Skip to Content

Nashville Dialogue on Race, Equity, and Leadership

Race, Equity, and Leadership Updates

Mayor Megan Barry has committed to include funding for body cameras to be used by MNPD officers in her FY18 budget. In addition to the commitment to the budget allocation, Mayor Barry created a Public Safety Community Advisory Group (CAG) to make recommendations on policies for body cameras. Their meetings are open to the public. CAG members will make recommendations to Mayor Barry and Chief Anderson on investment in body cameras, and the policies that accompany them. Policies will also influence the requirements used in a future RFP process to purchase equipment, that can only move forward if funds are approved by Metro Council.

In addition to these efforts, ongoing REAL Nashville public participation opportunities include:

  • Nashville Shop Talks - Shop Talk will take place once a month at a different barber, beauty, or coffee shop in the city. This is one way we will continue to have this dialogue on the grassroots level out in the community, taking the conversation and meeting people where they are to discuss a variety of topics.
  • Minority Civic Development Workshops - This series of events aims to develop civic leaders in the community while encouraging participation in government. Participants learn how to serve Metro through Boards and Commissions, how companies can do business with Metro, and much more.
  • Nashville Reads - Each year we pick one book to read as a city. On Wednesday, September 7th, we announced that this year’s selection is “March,” the graphic novel by Congressman John Lewis, a giant of the civil rights movement and an incredible example of courage, grace and moral imagination. Congressman Lewis got his start as an activist more than 50 years ago on the downtown streets a few blocks from here, where he led the Nashville lunch counter sit-ins and then the Freedom Rides. The first book of the “March” trilogy is a compelling read that has a lot to teach us about race, equity, leadership and other issues. Get the book and learn more about Nashville Reads.

Learn about previous community conversations and resources for holding conversations

A Message from Mayor Barry

In the face of troubling and tragic national events, we as a city came together to turn conflict into meaningful conversations, and now we are turning it into action. The steps that are outlined above have culminated from our discussions, but they are just a few of the things that we will ultimately do to change our city.

These steps come from two conversations. First, on Saturday, July 23, representatives from over 100 community organizations joined together in the gymnasium of Pearl Cohn High School to talk about their life experiences – and the experiences of those they represent – as it related to race relations in our city, social equity, and the impact of the criminal justice system on their lives. Review conversation data and themes from our July 23 event.

This conversation informed the creation of "REAL Talk": A Forum on Race, Equity, and Leadership on September 10, at the Music City Center. Over a thousand Nashvillians joined together to discuss several important identified topic areas: community empowerment, criminal justice system, data/information, diversity/inclusion, health disparities, housing/gentrification, immigrant and refugee/New American communities, public education/youth, public safety/policing, and workforce/jobs. You can watch our call to action and the topic group report outs.

These discussions have informed the next steps you see outlined on this page. I appreciate everyone who attended, volunteered, and shared their stories with us over the past months, and look forward to moving your ideas into action.

Kind regards,

Mayor Megan Barry