Aimée Appell Named 2022 Commencement Speaker

Aimée Appell Named 2022 Commencement Speaker

May 2, 2022 | ,

Human rights advocate and community organizer Aimée Appell will address the East Central College Class of 2022 during commencement exercises Saturday, May 14.

This year’s graduation ceremony is at 11:30 a.m. in the Donald D. Shook Student Center in Union.

Appell, pastor of Peace Lutheran in Washington, leads or is heavily involved in, community organizations with strong ties to the College.

That includes Neighbors United – Undoing Racism, which holds an annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration at ECC. Appell is the chairperson of that organization.

Appell also is involved in the Equal Justice Franklin County Community Remembrance Coalition, the Juneteenth Celebration and Stories Matter, which all have connections to ECC. She also has moderated a discussion on “Interrupting Racism” on campus.

“I love the presence that ECC has in the community,” she said. “Higher education always brings a lot to the community — that includes music, culture, plays, art and more.”

In addition to organizations like Neighbors United and the Remembrance Coalition, Appell was appointed to the City of Washington’s community relations board in 2020.

She noted that it is important to be active in the community and be part of conversations that positively impact communities.

“Each of us has gifts to bring to our community, and we can use those gifts to build bridges. We may have different opinions about how to get there, but all of us are called to be involved,” Appell commented.

“The more each of us participates, the better our communities will be,” she added. “Whatever our political, religious, or cultural views, we all have something to bring, and we can all work to help others have a voice and a place in society.”

Appell, who originally is from the Washington, D.C., area, lived in Seattle, Wash., and then moved to Washington in 2010. She and her husband, Nelson, have three children — Elinor, Holden and Grace.

Appell earned a Master of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, Minn.

In the summer of 2019, she began working on a Doctor of Ministry degree at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Ga. She plans to graduate in 2023

Appell explained that she is studying ways pastors and congregations can better engage in conversations about race from the pulpit and in their communities.