Take in a Conscious Conversation on Metro Schools Funding

Dr. Shawn Joseph

The first Conscious Conversation of 2019 will highlight funding for Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS), a topic that has been hotly-debated in our city for quite some time. While many opinions exist on this issue, questions still remain in regard to how the MNPS budget process works and how it ties into the Metro government budget process.

Conscious Conversation (#ConsciousConvo) is a community engagement platform focused on galvanizing the general public around issues of community and economic development in metropolitan communities. Their efforts are concentrated in three main areas. Connect: To bring the community together, facilitate networking, and generate synergy amongst like-minded individuals; Converse: To engage in healthy dialogue on issues that plague downtrodden communities; and Create: To formulate strategies leading to collective action on identified issues.

They have assembled a panel of key stakeholders to address this topic and other issues related to MNPS funding. With remarks from Dr. Shawn Joseph, MNPS Director, and Dr. Watechia Lawless, Executive Principal, Napier Elementary School, and Brian Hull, MNPS Director of Resource Strategy, these panelists will discuss the issue: Tanaka Vercher – Metro Council Budget & Finance Committee Chair, District 28; Sharon Hurt – Metro Council Member At-Large; Christiane Buggs, MNPS School Board Vice Chair, District 5; Michael Epps Utley – MNPS Parent, FundMNPS.com advocate; Jameka Usher – MNPS Parent; Dr. Samantha Perez, Director of Education Initiatives, Nashville Chamber; and Dr. Darwin Mason, Jr. – Principal, John Early Museum Magnet Middle School.

In January, 2018, the PRIDE reported on a Conscious Conversation community forum on the future of Nashville General Hospital, hosted in partnership with the Nashville Metro Council Minority Caucus, The Equity Alliance and SEIU Local 205 on Thursday, January 11, at First Baptist Church, Capitol Hill. We also reported on another of their events, held Friday, May 11, at the Google Fiber Nashville Space on Division Street called “Conscious Connect: A Social Celebration of Digital Inclusion.”. Nashville’s innovative Conscious Conversation series brought several thought leaders together to celebrate the great work being done to empower African Americans in the digital realm and to network and socialize with other local influencers in the Nashville digital inclusion community.

Organizers for the event are: Isaac Addae – Assistant Professor, College of Business, Tennessee State University; Jarrett Strickland – Wealth Planning Associate, UBS; and Montez Mickles – Founder, Crate Media. They welcome you to follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to contribute your thoughts and perspectives on the various issues. For questions about the #consciousconvo group, send an email to: info@consciousconversation.co
Join in on Thursday, April 4th at Napier Community Center, 73 Fairfield Avenue, Nashville, TN 37210, to hear thoughts and perspectives on the MNPS budget and funding. Networking will start at 6:30pm and the discussion will begin at 7:00pm. The event is free and open to the public, however they requestthat you RSVP in advance to ensure a seat. To RSVP, and for additional event information, visit www.consciousconvo.eventbrite.com.