BELMONT NEWS

Professor Shares Story of Salvation, Cultural Integration The Bible was once just a reference book on a library shelf for Asian Studies Professor Qingjun Li. Then as a professor twice recognized as a “Teacher of Excellence” at Zhengzhou University in China, religion was taboo in academia.
“The education that I received was that there was no God, and there was no Savior in your world but you. Religion was like opium; it made your mind numb,” said Li, who grew up in China. “I never thought I could use the Bible for myself as a companion.”
She shared her story of “Finding Faith in the Land of the Dragon” during chapel on March 14. In China, the dragon stands as a symbol of power, good luck and achievement.Then a friend named Sherri Love would share stories of Jesus Christ with Li, sometime for hours. Read more.

Sociology Professor Tells ‘Black Woman’s Burden’
Kent State University sociology assistant professor Nicole Rousseau chronicled the role of black women’s wombs in America’s capitalist society over 400 years during a lecture to Belmont students on March 19.

Winner of the 2010 North Central Sociological Association Scholarly Achievement Award, Rousseau gave an outline of her book The Black Woman’s Burden: Commodifying Black Reproduction.

During slavery, black women were raped and forced to reproduce to provide labor for the agricultural South. During the U.S. industrial era, blacks were seen as parasites and sterilizations were mandated through the eugenics movements and The Negro Project. Today, sterilization is coerced through programs such as Project Prevention, which offers people with drug and alcohol addictions cash for sterilization. Read more.

Belmont University Honored Nationally for Community Service
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the U.S. Department of Education has honored Belmont University as among the nation’s leading colleges, universities, students, faculty and staff for its commitment to bettering Nashville through service.

Belmont University was admitted to the Honor Roll with Distinction for its students’ and employees’ support of volunteering, service learning and civic engagement.

“Through service, these institutions are creating the next generation of leaders by challenging students to tackle tough issues and create positive impacts in the community,” said Robert Velasco, Acting CEO of CNCS. “We applaud the Honor Roll schools, their faculty and students for their commitment to make service a priority in and out of the classroom. Together, service and learning increase civic engagement while fostering social innovation among students, empowering them to solve challenges within their communities.”

Eduardo Ochoa, the U.S. Department of Education’s assistant secretary for postsecondary education, said, “Preparing students to participate in our democracy and providing them with opportunities to take on local and global issues in their course work are as central to the mission of education as boosting college completion and closing the achievement gap. The Honor Roll schools should be proud of their work to elevate the role of service-learning on their campuses.” Read more.

Belmont Goes Dark for Earth Hour
For the fourth consecutive year, Belmont University will turn off lights for an Earth Hour Celebration as part of a global project to raise awareness of climate change and the need for sustainable living.

Hosted by student organization O.N.E. Club (Our Natural Environment), Belmont Goes Dark begins at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 31 on the South Lawn outside of the Maddox Grand Atrium. The event, which is open to the public and Belmont community, will include fireside acoustic performances by Chris Wright, Derek Johnson and the Chadasha Choir. There also will be s’mores as well as recycling stations for batteries, light bulbs and old electronics. Several Earth-conscience organizations also will have information booths.

At approximately 8:30 p.m., all non-emergency lighting in residence halls and on campus grounds will be turned off, and all students are encouraged to refrain from using energy-consuming devices during that time. Previously scheduled campus events will continue as planned.

Before leaving campus for the weekend, faculty and staff should turn off their lights, computers and other equipment and be mindful that power will be off in some areas for the event.

Bruin Recruiters Host a ‘Big Build’
On Saturday, Feb. 25, 70 Belmont students spent the day working at Belcourt Terrace Nursing & Rehabilitation Center to raise money for a Honduras orphanage.

Throughout their day, volunteers spent time painting, washing windows, doing yard work and detailing wheelchairs as well as cleaning beds, residents’ bedrooms and the organization’s basement. The students also read Bible studies with the residents, sang hymns and played bingo.

Working alongside faculty advisor Sara Olson, who works in the Office of Admissions, and her husband’s nonprofit Both Hands Foundation (BHF), Belmont’s Bruin Recruiters wanted to volunteer together to impact their community, both locally and globally. BHF is an organization that serves widows in the community in a practical way while also raising money for orphan care and adoptions. After a visit to a partner orphanage in 2011, BHF founder JT Olson realized the need and came up with a concept to help. By assisting in mobilizing college groups to hold what BHF calls “big build projects” sponsored through letter writing campaigns, all money raised goes back to the orphanage to assist those needs. Read more.

Belmont University to Host West Memphis 3′s Jason Baldwin

On Monday, March 26, Belmont University will host  both a film presentation and a convocation lecture with Jason Baldwin, one of the three men now known as the West Memphis 3. In 1994, a teenage Baldwin and acquaintances Damien Echols and Jessie Misskelley were tried and convicted in the murders of three 8-year-old boys the year before in West Memphis, Arkansas.

Baldwin will speak 10 a.m. Monday in the Massey Boardroom about his arrest at age 16 and his experience serving more than 18 years of a life sentence and how those events have informed his future. Baldwin, who hopes to attend law school some day with the goal of preventing wrongful convictions, will also be participating in a private lunch with students and faculty from Belmont’s College of Law.

At 7 p.m. the public is invited to join Baldwin along with Belmont students, faculty and staff in the Bunch Library Multimedia Room for a viewing of the 2012 Academy Award-nominated HBO documentary Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory. The film, along with its predecessors Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996) and Paradise Lost 2: Revelations (2000), detail the story of the West Memphis 3 and the trio’s ultimate release from prison. Together the films played a significant role in garnering publicity, awareness and support for the men.