NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – TSU alum and Waffle House hero James Shaw Jr. will launch his new charity during an anti-violence rally at Tennessee State on Sunday, Aug. 26.
The event will begin at Hale Stadium and culminate in Kean Hall on TSU’s campus. Activities kick off at 2 p.m., and will include a celebrity basketball game.
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.
“TSU is honored to be a part of this special event as Mr. James Shaw Jr. launches his foundation to address community issues and concerns that plague our neighborhoods. We are particularly pleased that TSU is a part of this kickoff event,” said TSU President Glenda Glover, who has set up a scholarship at the university in Shaw’s name.
“James could have easily stepped from the forefront and quietly gone on with his life. Instead, he has created a platform that allows him to be a voice for those who feel disenfranchised and have lost hope. His giving of himself speaks to his character and values.”
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.
A few months ago, 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. However, he raised much, much more.
And he plans to continue the giving with his James Shaw Jr. Foundation.
“We can only make real progress if we work together, stand collectively and care for one another,” said Shaw. “I will never let my life, or those lives we sadly lost, be in vain.”
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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.