An anti-violence symposium focusing on a church-based approach to reducing Nashville’s homicide rate is the cornerstone of a week of events planned for Martin Luther King Jr. Week at Belmont University, honoring the late civil rights leader. With Nashville’s murder rate on the rise, Belmont University has called the Nashville Against Violence Symposium (2-4 p.m., Jan. 19 in the Vince Gill Room at the Curb Event Center) at a critical time, and invited the Rev. Ray Hammond, M.D., founder of the Ten Point Coalition, to lead a conversation about possible ways to address the homicide problem in our city. Hammond’s Ten Point Coalition brought together urban pastors, the Boston mayor’s office, and leaders among the police and judiciary, and the effort was so successful at reducing the city’s skyrocketing murder rate in Boston that that other cities began adopting it.
Dr. Hammond went to Harvard at age 15, Harvard Medical School at 19, and became a surgeon. He also earned an advanced degree in religion from Harvard. He went on to found a church, Bethel African Methodist Episcopal, and eventually laid down his stethoscope (and 90 percent of his income) to serve as a pastor in one of the poorest areas of Boston.
Belmont University President Dr. Robert Fisher is convening the Nashville Against Violence symposium, which will also feature Metro Police Chief Ronal Serpas, Tennessean columnist Dwight Lewis, and community and church leaders from across the city.
For a complete list of Martin Luther King Jr. commemorative events at Belmont Jan. 16-Feb. 1, click here.
Some of the other events planned for MLK week at Belmont include:
“Let’s Not Lose a Generation”
Wednesday, Jan. 18
12 noon, Faculty Staff Dining Room
A 90-minute session with the Rev. Gloria White-Hammond, M.D., who will present information and lead an informal discussion about working with and teaching self-improvement to women of all ages. Rev. White-Hammond, founded a creative writing program called “Do the Write Thing” for high-risk black adolescent females. She also has worked to obtain the freedom of 10,000 enslaved Sudanese women and children, and founded My Sister’s Keeper, a human rights group in Sudan focused on community reconstruction.
Dr. White-Hammond is a pediatrician at South End Community Health Center and Co-Pastor of Bethel AME Church in Boston. Her educational background includes a B.A. in biology from Boston University, a Doctorate of Medicine from Tufts Medical School and a Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School. Dr. White-Hammond’s long history of involvement in mentoring and community service in the United States and in Africa is award winning and truly inspirational.
Genocide in Sudan: An Eyewitness Update
Wednesday, January 18
10 a.m., Massey Performing Arts Center
Rev. Gloria White-Hammond, who was the keynote speaker for Belmont’s Sudan Focus last semester, has just returned from Sudan’s troubled Darfur region, where she traveled with National Public Radio correspondent Charlayne Hunter-Gault to report on the ongoing genocide there as well as on what is being done to end it.
MLK Worship Service
Wednesday, Jan. 18
7:00 p.m. Massey Performing Arts Center
The Rev. Gloria White-Hammond, M.D., Co-Pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Boston, leads this special worship service on the theme “Let’s not lose a generation – teach them.”
Friday, Jan. 20
The Rev. Ray Hammond, M.D., leads a Christian Faith Development Convocation on the theme “Let’s not lose a generation – inspire them.”