Will we have ‘just’ growth?
Faith and justice
groups seek answers

Diverse members of the Nashville Community will gather for a regional equity summit titled, ‘Just Growth or Just Growth?’ on September 28 from 1-5pm at First Baptist, Capitol Hill. The goal is to discuss whether the growth happening in Nashville has been equitable for all Nashvillians, across economic and racial lines.

Dr. Chris Benner, co-author of Just Growth: Inclusion and Prosperity in America’s Metropolitan Regions, will be the featured speaker for the event. In his book, Dr. Benner suggests that for equitable economic expansion and justice, a diverse epistemic community, a community of shared knowledge, must be created. In that spirit, local community leaders at the summit will lead six breakout sessions offering participants chances to: learn from experts, hear personal stories from people affected by the six focus areas, and participate in facilitated discussions.

“It’s hardly a bumper sticker slogan like no justice, no peace, which has a more fighting ring and romantic tone, but our research tells us that the bumper sticker should read ‘let’s share the same facts,’ said Dr. Benner. “Communities need to participate in a conscious effort to develop a shared understanding of the region, across diverse constituencies. This makes a difference for blending the imperatives of equity and growth, as well as the potential for shared values and vision for the total community.

During this interactive event, participants will hear from a variety of local leaders on how the Nashville/Davidson County region stands in the areas of education, healthcare, incarceration, housing, economic development, jobs and immigration. There will be a four-way Abrahamic prayer (with Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Unitarian representatives), a diverse array of music (including some from the Civil Rights era), and youth poetry. Lastly, Dr. Forrest Harris, president of American Baptist College, will give a closing call to action—pushing participants to not only know about injustice, but to join with NOAH’s diverse coalition of members to act against it.

Nashville Organized for Action and Hope (NOAH) is coalition of 21 faith and values-based congregations and community organizations that will address issues of justice determined by its members.
It is interfaith and multi-racial. For event information, <www.justgrowth-eorg.eventbrite.com/>