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June 24, Welcome Home and MLE Update

Welcome Home and MLE Update

June 24, 2020

Students, Faculty and Staff,

The last 10 days have been eventful in our work to engage our campus community in conversations about racism. We invite you to read through the highlights below so you will be informed of all that is taking place.

  • More than 100 individuals participated in nine additional virtual listening sessions last week. Participants included Belmont students, faculty and staff from across many different disciplines and from various departments on our campus. Important, meaningful and honest conversations are being had, and voices are being heard.
  • Last Thursday evening, the College of Pharmacy held a White Coats for Black Lives vigil to show support for black lives and take a knee for justice. More than 50 Pharmacy students, faculty and staff – as well as family members – turned out for what was a very enlightening service. 
  • On Friday, the University held a virtual Racial Justice Prayer Vigil. Many of you tuned in to participate and hear from a wide range of speakers including Belmont Trustees, President Fisher, Senior Leaders, students, faculty, staff and alumni. If you were not able to watch it live, we strongly encourage you to view a recording of the vigil.
  • Our student media, the Belmont Vision, published an editorial last week on what it means to be Black at Belmont. The piece was exceptionally well done, and everyone would benefit from reading it. 
  • Belmont Security patrol officer Lauren Sheppard saw an opportunity to share with her security colleagues about the history and significance of Juneteenth by designing a special poster. You can read more about Lauren’s special effort on our Belmont News site

It is exciting to see our community come together in this important work. This week, there are more opportunities to get involved. 

  • On Thursday, June 25 at 2 p.m. the W.K. Kellogg Foundation is hosting a virtual program, Healing in Action, designed to promote racial healing and featuring a number of relevant and powerful voices. You may watch this program at the Foundation’s YouTube page.
  • On Saturday, June 27 Belmont will serve as the launching point for the next #WalkWithShawn alongside many of our Edgehill and 12South neighbors. Shawn is a 29-year-old Black man who has lived in the 12South area his entire life. After expressing his fear about walking in his increasingly gentrified neighborhood, his neighbors rallied to walk by his side. You can read more about this story on the Tennessean’s website, and we hope you will join us to walk with Shawn at 6 p.m. this Saturday. The walk will start at the fountain in front of the Inman Center at Wedgewood Avenue.
  • Eight more listening sessions will take place this week. If you have not been invited to attend a session and would like to bring ideas forward to enhance Belmont’s work in diversity and inclusion, please email as additional sessions will be scheduled in the near future.

Lastly, we would like to point you toward a few resources to learn more about Belmont’s efforts to build an inclusive and welcoming community that seeks to denounce racial injustice and hatred at every turn. More information about the mission and work of the Office of Multicultural Learning and Experience is available on the MLE website, and information about the University’s initiative for diversity & inclusion through the Welcome Home Diversity Council can be found on the WHDC site.  

We want to personally thank everyone who is getting involved in this important work. Education, new ideas and solutions will best be realized through our work collaboratively as the Belmont community. Please continue to be engaged, and we will continue to update you on our progress.


Dr. Susan West
Dr. Mary Clark