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By Jess Plyler 

Commanders, lieutenants, students, and staff gathered September 26th for the dedication of the Salvation Army Social Justice Research Center, located right on Trevecca’s campus.

The center has been establishing itself since late 2015. This week, the center’s director Lieutenant Coronel Vern Jewett and his team of analysts were able to officially cut the red ribbon and begin working on various projects both inside and outside of Nashville.

Southern Territorial Commander Commissioner Donald Bell said that the research center is intended to point back the Salvation Army’s overall motivation to be radical followers of Jesus Christ.

“We love inclusively. That’s what social justice is all about. Loving people for who they are, not for who we think they should be. And we serve them helpfully. That is our goal with the social justice center. How can we serve a person helpfully? In order to do that we need to understand why they’re in the situation that they are.”

Jewett said he is excited to see how the relationship between the research center and Trevecca’s social justice department will grow. In addition to continuing volunteer work with the Christmas season, Jewett hopes Trevecca students will be able to help the center with research pertaining to Egyptian refugee families located right here in Nashville.

“ [Students will] collect data to help move that community forward and integrate into society. It’s to all of our benefit to welcome these folks that are struggling to integrate and find ways that as a community we can do better.”

The center currently has several projects in the works covering issues such as child malnutrition in West Virginia, human trafficking in Nashville, and modifying the Salvation Army’s Pathway of Hope program.

“It is our prayer that the work that is done in this center will resound across the land,” Dan Boone prayed at the center’s dedication.

Jewett and his team hope to eventually be able to have students, both undergraduate and graduate, intern at the center.

For more information on how you can get involved with the Salvation Army, contact Gail Pusey at gpusey@trevecca.edu.