By Brooklyn Dance
On September 10th, eight of Trevecca’s social justice students joined more than 750 citizens of Nashville at the Music City Center with Mayor Megan Barry to discuss current social justice issues the city faces.
The City’s first REAL talk, which stands for Race, Equity and Leadership, was facilitated by Lipscomb University’s College of Leadership and Public Service.
Trevecca faculty Jamie Casler, assistant professor, social justice, and Iris Gordon, Nashville business management consultant and adjunct professor in the J.V. Morsch Center for Social Justice, both served as tables hosts and facilitators for the community style conversation.
“I think the size of this crowd shows that as a community we know that working together is what we need to do in order to move forward,” said Megan Barry, head of the event.
Bethany Winz, a senior social justice major, was excited to attend the event.
“Attending the REAL talk was an amazing experience. We got the opportunity to sit around a table with people who are different from us and have civil, respectful, and insightful conversations about some very important issues,” Said Winz. “It was challenging, but I’m grateful for the opportunity and all the ways my perspectives have changed as a result.”
After seeing the success of the city’s event, both Winz and fellow social justice major Tabitha Sookedo are interested in holding a smaller scale version for the Trevecca body.
Saturday’s participants were divided into one of ten groups, each assigned a different topic to discuss. Megan Barry tweeted a picture of the ten topics, seen below.
Jamie Casler was head of the Public Safety and Policing table.
“It was a privilege to serve in the role of table facilitator for this community wide event,” Casler said. “My table consisted of a diverse group of professionals, including a representative form the mayor’s office, a Metro Nashville police captain, and an episcopal priest, along with community members with various ethnicities and professional backgrounds.”
“The benefit of this friendly discourse was to allow people of different backgrounds and professions to come together and share concerns and solutions to the system issues which may cause adversity in the Nashville community,” Casler said.