Micah Mandate

The Magazine of the J.V. Morsch Center for Social Justice at Trevecca Nazarene University.

Social justice student balances school and family life

Posted by admin April - 30 - 2016 - Saturday ADD COMMENTS

By Abigail Duren

Shawna Selby spent eight years working at a Barnes and Noble as a single mother.  It’s that time in her life that provides the motivation she needs each day to finish her degree, raise five kids and have a baby in the middle of the semester.

“My life has changed,” says Selby, a social justice major. “I went from being a single mom to two kids and working 60 hours a week and barely making it by, to now being a stay-at-home mom to six children and getting to go back to school.”


Selby had given up thinking that things could ever be different or better. She had two children and had worked at a Memphis Barnes & Noble for eight years and had muddled through difficult relationships before marrying her husband, Trevecca Track and Field Coach Austin Selby.  Read the rest of this entry »

Refugees find hope at urban farm camps

Posted by admin April - 30 - 2016 - Saturday ADD COMMENTS

by Rebekah Warren

For refugee children, fleeing from war and destruction, Trevecca’s urban farm camp can bring the comfort of home.
“Many of the refugees come from agricultural backgrounds,” said Karen Shaw, coordinator for the urban farm. “They come with skills they can use to make ends meet, and that’s the connection we want to make.”
During May and June, high school and middle school students living in the Nashville area will have the opportunity to learn how to care for farm animals, build a garden and learn about healthy cooking and eating.

The goal is that the kids attending the camps will develop a basic understanding of the importance of environmental justice for their local communities as well as the world.
“We want to educate and equip the broader global community,” said Jamie Casler, director of the J.V. Morsch Center for Social Justice.
This involves understanding the way the health of the environment is directly correlated to the health of entire populations and the potential of humans to alter the course of environmental destruction and injustice.
“We are hoping children will make the connection between the food they grow and equity for people,” said Jason Adkins, environmental projects coordinator.
In addition to the opportunity to use the skills they already have, refugee kids find the program to be healing, helping them recover from the trauma of leaving war-torn regions.
“They have all experienced displacement,” said Adkins.” We are convinced that the emotional and mental health of children is improved by being in the created world…it can be therapeutic.”

10433145_523809674411910_8622517814320953874_n Shaw recalled the students from last summer who brought growing practices with them from their home countries, many of which were in the Middle East and Africa. They were often able to share the knowledge they had grown up practicing.
“Jason always asks, ‘how do you do this where you’re from?’ ” said Shaw. “We want refugees, especially those that come from agricultural backgrounds because we can learn from them.”
To learn more about the farm camps and register online, visit trevecca.edu/urbanfarm

By Abigail Duren

Lt. Colonel Dean Pallant, leader of the International Social Justice Commission of the Salvation Army, spoke in chapel at Trevecca on Tuesday morning.

Colonel Pallant and his wife, Eirwen Pallant, are responsible for the work of social justice in 126 countries worldwide, as well as being attached to the United Nations, with his wife Mrs. Pallant being chair of the anti-trafficking task force at the Salvation Army.

The pair both work with victims of various injustices, including victims of human trafficking. They both believe that the restoration programs with which they work all work best when there is a theological foundation to them.

Read the rest of this entry »

By Abigail Duren

Nicole Bromley was 14-years-old the first time she shared her story of being sexually abused.  She hasn’t stopped since.

The founder of One Voice Enterprises, an organization dedicated to spreading awareness of sexual abuse and sex trafficking, told her story to Trevecca students in chapel on Tuesday.

Growing up in small town Ohio, Bromley was the poster child of their community. She played sports, attended school, and came from what seemed the picture perfect family. But what was going on behind closed doors led Bromley to live a life of secrets.

“No one would have ever guessed that the smile I wore was masking shame and confusion,” said Bromley.
Read the rest of this entry »

Barnaroo at the farm

Posted by admin April - 20 - 2016 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

Square Dancing is coming to Trevecca this Saturday. The Urban Farm is hosting Barnaroo, an event for the local community to come together and spend time at the farm.
“It’s a celebration of urban farm life, to experience the farm and have a lot of fun,” said Jason Adkins, environmental projects coordinator.
The event will feature square dancing lessons with a professional caller who announces and leads the dances.


Two of the urban farm’s goats

For some students, the event will be an opportunity to step out of their comfort zones. Tabitha Sookdeo, a Junior, is excited to try out something new.
“ I have never line danced before primarily because I’m from South America,” said Sookdeo. “I’m excited for the caller and the band.”
In addition to dancing, the event will feature a petting zoo. Attendees will have the opportunity to interact with the farm’s goats and baby chicks. There will be fire pits and smores, and a variety of food and drinks.
“We did this last year and a ton of people came,” said Amber Donat, a student worker at the farm. “This year, we’re hoping to make it even more exciting so it will be a memorable experience for everyone who comes.”

barn 3

A shot from last years barn dance

Barnaroo will take place from 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. and will be held at the barn on campus. General admission is $10.  Students pay $5 and kids under 12 are free.

Spring Break Civil Rights/ Southern Music Tour

Posted by admin April - 6 - 2016 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

On a Friday afternoon in Alabama, Julie Gant stood where Martin Luther King Jr. had heard the voice of God.
“ I was impacted by just being where he was,” said Gant. “We stood where he stood and talked where he talked to people. We were in his home, everywhere that revolved around him and his legacy.”

During spring break, Matt Spraker, associate dean of students for community life, and Jamie Casler, director of the J.V. Morsch Center for Social Justice travelled with 12 students through Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama, experiencing the civil rights and musical history of the south.
Spraker developed the idea for the trip after an important member of the civil rights movement came to Trevecca. Read the rest of this entry »

Film about clean water shown for “Just Water” week

Posted by admin March - 22 - 2016 - Tuesday ADD COMMENTS

By Abigail Duren

The film, “Flow” was shown Thursday night in the CLCS in an event to raise awareness about the domestic water crisis for “Just Water” week.

Last year the Drop-by-Drop campaign done on campus brought awareness to the international water crisis. Various signs were placed around campus giving facts about the water shortage internationally, and reusable water bottles were sold in an effort to get students to drink more water.

This year, the Social Justice club used the same tactics, but focused on the water crisis domestically.

Read the rest of this entry »

By Abigail Duren

Dr. Gary Morsch, founding donor of Trevecca’s J.V. Morsch Center for Social Justice, spoke on “The Power of Serving Others, You Can Start Where You Are” at the Compassion & Justice Conference on campus Thursday.

He posed the question, “so what do I do now?” to the audience in the conference, exploring the ideas of how we can exhibit justice to a world corrupted by injustice.

“We have to know the mission,” said Morsch. As the church, we have to learn and understand what our mission is as believers, as a church, as a university. We are all called to the ministry. Read the rest of this entry »

Cosmos Mutowa speaks on injustice in Africa

Posted by admin February - 18 - 2016 - Thursday ADD COMMENTS

More than 12 million people have benefitted from the work of Nazarene Compassionate Ministries (NCM) in Africa, the NCM coordinator in Africa told attendees of an on-campus social justice conference.

Rev. Cosmos Mutowa, the coordinator for NCM in Africa and a Global Missionary with the Church of the Nazarene, spoke at Trevecca’s Justice and Compassion Conference on current needs and the response of the Nazarene church.

Mutowa discussed the responsibility of Christians to be Christ-like in their empathy and question the dichotomy of self-serving sanctification.

“I loved his idea of holiness,” said Clare Cole, a social justice major. “Holiness without compassion is not holiness that God loves.”

Mutowa provided an overview of NCM’s specific approach to various issues including AIDS prevention and care, disaster relief, and child development.

“Give a man a fish you feed him for a day. Teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime,” said Mutowa, quoting the well known adage. “We strive for self-sustainability.”

Mutowa hopes to build bridges between people, between people and the environment and between people and God, creating a strong support system that leads to healthy independence.

The undercurrent throughout the talk was one of encouragement. Primarily, encouragement for those who care about the plights of injustice and wonder how the Church of the Nazarene is contributing to crises around the world in a Godly and life-giving way.

“The Church of The Nazarene has been committed to raising up leaders throughout the world but not being colonialist about it,” said Dr. Tim Gaines, assistant professor of Religion. “There is an African leading African ministries and that often does not happen.”

Advancing the global nature of the church is no small feat, and despite the ever-present challenges of injustice, Mutowa’s ministry is founded on a central idea.

“We want to love and value people,” said Mutowa. “ We want to love and value them the way God loves and values them.”

Compassion and Justice kicks off today

Posted by admin February - 17 - 2016 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

God’s role in the politically charged topic of social justice was the focus of the opening session of Trevecca’s Compassion and Justice Conference.

The conference, hosted by the J.V. Center for Social Justice, includes several speakers on issues ranging from caring for the environment to sex trafficking. The goal is to education and equip local justice workers.

Tim Green, university chaplain, presented the first session, exhorting the audience to view social justice as a biblical mandate.

“The whole of Christian scripture boldly insists that justice roll like a river, righteousness like an ever flowing stream,” said Green.

He emphasized the character of God, who he perceives as being founded on deliverance and determined to set the world free.

“God does not stop at deliverance from slavery,” said Green. “But is determined to bring [people] into vitality.”

He discussed the context in which the scripture was written and helped to explain the differences between modern day America, and ancient Israel.

“He specified that an orphan can have still have parents and a widow can still be married,” said Amber Donat, an Environmental justice major.

Green concluded his message by addressing the potential of the audience.

“He defined power as the capacity to act and then gave a definition of all the people who are the closest to God’s heart,” said Ericka Furnish, a Social Justice minor. “We do not only have the capacity to act but [the capacity] to empower [others] to have a voice, to give a voice to the voiceless. “

The Compassion and Justice Conference will continue through Wednesday and into Thursday morning.


Compassion and Justice Conference Schedule

Wednesday, February 17th 

8:30a.m. Doors Open

9 a.m. General Session with Tom Nees

10 a.m. General Session with Bob Broadbooks

11:30a.m. Lunch Break

1 p.m. & 2 p.m. workshops

3 p.m. General Session with Cosmon Mutowa


Thursday, February 18th 

8:30a.m. Doors Open

9 a.m. General Session with Larry Bollinger

10 a.m. General Session with Gary Morsch