By Bailey Basham
Nearly 100 ballerinas will be on Trevecca’s campus this weekend.
The J.V. Morsch Center for Social Justice will host “The Art of Justice: Using Creativity to Change the World,” a weekend-long celebration to highlight youth organizations in Nashville who use art to do social justice in youth communities.
The keynote event will be the Rejoice School of Ballet spring recital.
Among the other youth art organizations are Courage Unmasked, Harvest Hands Humphrey Street Coffee Company, local artists and a local community theatre company. These organizations will have booths set up to give out information about their organizations.
“I see many individuals who use different forms of the arts, whether it’s therapeutic writing, painting, or ballet. People use creativity to address social issues,” said Iris Gordon, Nashville business management consultant and adjunct professor in the J.V. Morsch Center for Social Justice. “I don’t think many people think about the power of creativity, so the goal of the event is to put that on display, heighten the awareness of what is being accomplished, and spark new ideas and interests in how people can utilize their creativity to also address or manage social issues.”
Rejoice School of Ballet is a non-profit dance school in East Nashville. The school, celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, serves nearly 100 dancers a year from diverse backgrounds. All students pay incomer-based fees for training, dance wear, and costumes.
The goal of Rejoice is to serve dancers from diverse backgrounds by hiring professional faculty to teach students who otherwise wouldn’t have access to quality ballet training, said Patricia Cross, executive director of Rejoice.
Rejoice is a client of The Neighborhood Empowerment Program, which is an initiative of the Center for Social Justice that seeks to equip and empower local nonprofits to maximize their work in serving our neighbors, said Jamie Casler, director of the J.V. Morsch Center of Social Justice.
Gordon has been working with Rejoice for about a year through the NEP. She consults with the board of directors, sets up committees and counsels Cross on business methods and efficiency.
“I have seen real impact on how businesses can address social injustices that exist in our world and have a positive effect just in restoring people to wholeness- both in individuals and the community and at large,” said Gordon.
She has energized the board members to do great work to support and promote Rejoice, said Cross.
“Trevecca sends Iris out in the community to walk alongside nonprofits who otherwise couldn’t afford that sort of help, and to have someone with her expertise and knowledge is an amazing gift,” said Cross. “Iris has brought in other local ministries that are using art to promote social justice, so we feel the event is going to be a great way to open people’s eyes to the importance of the arts and promoting social justice in the community.”
The event is open to all Trevecca students, faculty and staff, and neighboring community members.
“It would really serve as a positive exposure on how different arts are being used to empower and address social injustice and could broaden a student’s perspective on what they might be able to do to use their creativity to help address social issues as well,” said Gordon.
“The Art of Justice” will be on May 2 at 6:30 p.m. and on May 3 at 3 p.m. in Boone Business Building. Tickets are $8 and may be purchased here.
By Christy Ulmet
Last fall, five Trevecca students were given the task of creating a clean water project idea. The team, led by Stephens Hiland, senior communication studies major, prepared a model for a fundraiser, which will support Nazarene Compassionate Ministries’ Global Clean Water Fund.
Every Nazarene university and college was able to submit an entry for the project, but Trevecca’s group ended up winning, which gave them the funding needed for the school’s idea, which they titled “Drop by Drop.” Read the rest of this entry »
By Bailey Basham
A PBS documentary aired last week on sex trafficking which included a lengthy report on trafficking in Trevecca’s neighborhood.
Brennen Finchum and Rebekah Peoples-
This Christmas, avoid the mall and the crowds of shoppers by buying gifts with a cause. This year spend your shopping money in products that benefit people like inner-city kids, recovering addicts and prostitutes and orphans overseas. What if this year instead of shopping for gifts at the usual department stores, you spent your time and money purchasing gifts from organizations with a social justice mission? What if your Christmas had a cause?
We compiled a shopping guide to help you do just that: Read the rest of this entry »
Wilson Morgan was at rock bottom.
He had no money, no friends and no family support.
He spent six years in prison and had 10 felony charges, including accounts of manufacturing meth, drug trafficking, possession of listed chemicals, and several accounts of theft of over $500 and $1000.
It was when his mother confronted him that he knew something had to change.
After more than 15 years of alcohol and drug addiction, fighting and stealing, Morgan realized an emptiness inside of himself that he could never seem to fill.
He received a stern letter in jail from his mother, Lynn Guillory, in February of 2009, Read the rest of this entry »
Everyday 60 to 100 veterans walk through the doors of Operation Stand Down Nashville.
“Some come for their mail, others just want a sip of coffee, but most are looking for work,” said Richard Eaton, who works the front desk of the service center at Operation Stand Down.
More than 840,000 of the 3.5 million homeless people in America are veterans. Many of them, experts say, have alcohol or drug addictions or suffer from mental illness. Others have both. Operation Stand Down Nashville (OSDN) is a key source dedicated to providing a multitude of services for honorably discharged veterans in Nashville.
‘Stand Down’ is a military term which describes the movement of soldiers in combat to a safe place. Operation Stand Down is an annual event that started out in San Diego in the 1980’s. Since then the event idea has moved across the United States and now takes place in 125 different cities. Operation Stand Down Nashville was one of the first to turn this part time action into a full-time organization. Read the rest of this entry »
Wesley, Tywan, and Darryon, dressed in their Halloween costumes, banged on the door with excitement.
A few seconds passed. Impatient, they rapped on the door again. They were reminded to wait politely for someone to come to the door before they approached the next house.
They didn’t hear the rules. The boys wanted their candy.
Like thousands of other kids on this chilly October night, these three boys were trick-or-treating. But their parents were not with them. Instead, their neighbors–Brian Wong, 22, Andrew Crimmins, 22, and Michael Hendricks, 23–took them as promised to get the coveted candy. Wong says the boys are more than neighbors; he likes to think of them as friends.
The last Wednesday of the month may not mean much to the average person. For 51 ambitious homeless people in Nashville, though, it means they’ll soon be able to restock their toiletries, refill their medicine bottles, and maybe even rent a hotel room for the cold nights ahead.
These 51 individuals are vendors of the Nashville Contributor, a street newspaper.
They are men and women of all different races, all trying to better themselves. In a small room in the back of Downtown Presbyterian Church, they discuss last month’s sales and the contents of this month’s issue.
When the meeting is over all the vendors rush up to buy papers. Tom Wills, one of the directors, quickly senses the chaos and orders them to line up in a civilized manner. Read the rest of this entry »