have supported her studies as well as her future aspirations. Speaking like the serious social activist she has become, Kimberleah says, “The School of Religion has exposed me to many great opportunities, and I am blessed to learn and develop under theologians and scholars who love their students so much.” 

In her hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Kimberleah has created a Justice Ministry that focuses on urban agriculture as it provides spiritual and nutritional care to low-income communities. During the summer of 2020, when the largest number ever of Americans experienced food insecurity, Kimberleah worked with other grass root activists to start a food pantry that served Milwaukee’s undocumented residents. “Because of to the knowledge and culture of ancestors like W. E.B Dubois, Booker T. Washington, Malcom X, Martin Luther King Jr., Mary McLeod Bethune, and Howard Thurman, I proudly serve my community in Milwaukee,” says Kimberleah. “My time in the School of Religion has been transformational and I am excited to see what God has in store for us next.”