Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Tennessee United for Human Rights Educating Artists

Tennessee United for Human Rights is spreading its message to artists through educational tools, hard-hitting videos and inspirational messages.

Just a few short months ago, Tennessee United for Human Rights (TUHR) participated in an event for Peace Day at the Pavilion East in Nashville. Several artists performed including the legendary Melanie Safka, a musician with a heart for human rights since her appearance at Woodstock in 1969. Following the concert, Melanie signed on as President of Tennessee United for Human Rights and has been spreading its message at every opportunity.

For her work, Melanie was recently presented with an award by the Artists Music Guild at its annual convention. Also during the convention, Tennessee United for Human Rights presented a seminar on artists rights as human rights. This seminar provided the complete history of human rights, a breakdown of the individual points of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that protect artists, and how artists can protect themselves with this knowledge. 

TUHR is the local chapter of United for Human Rights (UHR), an international, not-for-profit organization dedicated to implementing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Its membership is comprised of individuals, educators and groups throughout the world who are actively forwarding the knowledge and protection of human rights by and for all Mankind, according to

UHR’s purpose is to provide human rights educational resources and activities that inform, assist and unite individuals, educators, organizations and governmental bodies in the dissemination and adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at every level of society.

United for Human Rights was founded on the Declaration’s 60th anniversary, in the face of continued worldwide abuses which violate the spirit, intent and Articles of this charter of all human rights, the first such document ever ratified by the community of nations. Surveys have found that most people have only a limited understanding of human rights. The Declaration contains the thirty rights that together form the basis of a civilization wherein all people can enjoy the freedoms to which they are entitled, and nations can coexist in peace.

For more information about United for Human Rights, go to

Holiday Anxiety? The Hubbard Dianetics Seminar Has the Answer

The Hubbard Dianetics Foundation offers a weekly seminar to help people resolve problems, discover the source of unreasonable fears and insecurities, and overcome barriers in life.

It has been reported that eight out of ten Americans anticipate stress during the holidays. How could this stress be relieved, or prevented all together? With Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, everyday people are finding a solution.

Since 2009, people from Nashville and Middle Tennessee have found answers about the mind and have been trained in highly effective techniques to resolve unwanted conditions in their lives. It’s all happened at the Hubbard Dianetics Foundation, a department within the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre Nashville.

Dianetics is defined as “what the soul is doing to the body through the mind,” and the subject explains how the mind contains a hidden influence that will cause individuals to perform the most insane acts. The techniques of Dianetics were developed by L. Ron Hubbard in the early part of the last century and presented to the world in the bestselling self-help book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.

While Dianetics is over sixty years old, this Dianetics seminar is new. It is based on the book and a video series, How to Use Dianetics, consisting of 18 short films which illustrate specific Dianetics principles and techniques. With these films, people new to the subject can easily learn what to expect from a Dianetics session and how to help another using this technology. “The seminar not only helps people become aware of the cause of their problems, but also the ability to handle it,” says the seminar director.

Following the presentation of the first of these films, those attending the seminar immediately put the materials to use, working with other attendees to apply the techniques right there on the spot.  Supervised by trained Dianetics specialists, the seminar participants gain first-hand experience with just how easy it is to resolve the difficulties and pain that life leaves in its wake. Church pastor Rev. Brian Fesler says, “Many people have finished this seminar, and I want everyone to experience the benefits of Dianetics.  It’s not just for members of my church—anyone can have it.”

The two-day Dianetics seminar is offered every weekend at the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre Nashville at 1130 8th Avenue South. For more information, visit or call the Hubbard Dianetics Foundation at 615-687-4600.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Artlightenment Dazzles Music City with 7th Annual Art Show and Film Festival

Artlightenment’s 7th consecutive year showcased celebrity photographer Raeanne Rubenstein and fashion designer Elisabeth Donaldson, both based in Nashville. The featured filmmakers were Bob Pondillo, Emeritus Professor of American Media History and Culture at Middle Tennessee State University, and Annie Kananack, an accomplished screenwriter whose work has been optioned by Happy Madison Studios and Lady in Red Production Company.

The festival was held at the Church of Scientology & Celebrity Centre Nashville. Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard was an accomplished artist who also wrote articles and books to help artists achieve success.

The Film Festival portion of Artlightenment spanned two evenings, Thursday and Friday, and drew full audiences. The Best Film award went to Bob Pondillo & David Lawrence for their film “My Name is Wallace,” a sweet and touching comedy of personal salvation through love starring David H. Lawrence XVII.

The overall Artlightenment Award Winner for the film about Art, Artists and the Art of Existence, was “Pray to Love”  by Anne Goetze, Nathan Collie and Mac Pirkle.

The Best of Show Award went to Samantha Ornellas, a new award for “Music City Mystique” which encompassed this year’s theme went to Barbara Hodges, and the award for Defining the Icons and Artists of our Culture went to Raeanne Rubenstein. The complete list of award winners can be seen at

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Nashville Church of Scientology Opens its Doors to Members of All Faith Communities During Holiday Season

The Nashville Church of Scientology celebrates the spirit of the holiday season with traditional events and get-togethers for friends, families and neighbors.

Because the Scientology religion is practiced in 184 nations, Scientologists come from a wide variety of faiths and cultural traditions. But no matter their background, they, like most people, gather with loved ones to enjoy the warmth of friends and family and celebrate the joy of the holiday season.

Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard honored the great religious leaders of the past for the wisdom they brought to the world, writing that Scientology shares “the goals set for Man by Christ, which are wisdom, good health and immortality.” It is in this spirit that Scientologists celebrate the holiday season, whether they observe Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the Birth of Baha'u'llah, Bodhi Day, the Festival of Lights or any other religious or cultural tradition.

Pastor of the Nashville Church, Rev. Brian Fesler, says, “We love the holidays. Our church is all-denominational and multi-cultural. We enjoy bringing friends in throughout the season.”

The Church is hosting a Thanksgiving potluck dinner, there will be get-togethers throughout December, and on New Year’s Eve the church celebrates with a large-scale event to round off the year. It is at this event that the church reviews accomplishments made and sets the course for the year to come.

For more information about Scientology, visit 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Tennessee Human Rights Day Celebration to Honor Human Rights Champions

The Tennessee Celebration of International Human Rights Day will take place in Nashville at the First Amendment Center on December 10th, 5pm – 7pm.  The celebration centers around the presentation of awards to human rights champions in three categories: Rising Advocate, Outstanding Service and Lifetime Achievement. Past recipients of these prestigious honors have included the Rev. Bill Barnes, Rev. James “Tex” Thomas, Rosetta Miller Perry, Father Joseph Breen, Gatluak Thach, First Baptist Capitol Hill, and many more.

A committee of human rights organizations and nonprofits, including the Tennessee Human Rights Commission, Metro Human Relations Commission, United Nations Association, Amnesty International, Tennessee United for Human Rights, the Church of Scientology and others, work together each year to plan the event.

This year, Rising Advocate Awards will be given to three individuals who have made great strides for human rights and show even greater promise for the future. They are Alice Gatebuke, a Nashville resident who cofounded the African Great Lakes Action Network which helps to build universal access to peace, justice and prosperity in the African Great Lakes Region; Ashford Hughes, an emerging leader for the labor movement who has been a proponent of labor and worker’s rights; and Aisha Lbhalla with the Muslim Women’s Council who has been working for religious freedom and cultural diversity.

The award winner in the category of Outstanding Service is Dr. Marisa Richmond, the first trans woman to win an election in the state of Tennessee, for her tireless work to ensure transgender equality and equality between Caucasian and African American transgender people in Tennessee.

Lifetime Achievement awards will go to Kwame Lillard, who was significantly involved in the management of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the Nashville sit-ins, and the Freedom Rides and training of Freedom Riders; and Bernard Werthan, a founding member of the Family of Abraham and Faith and Culture Center, as well as member of the Community Advocates Advisory Council joint initiative of Vanderbilt Medical Center and Meharry Medical College, past board member of Goodwill Industries, Community Nashville, Urban League of Middle Tennessee, Nashville Business Minority Center, and YWCA Advisory Board, among others.

International Human Rights Day occurs every year to commemorate the ratification of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations on Dec 10, 1948. According to the event’s website,, “In Tennessee, Human Rights Day has become a day to reflect and look at lessons learned and battles won, while various human rights groups join forces and commit to creating an even better future.”

The event this year is ticketed at $10, with proceeds going to help a group of students visit Model United Nations. For more information or to reserve a seat, visit 

Nashville Religion Communicators Council Discusses Teaching Religion in Schools

The longest running interfaith communications organization in the United States, the Religion Communicators Council (RCC), has chapters across the country that meet regularly and promote “excellence in the communication of religious faith and values in the public arena and encourage understanding among religious and faith groups,” according to the RCC website. 

In Nashville, the RCC Chapter recently shifted the style of meetings to maintain the organization’s historic integrity while adjusting to 21st century ideals by holding bi-monthly meetings to discuss hot topics and how they, as people of faith, may influence others.

In November, the group talked about the teaching of religion in public schools, citing the recent news of parents in Williamson County who were upset about the amount of attention paid to teaching about Islam during a social studies class.

During the meeting, the group reviewed the possible ways that religion could be discussed in a grade school setting to promote tolerance and diversity without enforcing any one particular belief or faith values on students. RCC members also agreed parents are the ones that need to teach their children about religion, not just their own, but open the discussion so their kids understand that there are other people in the world who believe differently than oneself.

According to the President of the Nashville Chapter, Rev. Brian Fesler who also Pastors the Nashville Church of Scientology, the chapter meetings take place on the second Tuesday of every other month during breakfast. “The concept for these meetings is to bring diverse people together to dialogue about hot topics and how we can unite to bring more inspiration and good news to the world,” he said.

The RCC has members from every faith group and walk of life including Baha’is, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Scientologists, Sikhs, Hindus and more. For more information about the RCC or their next meeting, visit

Friday, November 6, 2015

Drug-Free South Treats Kids to Truth

Halloween this year was filled with candy, costumes and more. But just before the holiday, during a celebration event in the Edgehill neighborhood, kids were treated to more than just games and sweets. Drug-Free South came out to bring truth to young people and help prevent the worst kind of addiction.

Halloween falls on the last day of Red Ribbon Week, the last week of October each year which is also the oldest and largest drug prevention campaign in the country. This is the best time to educate young people and help prevent drug abuse.

The Red Ribbon Campaign commemorates DEA agent Kiki Camarena, who died in the line of duty in 1985. Since that time, people display red ribbons as a sign of solidarity and intolerance toward the use of drugs.

Drug-Free South organizers participated in the Edgehill event on October 30th, distributing materials to youth and encouraging health and safety during the holiday.

Drug-Free South began honoring Red Ribbon Week in Tennessee in 2009 by distributing copies of The Truth About Drugs booklets, which help young people understand what drugs are and how they affect the user, visiting school classrooms to deliver a seminar to students utilizing the documentary The Truth About Drugs: Real People, Real Stories, and getting the Drug-Free World public service announcements played on television. Drug-Free South has provided seminars to students in over thirty counties in Tennessee.

Drug-Free South is the Tennessee chapter of the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, an international non-profit organization. Its materials demonstrate the dangers of drugs through factual information and interviews with former addicts giving personal perspectives on each of the substances covered.  For more information, visit 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Artlightenment Releases 2015 Schedule for Art Show and Film Festival

The Artlightenment festival, now an annual tradition in Music City, combines several art forms into one breathtaking event in November. This is the seventh year of the festival which continues to grow and change while inviting even greater participation from the community. The 2015 theme is Music City Mystique: Behind the Art.

Saturday, November 7th at 5:30pm is the opening reception. Guests will be able to view the art on display and meet the artists.

Robyn Morshead who founded the Artlightenment festival says, “Each year local artists submit their art for the show and each year I am absolutely blown away by the artistic skill and expression we have in our community.” 

The art show is hosting 47 local artists this year including the three featured artists: celebrity photographer Raeanne Rubenstein, whose photographs have recently been added to the catalogue of the prestigious Gagosian Gallery in New York City; Anne Goetze, a prolific artist whose Annecey, France Nun Series is scheduled to tour the United States; and Roy Laws, whose bold and expressive art hangs in private collections in the United States and Internationally.

Additionally, Laws will deliver a Live Painting Event of Rubenstein’s celebrated photograph of Martina McBride during the Artlightenment festival. Also during the festival, comedian and artist Bob Hutcheson will be creating a Community Coloring Experience, followed by his hilarious comedy show.

Artlightenment this year will be chock-full of inspirational talks, workshops, film screenings, a fashion show and much, much more.

Morshead said: “I am thrilled to give our local artists and filmmakers an opportunity to share their art with the community.  I invite everyone to come out and enjoy the experience.”

The Church of Scientology and Celebrity Centre Nashville is the festival host each year, in accordance with Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard’s vision to help all artists. More information and the complete schedule can be found online at