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STARS Partners With Nobel Peace Laureate and Belmont


In an extraordinary joint initiative, Iranian-born Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi was announced the partner for Nashville’s first PeaceJam working with Students Taking A Right Stand (STARS) and Belmont University exploring issues of peace, violence, social justice and oppression with a community service component.

The announcement of Ebadi, the first ever Iranian and first Muslim woman to earn the Nobel Peace Prize, was made by Belmont University President Robert Fisher with STARS CEO Rodger Dinwiddie in a kick-off PeaceSlam rally on Belmont’s campus with students from 24 area middle and high schools attending.

Photo caption:  Heritage Middle student Mia Laub introduced Rodger Dinwiddie and Dr. Robert Fisher to the PeaceSlam students. (Photo by Belmont University)

Dr. Mimi Barnard, assistant provost for interdisciplinary studies & global education, said the PeaceJam is a great community initiative.

“In announcing PeaceJam, it’s fitting that this year’s Campus Theme is E Pluribus Unum—out of many, one. We live in an increasingly complex geopolitical context, yet we are called to love our neighbor. To that end, Belmont is thrilled to partner with Students Taking a Right Stand (STARS) to become the PeaceJam Mid-South Affiliate, which includes Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas and Kentucky. PeaceJam exists to create young leaders committed to positive change in themselves, their communities, and the world through the inspiration of Nobel Peace Laureates who pass on the spirit, skill and wisdom they embody. Our collaboration will enable leadership training for hundreds, if not thousands, of youth throughout the Mid-South,” Barnard said.

Dinwiddie said the currently exiled Ebadi will be in Nashville January 25-27 for the PeaceJam where she will work with Belmont and STARS students on a global issue empowering students to return to their schools and community with initiatives for change. Here’s more information about Dr. Ebadi. (

Photo caption: Dr. Shirin Ebadi will work with area STARS and Belmont students to tackle a world issue at the January 2013 PeaceJam.


Schools across the mid-state attending were: Brentwood Middle, Fairview Middle, Freedom Middle, Gra-Mar Midde, Grassland Middle, Heritage Middle, Hillsboro Middle, Jere Baxter Middle, Page Middle, Spring Station Middle, Sunset Middle, Woodland Middle, Wright Middle, Brentwood High, Centennial High, Fairview High, Franklin High, Glencliff High, Maplewood High, Middle College, Oakland High, Page High, Peal Cohn, West Wilson High.

Students are now taking ten issues back to their schools to consider tackling at the January PeaceJam from ending poverty and global disease to breaking the cycle of violence and ending racism and hate. The students work with Dr. Ebadi to determine their final joint project as well as  ocus on a community service project in the Nashville area.

PeaceJam is an international youth organization whose mission is to create young leaders committed to positive change in themselves, their community and the world through the inspiration of Nobel Peace Laureates.