NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – TSU alum and Waffle House hero James Shaw Jr. launched his new charity during an anti-violence rally at Tennessee State University on Sunday.
Called “Come Together Day,” the event kicked off at Hale Stadium with vendors and activities for kids before moving into Kean Hall where there was a celebrity basketball game that included TSU alum and Philadelphia 76ers star Robert Covington.
“We’re so proud of James Shaw Jr. for stepping up to the forefront to launch this effort to bring people together,” said TSU President Glenda Glover, who has set up a scholarship at the university in Shaw’s name. “This is very important to this community, and TSU is an integral part of this community. We’re pleased that we can serve in this role.”
Nashville Mayor David Briley attended the rally and also lauded Shaw’s efforts.
“James has really shown how strong a man he is, and I look forward to working with him as he moves forward in his life and lifts up this community,” Briley said.
Shaw said the mission of The James Shaw Jr. Foundation is to work with other like-minded organizations and community advocates to eradicate violence and address mental health issues, as well as provide support, tools and resources for individuals and families who have experienced severe violence and trauma.
“It’s about accountability and caring for one another,” Shaw said Sunday.
Chelsey Dyer of Nashville said she attended the rally with her 5-year-old son, Jeremiah, because she wanted to support Shaw’s effort to make the community safer.
“I think it’s awesome,” Dyer said. “We need to come together and make Nashville the best that it can be. We need more James’.”
Four people were killed and several others wounded on April 22 when a gunman opened fire in a Waffle House in the Nashville suburb of Antioch.
Authorities have said there would have probably been more casualties had it not been for Shaw’s actions. He wrestled a rifle away from the gunman and tossed it over the counter before shoving the shooter out the door.
In May, family members of the shooting victims attended a ceremony at TSU to honor those killed and wounded in the shooting. Shaw presented the victims with a check for more than $240,000. Immediately after the shooting, Shaw set up a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of $15,000. He raised much, much more.
Donations to the James Shaw Jr. Scholarship Fund can be paid through the link below or by mail. Please send to: The James Shaw, Jr. Scholarship Fund at Tennessee State University, Tennessee State University Foundation, 3500 John A. Merritt Blvd. Box 9542, Nashville, TN 37209. Donors can also call, 615-963-5481.
Note: Feature photo of TSU President Glenda Glover and James Shaw Jr. by Jon Strayhorn-Media Arts Collective.
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With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.