In this address, I argue that the value of the Society of Biblical Literature as a learned society and a scholarly community must be measured not by the experiences of those who flourish but by those who struggle. To live up to our own values, and to be of value to society at large, we must commit to equity and justice; we must engage in our teaching and scholarship with a spirit of collegiality, collaboration, and openness to change. To do so we must be accountable to one another as scholars and as human beings. As one way forward, I suggest a “hermeneutics of chutzpah” that challenges the norms of biblical scholarship that were developed in Europe of the eighteenth through twentieth centuries. One model for this hermeneutical mode can be found in African American biblical interpretation. The hermeneutics of chutzpah exercised by African American scholars benefits other marginalized people as well as those who have traditionally situated themselves at the core of our guild by helping us all to perceive the workings of whiteness, and to engage more honestly with the deep structures of our intellectual enterprise.