Historically Black Fisk University in Nashville and predominantly White Belmont University in Nashville have announced the establishment of the Belmont-Fisk Social Justice Collaborative, a partnership between the universities designed to promote social justice through exposure to civil rights and social justice movements across Middle Tennessee.
The donor-funded collaborative was created to educate, empower, and inspire students through mutual respect for humanity. Designed as a course that students from both universities will enroll in together, participants will immerse themselves in the state’s civil rights history. Over the course of the semester, enrolled students will visit both campuses, a variety of museums and libraries, and will interview social justice advocates across decades. As part of the experience, students will travel to Black Mountain, North Carolina, for the Ignite Retreat, an immersive experience designed to teach students how to create change in their communities.
“Our commitment to reweaving the social fabric through hope and inclusive excellence begins with a thorough and thoughtful examination of the past, reflecting on areas where imbalance and inequality have persisted,” said Susan West, executive vice president for administration, chief of staff, and chair of Belmont’s Diversity Council. “Only with this acknowledgment can we move forward, remaining accountable as we learn along the way.”
Belmont University enrolls about 7,000 undergraduate students and 1,600 graduate students, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Education. African Americans make up 5 percent of the undergraduate student body.