Several happenings since that meeting warrant an update.
I finally heard back (about a week after my query) from my school board representative, Sharon Gentry, who replied thusly,
I have been doing some digging.
Digging through my email: I did not receive this notice.
I have inquired with Mr. Coverstone's office as to the source of the distribution list and am awaiting a response.
I am meeting with IT and Dr. Register to propose the development an online registration system where the community and organizations ca n sign up to receive notices of public meetings such as these. These types of omissions are common and notices of meetings such as this should not be by word of mouth.
School board chair, Gracie Porter, also responded the same day as Ms. Gentry, saying that she had not been aware of the meeting until reading my October 4 email.
Meanwhile, Alan Coverstone's office assistant sent out the following notes to everyone who signed in at the meeting and left an email address:
North Nashville Collaboration Meeting notes
- students want to be involved in the community
- The National Museum of African American Music will be on the corner of Rosa Parks and Jefferson – educational facility and tourist destination
- Churches in community – doors always open for students, staff, parents, future teacher.
- There are opportunities at Pearl-Cohn that you can’t get anywhere else
- Togetherness of not only North Nashville, but North Nashville with ALL of Nashville
- Need to do a series of oral history about North Nashville. Film at Pearl-Cohn
- We need a MOVEMENT in North Nashville to assure our young people have what they need
- End of the month with Urban League – grassroots movement for students to succeed
- Students at Meharry – want to collaborate with MNPS schools and students
- Bring students to legislature to help teach the students what government is and to show the decision makers who they are effecting
- Every Saturday morning. 8-10. 1215 9th ave. north has non violence direct action training. Urban EpiCenter. 615-419-4214
- Oasis Center: opportunities for students to learn about event planning as well as other learning opportunities
- students can help churches with websites and video editing – IMF churches
- JUMP invites students to help with social media and event planning
- GED program and help with job placement for students
- Goal of today: we believe that North Nashville needs to be a destination for people all over to come and learn about the rich history of Jefferson Street
- Recognize that the students are the future – invest in them NOW. Give them opportunities to the students. Give them more than civic projects, help them learn and be a part of the community
The notes reinforce my concerns that very little is done to address the economic structures that keep North Nashville residents opportunity-poor. The exclusive focus on these "academies", school reform and voluntarism without attention to economic inequalities is akin to a band-aid for traumatic wounds. Innovation seems empty and irrelevant without reference to economic equity and balanced opportunity.