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Espy: ‘God at Work’ During Troubled Times

Mike EspyProminent attorney Mike Espy shared with students his rise to notoriety as well as the infamous fall that brought him closer to God during chapel on Wednesday.

“What happens when you run into trouble and you do everything you can to get out of it? There is no answer on your own timetable, and you fall deeper into the muck and mud. Faith is tested, really tested,” Espy said. “At your show down, God shows up, and together you show out.”

The Mississippi native ran for Congress in 1985 to represent a poor district where the people who would vote for him could not afford to donate to his campaign. At 29, he became the youngest House Representative and the first African-American Congressman elected in Mississippi since Reconstruction.  A decade later, President Bill Clinton appointed him to serve as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. The first African-American to hold that cabinet position, Espy said he was expected to “do nothing slowly,” but within days responded to deaths caused by under-cooked hamburgers at a national fast-food chain as well as a 500-year flood and negotiated tariff and trade quotas with other countries.

Then trouble came, and Espy was accused of receiving improper gifts, including football tickets, and was investigated by the FBI.

“I went from calling presidents and prime ministers to not being able to call a cab,” he said. (more…)

Belmont, Tennessee World Affairs Council Hosts Screening of Human Trafficking Documentary

Panelists discuss "Not My Life" following a screening of the documentary.

Panelists discuss “Not My Life” following a screening of the documentary.

Belmont University’s Interdisciplinary Studies and Global Education and the College of Business Administration Center for International Business hosted on Monday the Tennessee World Affairs Council’s screening of “Not My Life,” a documentary on human trafficking written, directed and produced by Academy Award nominee Robert Bilheime.

More than 80 people attended the event held in the Massey Performing Arts Center, including Belmont students, students from area colleges, members of the public and area agencies who work to stop human trafficking. “Not My Life” is the first film comprehensively to depict the cruel and dehumanizing practices of global human trafficking and modern slavery. The screening was part of a nationwide program sponsored by the World Affairs Councils of America and made possible by a grant from Carlson & The Carlson Family Foundation.

Filmed on five continents, in a dozen countries, Not My Life features more than 50 interviews with trafficking victims and their advocates in government, law enforcement, civil society, and the private sector. It includes the stories of 10 year-old girls raped in truck stops in the United States and brothels in India, street beggars in Africa, and domestic servants in Washington, D. C. to  take viewers into a world that is difficult to imagine, let alone accept. (more…)

Students Take Classroom Outside During ‘Wash and Roll’

Wheelchair Wash-102-L

Marion Pierce (center) has his wife drive him 90 miles to Belmont to have his wheelchair serviced during Wash and Roll.

Occupational and physical therapy students took their classroom learning outside during a community service project on Tuesday. During Wash and Roll, dozens of wheelchair users had their power chairs cleaned and serviced free-of-charge by students and faculty from Belmont’s Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy programs and local equipment dealers.

“This collaboration of physical therapy and occupational therapy was to get students involved in community service with an underserved population. Because once they get a wheelchair from insurance, they can get serviced once a year, but it is difficult to find place to get it done,” said Occupational Therapy Assistant Professor Teresa Plummer. “No one just cleans and services chairs, so families of people with medical disability have to do it on their own.”

The service is so rare that Barbara Pierce drove her husband, Marion, 90 miles from Winchester, Tenn. to Belmont’s campus to have his five-year-old wheelchair evaluated and cleaned.


Nashville’s Hispanic Heritage Celebration Begins at Belmont

Hispanic Heritage Month Final-130-XLBelmont University hosted the Hispanic Heritage Month kick-off event for the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on Sept. 19 in the the McWhorter Hall Board Room. Click here to view photos from the event.

Hispanic Heritage Month is a nation-wide celebration that coincides with the anniversary of independence for several Latin American countries. Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico and Chile all achieved independence between Sept. 15 and 18.

To learn more about Hispanic Heritage Month, which stakes place Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, visit For more information about Hispanic Heritage Month events in Nashville, visit

‘Kings’ Summer Program Helps At-Risk Youth Gain Life Skills

hammer-130-XLBelmont University is continuing its investment in Nashville-area African-American youth through its partnership with 100 Kings. For the tenth consecutive summer, nonprofit organization 100 Black Men has held its summer camp 100 Kings on Belmont’s campus.

The annual six-week camp is the summer portion of an eight-year mentoring program through which 100 Black Men of Middle Tennessee adopts African-American fifth, sixth and seventh  graders and offers them academic enrichment , experiential learning opportunities and mentoring. About 70 percent of “Kings” qualify for reduced and free lunches. Upon completion of the program and graduation from high school, they are eligible to receive up to $20,000 in scholarships from 100 Black Men.

“The goal is to get them to graduate from high school and college,” said 100 Kings Director Donovan Robertson.

This summer’s experiential learning has included building a house at the Adventure Science Center with If I Had a Hammer and a car wash. Kings spent two weeks in Belmont classrooms learning about the tools and skills needed to build a house as well as accounting and marketing.

“Through the class we have taken them through every part of starting your own business, like net worth statements, how to talk to investors and pitch your idea, organizational planning. I really feel like they are walking away from this program with the skills they need to launch their own businesses and understand finances in the real world. So they would have the competencies to create jobs themselves and see that they could bring something of value to the community and be their own bosses,” said Clarissa Donaldson, director of the 100 Kings Entrepreneurship and Financial Literacy Summer Program.  “This whole experience has been an answered prayer and a blessing. I am only a junior undergraduate student, and I am really interested in economic development through education. So it has been awesome to be in a leadership role, create a curriculum and see the spirit of these kids every day.” (more…)

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