Women's March 2.0 Power Together tn
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Conference Workshops

Women's March 2.0 Power Together TN Conference Workshops

All conference programs to occur at TSU Avon Williams Campus 330 10th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37203. 

1st Session  - 9:30am to 10:45am  |  2nd session - 11:00am to 12:15pm


ARTIVISM session 1 

Breaking the Silence: Finding Your Artivist Voice
TSU Room 201 - Facilitator: Willow Scrivner; Panelists: Ashley Doggett, Yancy Villa-Calvo, Cynthia Harris, Sarah Bandy, and Jen Starsinic
Creatives whose work tells difficult and important truths, exploring the convergence of arts and activism in breaking the silence, healing division, and reclaiming creative energy. We will explore the parallel journeys of artistic awakening and activist awakening.  As activists, how do we expand our creative vision, and as artists, how do we find our unique activist voice?


Willow Scrivner is a songwriter, singer and activist with grassroots experience effecting change through the gathering together of communities around song and story. She founded Persephone’s Circle in Seattle to unite women in music and raise money for organizations like Real Change. She brought this vision with her to Nashville where she works with BriteHeart on voter registration and community engagement through music.


Ashley Doggett is a Black Nashville based artist whose work has actively explored and confronted issues surrounding race, religion, and gender by highlighting aspects of the Black experience within the Americas. Doggett has made their practice to give credence to the experiences of their people and ancestors whilst being conscious of the histories that have defined the world as Black people have known it, both past and present. Using art as a platform for social activism, Doggett’s riveting images and writings educate, inspire and develop conversations around minority struggles.

Yancy Villa-Calvo was born in Mexico City, and Memphis has been her home for the past twenty years.  Her multimedia work seeks to create awareness, provoke thought, and engage in conversations on issues of social justice and equality. She currently works as a city artist for Memphis 3.0, the citywide comprehensive strategic plan, using the medium of art to act as a creative liaison, engage all segments of the community in urban planning and placemaking.

Cynthia C. Harris, MPH is a Writer/ Performance Artist/ Dancer/Health Educator/ and proud southerner.  Ms. Harris has been committed to the advancement of women through art, education, research, activism, and outreach over the past 15 years. She has created arts-based educational workshops and presentations for Planned Parenthood of Middle Tennessee's PG-13 Players, Morehouse College, Act Like A GRRRL, Inc., Vanderbilt University, Tennessee State University, Girls to the Moon, and the Davidson County Sheriff's Office.

Sarah Bandy received a B.A. in Art History from the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC in 2008 and went on to co-found Girls Rock Charleston beforemoving to Nashville, TN in 2013. She started at YEAH! as Program Director in 2013 and has served as Executive Director since late 2015. She’s been organizing and volunteering at Girls Rock Camps around the country for the past eight years and serves on the Nominations Committee of the International Girls Rock Camp Alliance. Bandy believes that it’s important to educate teenagers about their power to eradicate systemic oppression through creative, collaborative expression.

Jen Starsinic is a Nashville-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. She is also the co-director of Girls Write Nashville, a non-profit that serves as a songwriting, production and mentorship community for girls in Nashville aged 7-17.


Practical Artivism: Artists Explore Activism / Activists Get Creative
TSU Atrium Cafe - Facilitator: Kate Tucker; Artivist Presenters: Kat Jones, Rachel R. Underwood, Rachel Louise Martin, and DancEast  
Learn to creatively organize, mobilize and effect change in an interactive workshop following brief introduction on ways to generate compelling creative content quickly, effectively and affordably. Breakout sessions led by artivist facilitators in songwriting, photography,  storytelling and dance.


Kate Tucker is a Nashville-based performing artist, songwriter, producer and filmmaker. Motivated by the Women's March in 2017, she helped to start BriteHeart, a civic matchmaking platform that connects individuals with organizations and organizations with resources. Tucker's artistic vision is highly collaborative, as seen in her recent project The Shape The Color The Feel, where she enlisted a broad community of filmmakers, visual artists, dancers and musicians to create a visual album of 12 music videos, 2 short films, a documentary and a visual art exhibition. Tucker volunteers with Musicians on Call, sits on the board of One Voice Nashville and is currently making the documentary Comeback Evolution about writer and poet Walter Delbridge.


Kat Jones is an international songwriter, singer, and performance artist hailing from Nashville, TN.  She focuses on themes of an apocalyptic nature, weaving her five-octave vocal range into a cross between flamenco, punk rock, and opera. She encourages her audiences to engage with her in a variety of performance spaces from theaters to art galleries, house shows to concert venues.  Aside from touring as a solo artist, with her band (Kat Jones and The Prophets) as well as collaborator and cellist, Joshua Dent, her most recent project is a collaboration between Kat Jones & the Prophets and FALL called Dear Apocalypse, which explores themes of trauma and what it looks like to overcome and survive them.   She spends much of her time connecting artists on the fringes of the Nashville artistic community together for purposes of communication and collaboration.

Rachel R. Underwood, MS is currently a graduate student in the Community Development and Action program at Vanderbilt University. She is a mental health counselor and feminist researcher with a focus on participatory-action and community-based participatory research. Rachel’s research focuses on intergenerational mental health of women and experiences of poverty and homelessness. Her background in art education informs much of her research methodology, specifically the use of Photovoice.

Rachel Louise Martin is a freelance writer and researcher. She has PhD in women’s and gender history from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She combines her journalistic experience with her educational background to talk about the politics of memory, or how we remember and how we choose to forget the past. Her publishing credits include O Magazine, the Atlantic online and CityLab. Her essay "How Hot Chicken Really Happened" was included in Cornbread Nation 2015: The Best of Southern Food Writing. In summation, she is a writer,  civil rights scholar, oral historian, feminist, teacher, re-placed Tennessean, devoted Tarheel, violinist, and salsa dancer.

DancEast teen dancers with mentors Ashley Lawless. Under the mentorship of their instructors at DancEast, these young women have learned how to use the art of movement as a means to express their frustrations, beliefs, desires and emotions. They have come to believe, collectively, that dance is a critical part of the human experience and should be accessible to anyone who feels compelled to move and create.They are Nora, the writer; wise Lucy; Robin August, the musician; intuitive Lily; Timberlake, the artist; compassionate Mabel; Juliette, the activist; tenacious Abby; Alexandra, the engineer; engaging Mae, Kyra, the ballerina; dynamic Tatum; and Cameron, the scholar.


Story Circle: A Conversation about Intersectionality
TSU Room 308 - Facilitators: Rebecca Kinslow, Megan Kelley, Lauren Fitzgerald, and Janine Christiano
Historically, women’s rights movements have not always been inclusive of diverse identities - leading to further oppression and discrimination based on race, class, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation. Participate in a storytelling exercise where every voice counts and every ear listens, as we explore the current state of Intersectionality within the Feminist movement. Through an act of collective imagination, we will create a vision for a culture of belonging and justice.

The story circle is a tool shared by the USDAC to inspire people across the nation to share their own take on the current state of affairs or specific issues that affect us locally, regionally or nationally. 


Rebecca Kinslow has 20 years of experience in the arts and cultural sector. She oversees a public grant investment program, cultural and racial equity strategy, community arts programming and a wide network of local and national partnerships that help Metro Arts drive a vibrant and equitable community through the arts. Her activism as a Feminist is informed by issues of intersectionality and how voices are silenced or marginalized based on race, class, gender expression or other identity markers. The idea that “gender justice is racial justice is economic justice” guides her practice to pursue liberation for all through creative processes.

Megan Kelley’s career includes a diverse and thorough approach to the arts in educational, corporate, and grassroots spheres.Their civic and social practices revolve around creating physical, interactive spaces for community and dialogue; providing educational and developmental opportunities to artists and audiences alike; and inviting others into collaboration, curiosity, and cross-pollination. Kelley’s work focuses on sustainability for artists, through creative placemaking, community development, advocacy, and mentorship. They are a graduate of The Learning Lab, the Racial Equity in Arts Leadership Institute, and Vanderbilt's Leading Innovation in Arts and Culture.

Lauren Fitzgerald is an Artist Administrator with and art practice in theatre performance based in Nashville, TN. Her work is rooted in social change and community engagement. She has worked with several art institutions and theatres such as the Carpetbag Theatre (Knoxville, TN), The Walnut Street Theatre (Philadelphia, PA), The York Theatre Company (New York, NY), The Weathervane Theatre Company (Whitefield, NH), The Nashville Children’s Theatre, and currently with the Metro Nashville Arts Commission as the Neighborhood and Artists Development Coordinator.

Janine Christiano is a founder of the Arroyo Sustainable Economies Community Organization and is a committed advocate of the arts, economic justice, and maternal health. After several years working as an arts administrator in Los Angeles she decided to focus on community focused research and scholarship. She is currently a M.Ed candidate in Vanderbilt’s Community Development and Action program.

 

artivism session 2 

Responsibility of Influence: The Art of Communication
TSU 201  - Facilitator: Susan Ruth; Panelists: Renata Soto, D'Lisha Davis, Heather Lose, Beth Raebeck Hall, Shai Littlejohn, Ariel Bui, and Lisa McCauley
Artists, influencers, communications experts on the art of listening, the impetus to take a stand, and how to do both effectively, exploring the art of common ground messaging thru social media and other platforms that speak to independents, progressives and conservatives.


Susan Ruth began her songwriting career as a performing artist in Seattle, Washington, where she garnered multiple performance and writing awards. In 2006, she made the move to Nashville. Susan has penned songs in multiple genres, including: pop, country, rock, AAA and Euro dance for artists such as Reba, Lonestar, Erdem Kinay and The United. An accomplished abstract painter, Susan’s work is sought-after by collectors and the majority of her paintings are commissions acquired in advance. She is host of the human interest, purpose driven podcast Hey Human, which new episodes post every Thursday.


Renata Soto is the co-founder and Executive Director of Conexión Américas, a nonprofit organization based in Nashville and founded in 2002, which is dedicated to building a welcoming community and creating opportunities where Latino families can belong, contribute and succeed.  Every year, Conexión Américas assists more than 8,000 individuals and their families in their desire to start businesses, buy homes, improve their English, help their children succeed in school and go to college and become an integral part of Nashville’s social, cultural and economic vitality. Conexión Américas is the lead partner of Casa Azafrán, a nonprofit collaborative at the gateway to Nashville’s International District that is home to Conexión Américas and nine partners.

D'Lisha Davis is an influencer and educator who works closely within the community and partners with artists in the music industry, social media strategists, talent buyers, and brands. As a native of Music City, D'Llisha also impacts the youth everyday as a teacher in Metro Nashville Public Schools. D'Llisha has worked as an advocate for Middle Tennessee through her brand Protect the Culture, which drives awareness through creating intentional judgement free spaces and promoting positivity through music, community, and the arts. After working as an event curator, marketing planner for various clients, and pushing community focused platforms, D'Llisha believes that in order to grow professionally, it first begins with impacting your own community and making connections with those who seek to do the same.

Heather Lose is a brand manager, creative director, project leader, and idealist. She co-founded the Nashville Community Darkroom and is Co-founder and President of the Board of community radio station WXNA 101.5 FM. She has been active in radio for over 20 years, and her experience in print media includes writing, photographing and/or designing for HITS, The Nashville Scene, and The East Nashvillian, among others. Heather directs WXNA's social media, and tag-teams the station's underwriting, events, and fundraising efforts. Her show, Aging Hipster, can be heard Friday nights from 5–7 on 101.5 FM in Nashville, or at wxnafm.org.

Beth Raebeck Hall is known as a spitfire thinker and creative spark plug. She is the founder/owner of MusicRow411 and Crazy Rae Music. Her 30+ year career encompasses key entertainment, communications/marketing leadership roles. Both a published author and Grammy-nominated songwriter/artist, she branded and founded Tin Pan South, the world's largest songwriter festival. Hall is an award-winning published author and writer. With extensive board/volunteer experience in the charitable sector, she is currently Director of Development for Family & Children’s Service, one of Nashville’s oldest and largest nonprofit agencies.

Shai Littlejohn is a licensed attorney and performing songwriter in Nashville. Originally from Dayton, Ohio, Shai earned a degree in Journalism from Howard University and a Juris Doctorate from Howard University School of Law. She has worked for the Federal Trade Commission where she was selected to serve as a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. Shai is the 2016 recipient of the Tennessee Songwriters Association International's Horizon Award, and she has played writers nights, toured to several states and produced two EPs. She is now an independent contractor counseling small businesses and local Fortune 500 companies on a variety of corporate transactions.

Ariel Bui is a musical artist & educator, activist & radio DJ based out of Nashville, TN. In 2012, she founded Melodia Studio where she teaches piano to students of all ages, believing that music leads to happier and healthier individuals and communities. Ariel also hosts a radio show focused on Arts & Activism called Hello Hooray on WXNA 101.5 Mondays 11-noon. As an activist, she can be found volunteering for local non-profits like WXNA, YEAH (Youth Empowerment Through the Arts & Humanities), Power Together TN, Jessi Zazu, Inc. & more. As a guitarist and singer-songwriter of over 15 years, her latest self-titled LP was produced by Grammy-nominated Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes, Hurray for the Riff Raff), curated by Third Man Records' Ben Swank for the Nashville Public Library Boombox ollection, and rated 4 stars by American Songwriter Magazine amongst other laudable reviews. Her music, radio archives, and more can be found at www.arielbui.com.

Lisa McCauley First published in August 2010, The East Nashvillian was founded by Lisa McCauley as a bimonthly magazine designed to highlight East Nashville’s unique culture, community, and characters. Since its first year, the magazine has quadrupled its revenues and more than doubled its circulation, with copies now available in 15 zip codes. While East Nashville grows into an internationally-recognized destination for food and entertainment, The East Nashvillian is rapidly growing, too, expanding its operations to include a new office, and a daily-updated website with online-only content.

With her background as a professional in advertising sales, Lisa brings over two decades of experience in the Nashville media market to her position as the publisher of The East Nashvillian, which received the 2012 “East Nashvillian of the Year” award for a business. She is a fourth-generation East Nashvillian and a graduate of Belmont University.

Founded upon the philosophy that strong, vibrant communities provide the foundation for a strong, vibrant nation, The East Nashvillian began publishing its earliest issues in 2010. Lisa believed the time was right to launch a publication that gave voice to a community of artists, businesspeople, politicians, educators, chefs, and other residents engaged in their neighborhood's growth. From its initial run of 5,000 copies to its current minimum of 12,500 copies — 99% of which are picked up by consumers long before the next issue arrives — The East Nashvillian has consistently provided information and encouraged participation, creating a better-informed community along the way. No wonder the average East Nashvillian reader spends 45 minutes to one hour reading each issue.

The East Nashvillian doesn't just report on the local community; it's part of the local community. As the media partner for dozens of concerts and other local events, the magazine raises funding for area nonprofits. Lisa remains similarly engaged throughout the region, currently serving as president for Historic East Nashville Merchants Association (2014-present; VP 2013-2014), as a board member for Fannie Battle Day Home for Children (2014-present), and as a chairperson for Nashville CARES ‘Dining Out for Life’ (2017). She has also been the treasurer for Rep. Bill Beck’s campaigns in 2014, 2016 & 2018.

A breast cancer survivor who recently celebrated five years of cancer-free life, she has built her career on determination and commitment.

Practical Artivism: Artists Explore Activism / Activists Get Creative
TSU Atrium Cafe - Facilitator: Kate Tucker; Artivist Presenters: P Moses, Rachel R. Underwood MS, Rachel Louise Martin, and DancEast
Learn to creatively organize, mobilize and effect change in an interactive workshop following brief introduction on ways to generate compelling creative content quickly, effectively and affordably. Breakout sessions led by artivist facilitators in video production, photography, storytelling and dance.


Kate Tucker is a Nashville-based performing artist, songwriter, producer and filmmaker. Motivated by the Women's March in 2017, she helped to start BriteHeart, a civic matchmaking platform that connects individuals with organizations and organizations with resources. Tucker's artistic vision is highly collaborative, as seen in her recent project The Shape The Color The Feel, where she enlisted a broad community of filmmakers, visual artists, dancers and musicians to create a visual album of 12 music videos, 2 short films, a documentary and a visual art exhibition. Tucker volunteers with Musicians on Call, sits on the board of One Voice Nashville and is currently making the documentary Comeback Evolution about writer and poet Walter Delbridge.


P. Moses is the mother of two sons and the founder of Tennessee Black Lives Matter Memphis Chapter. Known as the Millie Jackson of rap and Tennessee's First Lady of Hip-hop, she recently coined the word Raptivist and wishes to be called that instead of a rapper, actor, or artist. Also a writer and blogger, she graduated from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and received her Master in Intercultural Studies from Union University. Daughter of civil rights educator Brenda K. Monroe-Moses and Jamaican born retired electrician Errol Moses, P. Moses is a community organizer who promotes social justice based out of Memphis, Tennessee.

Rachel R. Underwood, MS is currently a graduate student in the Community Development and Action program at Vanderbilt University. She is a mental health counselor and feminist researcher with a focus on participatory-action and community-based participatory research. Rachel’s research focuses on intergenerational mental health of women and experiences of poverty and homelessness. Her background in art education informs much of her research methodology, specifically the use of Photovoice.

Rachel Louise Martin is a freelance writer and researcher. She has PhD in women’s and gender history from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She combines her journalistic experience with her educational background to talk about the politics of memory, or how we remember and how we choose to forget the past. Her publishing credits include O Magazine, the Atlantic online and CityLab. Her essay "How Hot Chicken Really Happened" was included in Cornbread Nation 2015: The Best of Southern Food Writing. In summation, she is a writer,  civil rights scholar, oral historian, feminist, teacher, re-placed Tennessean, devoted Tarheel, violinist, and salsa dancer.

DancEast teen dancers with mentors Ashley Lawless. Under the mentorship of their instructors at DancEast, these young women have learned how to use the art of movement as a means to express their frustrations, beliefs, desires and emotions. They have come to believe, collectively, that dance is a critical part of the human experience and should be accessible to anyone who feels compelled to move and create.They are Nora, the writer; wise Lucy; Robin August, the musician; intuitive Lily; Timberlake, the artist; compassionate Mabel; Juliette, the activist; tenacious Abby; Alexandra, the engineer; engaging Mae, Kyra, the ballerina; dynamic Tatum; and Cameron, the scholar.


Electoral TRACK session 1 

Running For Office 101
TSU Room 205 - Facilitators: Kristal Knight, Jason Freeman, London Lamar, and Sarah McCall
When we don't run, we can't win. Have you ever thought about running for office? Learn how to get started and understanding your personal assets as a potential candidate. This workshop will focus on identifying the political landscape, power mapping and picking the seat that's right for you. Join this workshop to get started on your political journey on the right track.


Kristal Knight is a native of Memphis, TN and holds a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Howard University and a Masters in International Public Policy from University College London in the UK. Her political career began as a Field Organizer for then Mayor Adrian Fenty’s Washington, D.C. reelection campaign. She went on to serve as a Regional Field Director for the reelection of President Barack Obama in 2012 in Philadelphia, PA. She returned to D.C. to serve on his Presidential Inaugural Committee in 2013. She recently worked on the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016. Kristal is the Executive Director of Emerge Tennessee.

Jason Freeman is the Executive Director of the Tennessee Democratic Party. He is a New Hampshire native and a graduate of Northeastern University with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. He came to Nashville in 2015 after working for American Bridge 21st Century as a tracker/researcher for two years in New Hampshire covering the 2014 US Senate race and the 2016 presidential primary. Jason volunteered in the early stages of Senator Elizabeth Warren’s 2012 campaign before taking a position as a field organizer for Credo Super Pac working on a successful campaign in Minnesota’s 8th congressional district. Before joining the Tennessee Democratic Party, Jason was the Campaigns and Community Coordinator for the Central Labor Council of the Nashville and Middle Tennessee, AFL-CIO.

London Lamar is a proud, native Memphian and a courageous community advocate. She holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Political Science with double minors in Sociology and Intercultural Studies from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, IN. London is the Policy Associate at SisterReach, a non-profit supporting the reproductive autonomy of women and girls of color, poor women, rural women and their families through where she advocates on national, state, and local policies and legislation that support the  health and rights of all families. She currently serves as President of the Tennessee Young Democrats. She has previously served as Vice-Chairwoman of the Black Caucus of the Young Democrats of America, National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women (NOBEL Women) Class of 2015-2016 Vice-President and Leadership Fellow. London completed the Emerge Tennessee 2017 Fellowship, New Leaders Council Nashville 2015 Fellowship and was selected as Memphis Flyer’s Top 20 under 30 Class of 2015 and Memphis Top 40 under 40 Class of 2017.

Sarah McCall is a political consultant who has worked tirelessly to address the representation gap in our elected bodies at all levels of government. Sarah has dedicated her career to working to elect to office and develop the leadership potential of women, LGBT people, young people and people with disabilities by providing leaders and candidates the tools and skills they need to break barriers and win elections. Sarah is currently working with Women for Tennessee’s Future (WTF), a political action committee dedicated to electing progressive women to office at the local and state levels in TN through fundraising, advocacy and harnessing the power of people like you. Sarah’s past clients include Emerge Tennessee, Emerge America, NARAL Pro-Choice America and the American Association of People with Disabilities. She has worked on political campaigns across the country at every level of office, from city council and state legislature to governor and congress.

 

electoral TRACK session 2

Building Political Power: How to Build Political Power in the Age of Trump
TSU Room 205 - Facilitators: Kristal Knight, Jason Freeman, London Lamar, and Sarah McCall
This workshop will focus on movement building, building a campaign/coalition to scale, paths to victory and volunteer recruitment.


Kristal Knight is a native of Memphis, TN and holds a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Howard University and a Masters in International Public Policy from University College London in the UK. Her political career began as a Field Organizer for then Mayor Adrian Fenty’s Washington, D.C. reelection campaign. She went on to serve as a Regional Field Director for the reelection of President Barack Obama in 2012 in Philadelphia, PA. She returned to D.C. to serve on his Presidential Inaugural Committee in 2013. She recently worked on the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016. Kristal is the Executive Director of Emerge Tennessee.

Jason Freeman is the Executive Director of the Tennessee Democratic Party. He is a New Hampshire native and a graduate of Northeastern University with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. He came to Nashville in 2015 after working for American Bridge 21st Century as a tracker/researcher for two years in New Hampshire covering the 2014 US Senate race and the 2016 presidential primary. Jason volunteered in the early stages of Senator Elizabeth Warren’s 2012 campaign before taking a position as a field organizer for Credo Super Pac working on a successful campaign in Minnesota’s 8th congressional district. Before joining the Tennessee Democratic Party, Jason was the Campaigns and Community Coordinator for the Central Labor Council of the Nashville and Middle Tennessee, AFL-CIO.

London Lamar is a proud, native Memphian and a courageous community advocate. She holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Political Science with double minors in Sociology and Intercultural Studies from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, IN. London is the Policy Associate at SisterReach, a non-profit supporting the reproductive autonomy of women and girls of color, poor women, rural women and their families through where she advocates on national, state, and local policies and legislation that support the  health and rights of all families. She currently serves as President of the Tennessee Young Democrats. She has previously served as Vice-Chairwoman of the Black Caucus of the Young Democrats of America, National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women (NOBEL Women) Class of 2015-2016 Vice-President and Leadership Fellow. London completed the Emerge Tennessee 2017 Fellowship, New Leaders Council Nashville 2015 Fellowship and was selected as Memphis Flyer’s Top 20 under 30 Class of 2015 and Memphis Top 40 under 40 Class of 2017.

Sarah McCall is a political consultant who has worked tirelessly to address the representation gap in our elected bodies at all levels of government. Sarah has dedicated her career to working to elect to office and develop the leadership potential of women, LGBT people, young people and people with disabilities by providing leaders and candidates the tools and skills they need to break barriers and win elections. Sarah is currently working with Women for Tennessee’s Future (WTF), a political action committee dedicated to electing progressive women to office at the local and state levels in TN through fundraising, advocacy and harnessing the power of people like you. Sarah’s past clients include Emerge Tennessee, Emerge America, NARAL Pro-Choice America and the American Association of People with Disabilities. She has worked on political campaigns across the country at every level of office, from city council and state legislature to governor and congress.


grassroots TRACK session 1

Planning a Successful Event, Start to Finish
TSU Room 306 - Facilitators: Karen Reynolds and Michele Bewley; Speakers: Sarah Herron, Sara Burklin, Mark Brooks
It's easier than you think! Before: division of duties, building a crowd, selecting a location, media advisory During: media/messaging, safety, social media After: compiling message points for press release for media outlets not present, follow ups with new attendees and continued list building.

Karen Reynolds is the founder of Clarksville Indivisible. Karen is a retired Army Master Sergeant, she spent 21 years defending our democracy and now she is a grassroots activist. She actively supports the Montgomery County Democratic Party, the Tennessee Equality Program, as well as initiating and or supporting grassroots activities. Karen approaches issues with a fundamental understanding of the words “Selfless Service”. Karen supports the values of the Indivisibleguide.org resistance movement that is built on inclusion, tolerance, and fairness.

Michele Bewley has spent the past 15 years serving as an educator, volunteer, and advocate for higher education opportunities in Tennessee and around the country.  She is currently on the Executive Board for Williamson County Democratic Party, serving as District 5 captain and on several committees. She assists and runs the Indivisible group for U.S. Congressional District 7 and volunteers with progressive groups in and around Middle Tennessee.

Sarah Herron

Sara Burklin is a Knoxville native who attended Sewanee: The University of the South and graduated with a degree in Politics in 2016. Prior to graduating, Sara was an OFA Fellow and was trained in community organizing. The OFA Fellowship ignited a passion for working with community members to make a difference. She’s worked on several local elections in East Tennessee using her training to activate, educate, and engage voters on the issues that matter.

Mark Brooks is volunteer coordinator for Nashville Indivisible, a chapter of the grassroots Indivisible movement dedicated to defeating the Trump and extreme right agenda through citizen action targeting Members of Congress. In his day job, Mark is an attorney for the Utility Workers Union of America.

 

Creating an Issues Ecosystem and the Importance of Media
TSU Room 275 - Facilitators: Gloria Johnson. Speakers: Sarah Herron, Feroza Freeland, Zulfat Suara (1st and 2nd Session)
How did grassroots move public opinion from 10-20 points on healthcare in Tennessee and nationally and how can we do that for all progressive issues? Discuss importance of planning creative and effective actions designed specifically to educate and influence the community and specific elected officials in your district. How using personal stories and community leaders can help get your message across and why utilizing the media effectively plays a critical role in that message.

Gloria Johnson taught Special Education for 27 years. After serving 4 years as Chair of the Knox County Democratic Party, she decided to run for State House 13 and was elected in 2012, serving in the 108th General Assembly. In 2015, she served as Tennessee Field Director for Organizing for Action, a non-profit issue advocacy group that works to ensure the voices of ordinary working Americans are heard in our cities, state and country, while training the next generation of grassroots organizers that will keep fighting for positive change. She is currently consulting with state and national coalitions promoting affordable healthcare for all Americans.

Sara Herron

Ferroza Freeland

Zulfat Suara is the Chair of the American Muslim Advisory Council of Tennessee (AMAC). AMAC's mission is to foster mutual trust and respect through civic engagement, community building and media relations. She is a CPA and is the Assistant Controller at Meharry Medical College. In 2004, she started the Hardeman County Chapter of Junior Achievement. She is a past state president of the Business and Professional Women of Tennessee, treasurer of the National Women Political Caucus and board member of the PENCIL Foundation. For the last 5 years, Zulfat has served as Day on the Hill Chair and coordinator of a joint legislative day for several women organizations on issues affecting Tennessee women and children. She was named as one of  MPower Change's "100 Muslim Social Justice Leaders in  the US" . She was inducted into the Tennessee Women Hall of Fame in October 2015.

 

How to be a White Ally
TSU Auditorium - Facilitator: Showing Up for Racial Justice
How can a white ally actively support people of color? Learn how to help uproot racism and what white people can do to fight for racial and social justice.

 

GRASSROOTS TRACK SESSION 2

Planning a Successful Event, Start to Finish
TSU Room 306 - Facilitators: Gloria Johnson, Karen Reynolds, Michele Bewley; Speakers: Sarah Herron, and Mark Brooks
It's easier than you think! Before: division of duties, building a crowd, selecting a location, media advisory During: media/messaging, safety, social media After: compiling message points for press release for media outlets not present, follow ups with new attendees and continued list building.


Gloria Johnson taught Special Education for 27 years. After serving 4 years as Chair of the Knox County Democratic Party, she decided to run for State House 13 and was elected in 2012, serving in the 108th General Assembly. In 2015, she served as Tennessee Field Director for Organizing for Action, a non-profit issue advocacy group that works to ensure the voices of ordinary working Americans are heard in our cities, state and country, while training the next generation of grassroots organizers that will keep fighting for positive change. She is currently consulting with state and national coalitions promoting affordable healthcare for all Americans.

Karen Reynolds is the founder of Clarksville Indivisible. Karen is a retired Army Master Sergeant, she spent 21 years defending our democracy and now she is a grassroots activist. She actively supports the Montgomery County Democratic Party, the Tennessee Equality Program, as well as initiating and or supporting grassroots activities. Karen approaches issues with a fundamental understanding of the words “Selfless Service”. Karen supports the values of the Indivisibleguide.org resistance movement that is built on inclusion, tolerance, and fairness.

Michele Bewley has spent the past 15 years serving as an educator, volunteer, and advocate for higher education opportunities in Tennessee and around the country.  She is currently on the Executive Board for Williamson County Democratic Party, serving as District 5 captain and on several committees. She assists and runs the Indivisible group for U.S. Congressional District 7 and volunteers with progressive groups in and around Middle Tennessee.

Mark Brooks is volunteer coordinator for Nashville Indivisible, a chapter of the grassroots Indivisible movement dedicated to defeating the Trump and extreme right agenda through citizen action targeting Members of Congress. In his day job, Mark is an attorney for the Utility Workers Union of America.

Creating an Issues Ecosystem and the Importance of Media
TSU Avon Wiliams Campus 275 / Computer Lab - Facilitators: Gloria Johnson, Sarah Herron, and Sara Burklin 
How did grassroots move public opinion from 10-20 points on healthcare in Tennessee and nationally and how can we do that for all progressive issues? Discuss importance of planning creative and effective actions designed specifically to educate and influence the community and specific elected officials in your district. How using personal stories and community leaders can help get your message across and why utilizing the media effectively plays a critical role in that message.


Gloria Johnson taught Special Education for 27 years. After serving 4 years as Chair of the Knox County Democratic Party, she decided to run for State House 13 and was elected in 2012, serving in the 108th General Assembly. In 2015, she served as Tennessee Field Director for Organizing for Action, a non-profit issue advocacy group that works to ensure the voices of ordinary working Americans are heard in our cities, state and country, while training the next generation of grassroots organizers that will keep fighting for positive change. She is currently consulting with state and national coalitions promoting affordable healthcare for all Americans.

Sarah Herron

Sara Burklin is a Knoxville native who attended Sewanee: The University of the South and graduated with a degree in Politics in 2016. Prior to graduating, Sara was an OFA Fellow and was trained in community organizing. The OFA Fellowship ignited a passion for working with community members to make a difference. She’s worked on several local elections in East Tennessee using her training to activate, educate, and engage voters on the issues that matter.


LEGISLATIVE and Issues TRACK session 1

Criminal Justice Reform in 2018
TSU Room 213 - Facilitator: American Civil Liberties Union
America’s criminal justice system should keep communities safe, treat people fairly, and use fiscal resources wisely. This workshop will address ways attendees can advocate for a criminal justice system that fosters public safety by reducing mass incarceration and ensuring police accountability.

 

Growing Families, Growing the Economy with Equal Pay
TSU Room 203 - Facilitator: AAUW-TN
The gender pay gap impacts women, families, and the economy in Tennessee. With a record number of women in the workforce and nearly half of women functioning as primary or co-breadwinners for their families, equal pay for women — especially women of color — is critical to families’ economic security. Families and communities are economically stronger when there is fair pay. Everyday women nationwide and in TN work just as hard only to receive less. Learn how to build momentum for equal pay in 2018.

 

Good Trouble: A Resistance Workshop
TSU Training Room 2 - Facilitators: Beth Joslin Roth and Andy Spears
In this training session, we will demystify the Tennessee General Assembly and discuss not just how our legislature works but how you can influence it.  You will learn how a bill becomes a law, how to communicate effectively with elected representatives, and what kind of messages really work when fighting for progressive causes in a red state.  Additionally, we will look at the 2018 election season including an overview of the many races that will be in play and how you can help flip seats.

 

Digging Deeper Part 1: How to Have Hard Conversations
TSU Room 326 - Facilitator: Max Carwile
This two-part session will focus on how to have hard conversations on political subjects. This session is about moving beyond talking points and facts to appeal to people's heart and sense of reason (even if they completely disagree with you). Whether you want to know how to talk to complete strangers, loved ones, progressive allies with different values than you, or train volunteers this session is for you. We're all realizing we need to buckle down and have hard conversations about controversial topics, but we're never taught how to do that and how to prepare ourselves for these conversations.


Max Carwile is a native East Tennessean with a B.A. in Women's Studies from East Tennessee State University. She is an East Tennessee Organizer for Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee and the statewide coordinator for the Tennessee Stories Project. The project and a large percentage of her work aims to decrease abortion stigma in Tennessee, increase compassion for people who have had abortions, fight oppressive anti-abortion laws, and train people on how to have better, more informed, and more compassionate conversations around abortion. She is the co-creator of the Knoxville Abortion Doula Collective and serves on the steering committee for Healthy and Free Tennessee.

 

LEGISLATIVE and Issues TRACK SESSION 2

The 2018 Legislative Session: What to Watch and How to Make Your Voice Heard
TSU Training Room 2 - Facilitators: Beth Joslin Roth and Andy Spears
Panel to include state legislators, local leaders, and grassroots advocates. The panel will also feature a number of local participants and activists from several influential Tennessee advocacy groups and elected bodies that will share strategies for organizing, messaging, and making
your voice heard.

 

Defending Immigrant and Refugee Rights in Tennessee
TSU Room 326 - Facilitator: Lisa Sherman-Nikolaus
Limiting immigration and scaling up mass deportations have been a priority for the Trump administration. From attacks on DACA to the Muslim ban, immigrant and refugees have been at the forefront of the resistance to the nationalist and white supremacist agenda in the White House. 2018 will be a critical year for defending immigrant rights and advancing a more just and inclusive vision for our immigration system. Learn what's in store at the local, state, and federal level and how you can join the fight for immigrant rights in Tennessee.

 

Journey to Comprehensive Sexuality Education
TSU Room 311 - Facilitator: Cherisse Scott
What is the term 'Reproductive Justice' and what does it have to do with sex education? You'll be surprised to learn what Tennessee laws allow--and don't allow--to be taught in our public schools about sex. Find out what you can do to advocate for better sex education for young people in your area.


Cherisse Scott came to know the framework of reproductive justice as a woman in need of a safe abortion. Her experience of being misguided by services offered through a crisis pregnancy center posing as an abortion clinic set in motion the work she would commit to and women she would fight for. In 2011, she founded SisterReach, an organization that focuses on empowering women and girls of color, poor women, rural women and their families. Cherisse has presented to the United Nations Working Group on the Issue of Discrimination against Women in Law and Practice (UNWGDAW) regarding the impact of the fetal assault law on TN women. Her work as chair of the Education Advocacy Working Group for Memphis Teen Vision, was recently featured in the NBCNews #31DaysofFeminism campaign. She is a 2016 Rockwood Institute Fellow, and was recently featured on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee sharing her story regarding her CPC experience.

Comprehensive Sex Ed with the Youth who Know
TSU Room 311 - Facilitators: Elisabeth Bradner and Veronica Dress
Around since 1989, the PG-13 Players are teens from across Middle Tennessee who are passionate about sexual health, advocacy, and theater. Each year they receive training that equips them with skills to be peer educators. They then put these skills to work by creating an original skit that addresses issues facing teens today. Making their work even more imperative, in 2012, the “Gateway Sexual Activity” Law effectively stripped evidence-based sex education from Tennessee public schools. Intensifying abstinence-only education, public schools can no longer equip our youth with the information needed to make informed, thoughtful decisions regarding their sexual health.  Reflecting the realities of sex ed in schools today, the 2017-2018 skit explores the impact of the law and resulting education. Through the voices and guidance of youth in your community, learn about the realities of sex ed and how you can become an advocate both for the young people in your life as well as through lasting policy change.


Elisabeth Bradner is the Manager of Education and Training at Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee. In this role, Elisabeth educates on a variety of sexuality topics. Using medically accurate information and a comprehensive approach, she aims to empower youth to make decisions in-line with their values. She also provides trainings, equipping youth-serving professionals with the comfort and skills to engage sexuality topics to build participant confidence and reduce stigma. With a Masters of Public Health focused on Maternal and Child Health, she is particularly passionate about helping people explore their values and their impact, especially as they relate to sexuality.  

Veronica Dress is the Youth Development Coordinator at Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee (PPMET). She facilitates the PG-13 Players, a peer education group that utilizes theatre to engage teens in dialogue around issues of sexuality. With a Bachelors in Counseling & Human Services focused on peace and justice, she is particularly interested in working with underserved communities to engage sexuality issues, and has developed PPMET’s peer education program to broaden its framework and focus on advocacy and justice from a youth lens.

Digging Deeper Part 2: Who Knew Empathetic Listening Could Be So Hard? 
TSU Room 326 - Facilitator: Max Carwile
This is the second part of the previous session for people who want to take a deeper dive on the subject of hard conversations. This is especially useful for people who want to train volunteers on this subject or implement a program within an organization around voters' values or hard conversations. We'll be continuing to talk about and practice the strategy behind these conversations and what self-reflection we need to do as activists to implement these strategies effectively.


Max Carwile is a native East Tennessean with a B.A. in Women's Studies from East Tennessee State University. She is an East Tennessee Organizer for Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee and the statewide coordinator for the Tennessee Stories Project. The project and a large percentage of her work aims to decrease abortion stigma in Tennessee, increase compassion for people who have had abortions, fight oppressive anti-abortion laws, and train people on how to have better, more informed, and more compassionate conversations around abortion. She is the co-creator of the Knoxville Abortion Doula Collective and serves on the steering committee for Healthy and Free Tennessee.


Youth session 1

Best Practices in Youth Organizing (Youth Led)
TSU 307 - Facilitators: Brittany Paschall, Dae Iddings, Emilia Romero, and Mary Allison Pritchard
Huey Newton said, “The revolution has always been in the hands of the young. The young always inherit the revolution.” In this panel, we will hear from youth organizers doing inspiring work throughout Tennessee, and hear lessons learned and stories of success. This panel includes: Brittany Paschall, Nashville native and founder of Black Girl Breathe, which works to make space for Black girls and women, Dae Iddings, Austin Peay State University student, Activism Chair for the campus’ GSA, and advocate for immigrant and education justice, Emilia Romero, a former peer sex educator and Healthy and Free TN’s Youth Leadership Council member based in Corryton, TN., and Mary Allison Pritchard (MAP), a college organizer and resident of Sewanee’s Women’s Center.


Brittany T. Paschall is a radical liberator, ally, and friend. She is a native of Nashville and a recent graduate of Grand Canyon University. You will often find her organizing(people + things), reading something good or traveling. She is presently a National Fellow for the Sadie Nash Leadership Development Project and a 2018 Teach for America Corps Member. Find her on social media @btpaschall or a her home on the web, btpaschall.com

Dae Iddings is a current student at Austin Peay State University. Dae is an organizer and advocate for education and immigrant justice, and works with many groups including Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition, and their youth action team JUMP. Dae also serves as the Activist Chair for the Austin Peay State University GSA.

Emilia Romero is a social work major living in Corryton, TN, just outside of Knoxville. She is a former peer sex educator with Planned Parenthood, and currently serves as a member of Healthy and Free TN’s Youth Leadership Council.

Mary Allison Pritchard (Map) is from Memphis and is an English major and Women and Gender Studies minor at Sewanee. She is a 2nd year resident at the university’s Women’s Center, affectionately known as the Wick.

Navigating the Female Minefield
TSU Room 310 - Facilitators: Paige DiPirro and Sophie McKenzie
The #metoo campaign opened the floodgates for the discussion of power-based personal violence, and other issues affecting women. Continuing in that spirit, this discussion-based workshop delves into the specific experiences and obstacles faced by women in maneuvering the modern world. From sexual relationships to political activism, this session will leave you more educated as an individual and an advocate. This session is youth-led, but open to all registrants.


Paige DiPirro is a college sophomore in Johnson City, TN, where she is a Political Science and Psychology double major pursuing a career in Civil Rights Law. She is a Red State Strategist for College Democrats of America, The Director of Programs for College Democrats of Tennessee and a Congressional Representative for Tennessee Young Democrats. She spends her free time volunteering with victims of domestic violence and substance abuse disorder, focusing primarily on women’s issues.

Sophie McKenzie is a junior in high school in Nashville, TN. Outside of being a student of languages and history; she a founder of her school’s chapter of the Tennessee High School Democrats (TNHSD). She also works as the Deputy Director of Programming for the TNHSD and is the Membership Coordinator for the Young Democrats of America Jewish Caucus and on the executive board of the Women’s Caucus. She also currently holds an internship at the Davidson County Medical Examiner’s Office.

 

Youth session 2

Youth Makers and Shakers Lab (Youth Led)
TSU Room 307 - Facilitator: Shawn Reilly
The Youth Shakers and Makers Lab will feature youth-led “skill shares,” quick (10-15 minute) mini-lessons designed to educate participants on various issues being faced by historically disenfranchised communities, real life organizing experiences, and skills to make your work more inclusive. Presenters will include young people participants of Planned Parenthood’s PG-13 players, Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network’s youth action team, SHINE, and Healthy and Free Tennessee’s Youth Leadership Council. Topics explored will include being a peer sex educator in rural Tennessee, best practices for creating an LGBTQI+ inclusive space, and more! Attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in a group art project.


Shawn Reilly is in their final year at Vanderbilt University studying Human and Organizational Development, and is an advocate for LGBTQI+ people in Nashville, TN. While at Vanderbilt, they have been instrumental in a successful campaign to gain gender inclusive housing to support transgender and gender expansive students on campus. They currently work as the National Field Organizer for The Change Project, working with organizers across the country to build local and state-wide power to fight LGBTQI hate. They currently are a part of GLSEN TN, Healthy and Free Tennessee's Youth Leadership Council, and Youth+Teach+Health's Youth Advisory Board.


FAITH, HEALING AND SPIRITUALITY session 1

The Divine Feminine
TSU Training Room 1 - Facilitator: Susan O. Crossley, Jennifer Harvard, Sue St. Clair, Kim Bushore-Maki (1st & 2nd session, limited to 25 participants)
We are experiencing a time in history when the status quo is being uprooted and is opening the door for the birth of a new world. Part of this journey is personal and part is collective. We need to harness the energy that goes beyond gender and allows us to be grounded in the balance of our feminine and masculine. This process requires us to honor and accept ourselves as well as each other. As well, the sacred feminine calls for a fierce love that enables us to let go of that which no longer serves our internal and cosmic higher purpose. The Divine Feminine is a workshop that will be experiential and interactive as we renew hope and explore together the sacredness within and around us.

Susan O. Crossley has a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership from Argosy University and a Master’s in Psychology from Temple University. These degrees are complemented by over 40 years of experience in the field of mental health. Dr. Crossley is also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D) and a Fellow with the Association of Music & Imagery. Dr. Crossley has been adjunct faculty teaching various psychology classes including Positive Psychology. She has a rich background that encompasses grassroots work, intensive therapies, networking, administration, education, consultation, training and public speaking. She was honored by the State of NJ with both an award and legislative citation for her work in child assault prevention and service in the area of abused and missing children. She has also worked extensively with survivors of sexual assault across the life span.

Jennifer Harvard is a creative workshop facilitator and retreat coordinator. During her workshops, she create sacred space for women to come together to celebrate each season in the Wheel of the Year and to honor the Divine Feminine. Biannual retreats give women more time to connect and heal with a variety of workshops for body, mind, and spirit. Jennifer hosts New Moon Circles once a month as part of a larger global sisterhood.

Sue St. Clair professionally strives to apply therapeutic healing practices to aide improved mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health to every patient who crosses her path. Educational programs provided for healthcare providers always include not just finding the right diagnosis and choosing the right medication, but also to walk a path of carefully and sympathetically listening and validating each patient's experience. In her life as a community member, her greatest passion concerns justice and fairness in all aspects of individual and collective choices made toward healthy community life. She is certain justice can only be valued when we focus on the spiritual qualities required to achieve it. It is a her clear and evident understanding that the qualities of the divine feminine now released in the world are what is needed to transform society into a loving, peaceful and just one.

Kim Bushore-Maki lives in Johnson City, Tennessee where she founded Shakti In the Mountains: a community for women (and the men who support them) to cultivate, nurture and celebrate the feminine. Shakti in the Mountains invites folks to recognize their innate power and to use it to create health, vitality and joy - for themselves and in service of others. Kim provides counseling, teaches yoga and guides classes.

 

Preventing Burnout: Practical Tools for Vitality
TSU Room 331 - Facilitators: Cameron Clark, Sarah Hays Coomer, and Allison Hill
Working for political and social justice can be extremely taxing on our personal wellbeing, and the resulting burnout takes a toll on our bodies, relationships, and endurance. This workshop will offer a series of tangible ways to relieve our bodies and minds and to energize ourselves for the work ahead. We will discuss topics including movement, nutrition, eco-therapy, safety in work and family relationships, boundary setting, and the ways our nervous systems respond to stress. We will learn to approach our wellbeing as we would activism—with nonviolence and purposeful acts of self-care.

Cameron Clark, LMSW, ERYT, is the Sexual Assault Training Specialist and Statewide Project Coordinator at Nashville’s Sexual Assault Center. In this role, Cameron provides professional development and capacity-building opportunities to programs serving sexual assault survivors across the state of Tennessee, with a special interest in the neurophysiology of trauma, organizational wellness and caregiver resiliency. Cameron’s training is influenced by her previous role as clinical therapist at SAC, and her therapeutic training in Somatic Experiencing, yoga and meditation. In addition, Cameron serves the community as a trauma-informed yoga instructor, teaching studio classes and privately.

Sarah Hays Coomer is the author of Lightness of Body and Mind: A Radical Approach to Weight and Wellness and her upcoming book, Physical Disobedience: An Unruly Guide to Health and Stamina for the Modern Feminist (August 2018). She is a Certified Personal Trainer with the National Strength and Conditioning Association; a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant and Pre/Postnatal Fitness Specialist with American Fitness Professionals & Associates; and a member of the American College of Sports Medicine. She works extensively with populations that struggle with issues including depression, obesity, injuries, chronic pain, and eating disorders. She kind of likes to exercise, kind of not.

Allison Hill is a Statewide Sexual Assault Training Specialist at the Sexual Assault Center in Nashville, TN. As a trainer, Allison provides professional development and capacity-building opportunities for programs serving survivors of sexual trauma, with a special interest in addressing survivor-focused needs and issues on college campuses. Allison spent several years providing direct services to survivors before transitioning to a training role. During her time as a therapist, her professional interests included educating non-offending caregivers on attachment-based interventions, body-related work (through yoga and somatic experiencing), the neurobiology of trauma and healing, and sex-positive health and wellness education.

 

Phenomenal Women From Our Sacred Texts
TSU Room 331 - Facilitators: Zulfat Suara, Kasar Abdulla, Rev. Dr. Judy D. Cummings, Steph Elder, Radha Reddy, and Carol Mansour
The panel will feature speakers from Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism. Each panelist will speak about notable women from their religious texts. It is important as faith community to draw inspiration from women before us. Despite not having all the resources that we have today, these women were able to surmount different odds. It emphasizes that women have been warriors for a long time and hopefully serve as inspiration for women today.

Zulfat Suara is the Chair of the American Muslim Advisory Council of Tennessee (AMAC). AMAC's mission is to foster mutual trust and respect through civic engagement, community building and media relations. She is a CPA and is the Assistant Controller at Meharry Medical College. In 2004, she started the Hardeman County Chapter of Junior Achievement. She is a past state president of the Business and Professional Women of Tennessee, treasurer of the National Women Political Caucus and board member of the PENCIL Foundation. For the last 5 years, Zulfat has served as Day on the Hill Chair and coordinator of a joint legislative day for several women organizations on issues affecting Tennessee women and children. She was named as one of  MPower Change's "100 Muslim Social Justice Leaders in  the US" . She was inducted into the Tennessee Women Hall of Fame in October 2015.

Kasar Abdulla is Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer for Valor Collegiate Academies. Ms. Abdulla, a Nashvillian for over 20 years, is a native of Kurdistan of Iraq. A long-time social-justice educator, advocate, and organizer since experiencing life in a refugee camp with her family, Ms. Abdulla has received numerous honors for her community activism in Nashville. President Obama named her a “Champion of Change” in September 2013 for her work on immigrant integration in Tennessee. Ms. Abdulla has been featured in Nashville Public Television’s “Next Door Neighbor “, the Nashville Scene’s “The People Issue 2010”, SplashLifeMagazine’s “30 Under 30: Civic Leaders”, and in 2016 featured in the StyleBluePrint Magazine’s “Faces of Nashville”.

Rabbi Laurie Rice hails from Los Angeles, California. She completed her Bachelor of Arts at Northwestern University, as a dual major in History and Slavic Languages and Literatures. She was ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2001, having received her Masters in Hebrew Letters in 1999. Prior to coming to Micah, she served congregations in Los Angeles and Visalia, California; Westchester, New York; and Woodinville, Washington. She also has experience working as a chaplain at the Cedar-Sinai Medical Center of Los Angeles, California, and as a research assistant to Dr. Eugene Borowitz, the Reform Movement’s pre-eminent theologian.  

Steph Elder has been practicing Buddhist meditation for over 16 years. She is the current president of the Nashville Zen Center and is one of the NZC practice leaders. Her talks often feature stories about female ancestors and readings from contemporary women writers.

Rev. Dr. Judy D. Cummings is Senior Pastor of the historic New Covenant Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Nashville, TN where she preaches to empower, encourage, and equip the saints for kingdom ministry and is the first woman to pastor this historic church in its 158 years of existence. She is a public justice theologian and works diligently in the community serving on various community boards and organizations. As a trained community organizer, Dr. Cummings is frequently called upon to speak and to act on issues of injustice. She holds degrees from Tennessee State University School of Nursing; the University of St. Francis; the Master of Divinity degree (M.Div.) from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and has earned the Doctor of Ministry degree (D.Min) in Preaching and Church Leadership from Asbury Theological Seminary.

Steph Elder has been practicing Buddhist meditation for over 16 years. She is the current president of the Nashville Zen Center and is one of the NZC practice leaders. Her talks often feature stories about female ancestors and readings from contemporary women writers.

Radha Reddy established and taught the Sunday School for first eight  years of It’s inception. She has been conducting tours of the temple and regularly appearing on interfaith panels for the last 25 years. Radha has also served on the board of trustees of Sri Ganesha Temple for two terms including one term as executive chair.

Carol Mansour

FAITH AND SPIRITUALITY SESSION 2

When Hate Comes to Town
TSU Room 309 - Facilitator: Rev. Dr. Teresa L. Smallwood, Esq.
Panelists: Robyn Henderson-Espinoza, PhD, Margaret Ernst, and Micky ScottBey Jones
This workshop will focus upon faith and spirituality as protest, contemplation, and action. Using the recent examples of the Shelbyville and Murfreesboro communities facing the Alt-Right, white nationalists, and neo-Nazis plan marches in their home towns, in the aftermath of the tragedies of Charlottesville, VA, this workshop will serve as a demonstration project for faith communities to model when faced with extremists visiting their hometown space. We will explore the exilic, the confrontational, and the contemplative responses to vitriolic speech and hateful actions for the faithful and the spiritual. 

Rev. Dr. Teresa L. Smallwood, Esq., earned a B.A. Degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she majored in Speech Communications and Afro-American Studies. She received the Juris Doctor Degree in 1985 from North Carolina Central University School of Law and began her legal career with Legal Services of the Southern Piedmont in Charlotte, NC. She served as a staff attorney for the Children’s Law Center and as an Assistant District Attorney before launching her private practice, which spanned two decades. Dr. Smallwood graduated with a PhD degree May, 2017 from Chicago Theological Seminary with concentrations in Theology, Ethics, and Human Sciences. She serves as Postdoctoral Fellow and Associate Director of the Public Theology and Racial Justice Collaborative at Vanderbilt Divinity School. Dr. Smallwood is licensed and ordained to public ministry and is a member at New Covenant Christian Church in Nashville under the pastoral leadership of Rev. Dr. Judy Cummings.

Robyn Henderson-Espinoza, PhD knows intimately that the borderlands are a place of learning and growth. Robyn draws on their identity and heritage as a Transqueer Latinx in everything that they do.  From doubt to divine and everywhere in between, their call as an activist-theologian demands the vision to disrupt hegemony and colonialist structures of multi-layered oppressions.  As an anti-oppression, anti-racist, non-binary Trans*gressive Latinx, Robyn takes seriously their call as an activist theologian and ethicist to bridge together theories and practices that result in communities responding to pressing social concerns. Robyn sees this work as a life-orienting vocation, deeply committed to translating theory to practice, and embedded in re-imagining our moral horizon to one which privileges a politics of radical difference. Robyn has a PhD in Constructive Philosophical Theology from the University of Denver.

Margaret Ernst has organized with religious communities across race, class, and faith lines in Philadelphia, PA and Nashville.  Seeking ordination in the United Church of Christ, she holds a special commitment to equipping fellow white people to take action against racism and is currently a student pastor at Brookmeade Congregational Church in the Hillwood section of Nashville.  When white nationalists planned a rally in Shelbyville, TN in October 2017, Margaret helped form a movement chaplaincy team to provide care to community members and counterprotesters during counteractions to the rallies.  Along with Rev. Lindsey Krinks, she co-authored a guide on the practices the team used in Shelbvyille, called "A Guide For Movement Chaplains: Emotional and Spiritual Care During Counteractions to White Supremacist Hate Rallies." The guide is available for download on Faith Matters Network's website at http://bit.ly/movementchaplaincy

Micky ScottBey Jones is the Justice Doula. Micky is a womanist contemplative activist, healer, nonviolent direct action organizer and consultant who facilitates conferences, workshops, pilgrimages, retreats and online conversations. She writes and speaks on a variety of topics including creating brave space, healing justice, movement chaplaincy, contemplative activism, intersectionality and sustainable leadership and community building. Micky has a M.A. in Intercultural Studies and is an Associate Fellow of Racial Justice with Evangelicals for Social Action. She is the Director of Healing Justice with the Southern-based collective Faith Matters Network and is a core team member with The People’s Supper who has gathered more than 4,000 people around tables in less than a year for bridging and healing conversations. Micky was named one of the Black Christian leaders changing the world in Huffington Post. You can interact with her work and collaborations at www.mickyscottbeyjones.com and Faithmattersnetwork.org.

(Re)Claiming the Bible to Fuel Our Liberation
TSU Room 308 - Facilitators: Lyndsey Godwin and Cherisse Scott
This workshop will empower and equip participants with the creative imagination to use the Bible, our lived experience, and our personal faith as tools for fueling radical love and liberation. Inspired by Queer, Womanist, Black Feminist, and Liberation theologies, we will center the needs of the most marginalized and utilize the expertise of our personal and communal experiences. This workshop will explore practical resources, build our confidence, and (re)claim faithful frameworks and biblical stories, for ourselves, our communities, and our work.

Lyndsey Godwin

Cherisse Scott came to know the framework of reproductive justice as a woman in need of a safe abortion. Her experience of being misguided by services offered through a crisis pregnancy center posing as an abortion clinic set in motion the work she would commit to and women she would fight for. In 2011, she founded SisterReach, an organization that focuses on empowering women and girls of color, poor women, rural women and their families. Cherisse has presented to the United Nations Working Group on the Issue of Discrimination against Women in Law and Practice (UNWGDAW) regarding the impact of the fetal assault law on TN women. Her work as chair of the Education Advocacy Working Group for Memphis Teen Vision, was recently featured in the NBCNews #31DaysofFeminism campaign. She is a 2016 Rockwood Institute Fellow, and was recently featured on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee sharing her story regarding her CPC experience.
 

So You Think You Can Chant
TSU Room 203 - Facilitator: Sara Green
Chanting and song have been an integral part of social justice movements and spiritual life. Learn songs and chants from our rich history of struggle and help build up our talent base of chant leaders for 2018. We’ll take what we learn to the march and rallies later in the day!

Sara Green, M.Div, is a Unitarian Universalist minister who understands her call to be a praxis of radical hospitality and embodiment in service of freedom and justice. In addition to creating liturgies, she works with improvisational movement, plant medicine and food to foster abundance within our communities. She understands liberation to look like the ability to get one's hands dirty in soil, opportunities to enjoy erotic pleasure and  chances to relax into a good dinner shared with loved ones. Currently, she serves as Intern Minister at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashville and is putting her hands and heart into healing justice work.

 

The Divine Feminine
TSU Training Room 1 - Facilitator: Susan O. Crossley, Jennifer Harvard, Sue St. Clair, Kim Bushore-Maki (1st and 2nd session, limited to 25 participants)
We are experiencing a time in history when the status quo is being uprooted and is opening the door for the birth of a new world. Part of this journey is personal and part is collective. We need to harness the energy that goes beyond gender and allows us to be grounded in the balance of our feminine and masculine. This process requires us to honor and accept ourselves as well as each other. As well, the sacred feminine calls for a fierce love that enables us to let go of that which no longer serves our internal and cosmic higher purpose. The Divine Feminine is a workshop that will be experiential and interactive as we renew hope and explore together the sacredness within and around us.

Susan O. Crossley has a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership from Argosy University and a Master’s in Psychology from Temple University. These degrees are complemented by over 40 years of experience in the field of mental health. Dr. Crossley is also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D) and a Fellow with the Association of Music & Imagery. Dr. Crossley has been adjunct faculty teaching various psychology classes including Positive Psychology. She has a rich background that encompasses grassroots work, intensive therapies, networking, administration, education, consultation, training and public speaking. She was honored by the State of NJ with both an award and legislative citation for her work in child assault prevention and service in the area of abused and missing children. She has also worked extensively with survivors of sexual assault across the life span.

Jennifer Harvard is a creative workshop facilitator and retreat coordinator. During her workshops, she create sacred space for women to come together to celebrate each season in the Wheel of the Year and to honor the Divine Feminine. Biannual retreats give women more time to connect and heal with a variety of workshops for body, mind, and spirit. Jennifer hosts New Moon Circles once a month as part of a larger global sisterhood.

Sue St. Clair professionally strives to apply therapeutic healing practices to aide improved mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health to every patient who crosses her path. Educational programs provided for healthcare providers always include not just finding the right diagnosis and choosing the right medication, but also to walk a path of carefully and sympathetically listening and validating each patient's experience. In her life as a community member, her greatest passion concerns justice and fairness in all aspects of individual and collective choices made toward healthy community life. She is certain justice can only be valued when we focus on the spiritual qualities required to achieve it. It is a her clear and evident understanding that the qualities of the divine feminine now released in the world are what is needed to transform society into a loving, peaceful and just one.

Kim Bushore-Maki lives in Johnson City, Tennessee where she founded Shakti In the Mountains: a community for women (and the men who support them) to cultivate, nurture and celebrate the feminine. Shakti in the Mountains invites folks to recognize their innate power and to use it to create health, vitality and joy - for themselves and in service of others. Kim provides counseling, teaches yoga and guides classes.


LUNCH CAUCUSES 

12:30pm - 1:30pm for all conference registrants

Please join other attendees from the following regions or affinity groups for networking and lunch. Share your conference experience, meet new people and determine direct action steps to move Tennessee forward in 2018. 
 

West Tennessee - TSU Room 302/Atrium Cafe - Mary Green

Mary Green is co-founder of Indivisible Memphis. For the past 25 years she was busy raising four children and volunteering in their many activities. Her wake-up call to political activism occurred after the November 2016 election and has since been connecting with various grassroots organizations in Memphis.


Middle Tennessee - TSU Room 310 - Karen Reynolds, Michele Bewely, Rashidah Leverett
Karen Reynolds is the founder of Clarksville Indivisible. Karen is a retired Army Master Sergeant, she spent 21 years defending our democracy and now she is a grassroots activist. She actively supports the Montgomery County Democratic Party, the Tennessee Equality Program, as well as initiating and or supporting grassroots activities. Karen approaches issues with a fundamental understanding of the words “Selfless Service”. Karen supports the values of the Indivisibleguide.org resistance movement that is built on inclusion, tolerance, and fairness.

Michele Bewely has spent the past 15 years serving as an educator, volunteer, and advocate for higher education opportunities in Tennessee and around the country.  She is currently on the Executive Board for Williamson County Democratic Party, serving as District 5 captain and on several committees. She assists and runs the Indivisible group for U.S. Congressional District 7 and volunteers with progressive groups in and around Middle Tennessee.  

Rashidah Leverett is an Author, Speaker, Teacher, and Certified Coach. Rashidah was born and raised in Newark, NJ.  She is a Veteran of the United States Army where she served 7 years.  She is an educator by call and trade.  She is active in the Clarksville Community for issues concerning Social Justice. Her areas of expertise are Leadership, Career Development, Technical Education, and Spirituality. She holds Bachelors, Masters, and Doctorate degrees. She is the author of “Pieces of the Puzzle: A 21-day Guide to a Life of Meaning and Momentum, released in January 2017, and co-author of “Madame President: How to Think and Act Like a Leader” released in March 2017. Her mission is to help people grow mentally, spiritually, educationally, and emotionally.  
 

East Tennessee - TSU Room 302/Atrium Cafe - Kelley Elliott
Kelley Elliott is the Statewide Civic Engagement Coordinator for CivicTN. As an experienced issue and advocacy organizer, she has led multiple campaigns and coalitions doing work for international education, immigration, climate, education, health care, people with disabilities, child care, state, local, and national elections. In 2016, Kelley organized volunteers around the Presidential election with a focus on youth organizing & voter registration and turnout on college campuses and rural communities in Pennsylvania. Kelley received a B.S. from the Middle Tennessee State University in 1995, Masters of Education from University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 2000 and lives in Chattanooga, TN.

 

Women of Color Caucus - TSU Room 309 - P. MosesCalling all supporters of Women of Color. Join us as we discuss the struggle and plight of how we move towards gender equality and engage youth to become more involved in the political and social justice aspect. It was once stated that "the Black Woman is the most disrespected person in the world". Please, attend an open discussion concerning race, inequality, and solutions to change the narrative for women of color.

P. Moses is the mother of two sons and the founder of Tennessee Black Lives Matter Memphis Chapter. Known as the Millie Jackson of rap and Tennessee's First Lady of Hip-hop, she recently coined the word Raptivist and wishes to be called that instead of a rapper, actor, or artist. Also a writer and blogger, she graduated from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and received her Master in Intercultural Studies from Union University. Daughter of civil rights educator Brenda K. Monroe-Moses and Jamaican born retired electrician Errol Moses, P. Moses is a community organizer who promotes social justice based out of Memphis, Tennessee.
 


Youth Caucus - TSU Room 326 - Sophie McKenzie and Paige DiPirro - A loosely structured conversation, led by youth, for youth, about the experiences of young people within today’s political climate.

Sophie McKenzie is a junior in high school in Nashville, TN. Outside of being a student of languages and history; she a founder of her school’s chapter of the Tennessee High School Democrats (TNHSD). She also works as the Deputy Director of Programming for the TNHSD and is the Membership Coordinator for the Young Democrats of America Jewish Caucus and on the executive board of the Women’s Caucus. She also currently holds an internship at the Davidson County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Paige DiPirro is a college sophomore in Johnson City, TN, where she is a Political Science and Psychology double major pursuing a career in Civil Rights Law. She is a Red State Strategist for College Democrats of America, The Director of Programs for College Democrats of Tennessee and a Congressional Representative for Tennessee Young Democrats. She spends her free time volunteering with victims of domestic violence and substance abuse disorder, focusing primarily on women’s issues.

 

#MeToo Caucus - TSU Room 306 Greta McClain and Deborah Johnson - As actresses, athletes, media personalities and lawmakers around the country continue to go public with their stories of sexual harassment, we know that all women do not have the same ability to share, report, and take action when they are victims of gender and sex based harassment, discrimination, and violence. Join us in dialogue about how we can use the #metoo momentum to move our issues forward!

 

LGBTQ+ Caucus - TSU Room 331Chris Sanders - Please join other LGBTQ+ advocates from across the state to network and share how this conference will help you make a difference in your community.
 

Chris Sanders  is executive director of Tennessee Equality Project, a statewide LGBTQ rights organization.  He holds the M.Div. from Vanderbilt University and lives in Nashville where is a member of the Mayor's Gender Equity Council.