In celebration of the Jan. 15 anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birth date, Belmont University will be holding its 11th annual series of Commemorative Programs over the course of the next several weeks. The university’s commitment to Martin Luther King Week through classroom and special events began in 1997 and continues to grow today with Belmont observing the MLK holiday with widely varied events. All of the events listed below are open to both the Belmont community and the general public at no charge unless otherwise noted. For additional information, visit Belmont’s MLK Web site at www.belmont.edu/mlk.
Wed., Jan. 16, 10 a.m.
“Our Journey: A Black History Pageant” by Michael Walker
“Our Journey” is a celebration of Black History that combines poetry, song, dance and drama. The timeline begins with the civilizations of ancient Africa and runs through the late 1960’s. This performance will be directed by Crystal Jones, B.A. in Theater & Arts, with performances by members of the Black Student Association and the Belmont Theatre Program.
Harton Recital Hall
Fri., Jan. 18, 10 a.m.
“A Christian’s Perspective of Race” with Al Allen
Alumnus and recent Belmont Athletic Hall of Fame inductee Al Allen (‘96) remains one of only eight players in Belmont men’s basketball history to score over 2,000 career points (2,030) despite playing only three years. After graduating, Allen began a career in mortgage banking. About three years ago, he and his wife Jude began working
in inner-city ministry, and he has served as the development director for Family Affair Ministries. He is also the Executive Director of Pass the Salt, a marketplace ministry that encourages Christians to offer prayer, forgiveness and love for those who are hurting in their circle of influence. He has published two books: A Father’s Epistles and The Salt Journal.
Wed., Jan. 23, 10 a.m.
“Race Matters” with Dr. Lucius Outlaw, Jr.
A discussion of racial matters in socio-political life and in the legacies and practices of European and Euro-American Philosophy, this lecture will be presented by Dr. Lucius Outlaw, Jr., professor of Philosophy and Director of the African American Studies Program at Vanderbilt University.
Wed., Jan. 23, 7 p.m.
4th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Worship Service
Brandon Maxwell and Scott Claybrook will serve as leaders of this student-led worship service featuring Belmont groups.
Massey Performing Arts Center
Thurs., Jan. 24, 7 p.m.
Race and Religion in Nashville: A Panel Discussion moderated by Dr. Renita J. Weems
A panel discussion about the challenges for United churches in Nashville. Area ministers will share their experiences with diversity in their churches and their work with the community at large.
Panelists include Rev. Dr. Stephanie Crowder, Belmont University; Rev. William Crowder, New Covenant Christian Church; Rev. Jay Hartley, Eastwood Christian Community Church; Rev. Bruce Maxwell, Lake Providence Missionary Baptist Church; Rev. Dr. Amy Mears, Glendale Baptist Church; Rev. Joanna Robertson, Ebenezer Community Church; and Rev. Jay Vorhees, Antioch United Methodist Church.
Fri., Jan. 25, 10 a.m.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Keynote Address: “United/Divided by Faith” by Dr. Renita J. Weems
Dr. Renita J. Weems is a nationally-renowned theologian and an ordained elder in the African Methodist Church whose scholarly insights into modern faith, biblical texts and the role of spirituality in everyday lives have made her a much sought after author and speaker. Dr. Weems, formerly a faculty member at Vanderbilt University and Spelman College, has been celebrated by Ebony magazine as one of America’s top 15 preachers, and she has been featured on PBS, the BBC, National Public Radio and A&E. She is founder of Something Within, a consulting service providing guidance for women of faith interested in connecting with their inner wisdom as well as interested in balancing faith, work and values with vocation.
Massey Performing Arts Center
In addition to these events, which are open to the public, Belmont will be offering several opportunities exclusively for its campus population, including the university’s fourth annual field trip to significant Civil Rights venues. This year, students, faculty and staff will be able to journey to Atlanta on Sat., Jan. 26, where they can tour Underground Atlanta, the Apex Museum and National Park. The last site will offer a walking tour of the Civil Rights Walk of Fame as well as the chance to view Dr. King’s birthplace and Ebenezer Baptist Church where he preached. At the end of the month, campus members can participate in one of three different sessions on “Belmont and Diversity,” which allows individuals to discuss important issues and find common ground for solutions and lasting community change.
Finally, several Belmont classes will focus attention this month on various aspects of the Civil Rights movement, and many of these one-time lectures will be open the public. Visit www.belmont.edu/mlk/MLKClasses.pdf for more information.