Our History

Salama Urban Ministries was founded in 1985 as a collaborative effort between Stan and Alice Weber and four Nashville churches. Originally known as S.T.E.P. (Strategies to Elevate People), the ministry included tutoring, mentoring and Bible studies. In 1986, the organization began a structured summer program called Summer of Champions, evolving into a year-round program. 

In the winter of 1991, the organization was renamed Salama (which means peace in Swahili). The name speaks to the peace that comes through Jesus Christ. 

Salama saw the demands for its programs increase with an interest from families in the greater Nashville area. In 2003, Salama partnered with the Center for Nonprofit Management to analyze the needs of the community and Salama’s capacity to meet those needs. Resulting from the strategic plan, Salama initiated a newly developed model for youth development called The Salama Institute. This model enriches the lives of children and youth up to 650 hours per year. The high school graduation rate of former students is 100% and more than 90% of those students moved on to college and advanced education. 

Salama's efforts are now primarily focused on the Edgehill community. We serve K-8 students during the school year and K-12 students in Edgehill and the greater Nashville area during the summer session. Our 3 areas of concentration are academics, performing arts, and Christ-centered spiritual development. The goal of Salama is to develop value-guided leaders who will impact their communities and the world.