Announcing Imagine Nashville
COMMUNITY-LED VALUES + VISIONING EFFORT LAUNCHES AT CRITICAL TIME IN NASHVILLE’S STORY
“Imagine Nashville” Aims to Help the City Develop an Actionable Plan for Its Future
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (June 20, 2023) – Imagine Nashville, a community-led effort to help develop a bold and inclusive vision for the future of the city, officially launched today.
Imagine Nashville aims to engage residents from all 526 square miles of Davidson County to identify shared values and create a vision for Nashville based on those values. The initiative will reach across geographic, socioeconomic, racial and ethnic lines, and age differences to ensure everyone has a voice in forming a lasting and powerful road map for the future of our city.
The effort will be co-chaired by John Faison Sr., Alex Jahangir and Renata Soto. The co-chairs have recruited a 26-member steering committee that will be responsible for connecting the work of the group back to and securing the participation of the communities, stakeholders and organizations that are central to the success of this effort.
“Nashville is at a critical inflection point. So much progress has been made, yet many feel disconnected from that progress and yearn for a way to bring diverse parts of our community together behind a set of actionable ideas for the future,” Jahangir said.
“Our hope is that Imagine Nashville gives us a chance to dream not what has or hasn’t been, but rather what we collectively wish the future to hold,” Soto said. “If done right, this becomes the road map for going forward – not only for elected leaders, but for community groups, nonprofits, philanthropy, the business community, government and more. The goal is to both dream big and also make it actionable and build a sense of accountability for tangible results.”
“There are many things that divide us, but it is time to think about what unites us,” Faison said. “I see in our great city so much hope, so much potential, but also unanswered questions and unaddressed disappointments. For this city to be what its citizens need, we must have a clear picture of where we are going, fueled by our shared hopes and dreams. This is what can bring us together in new and powerful ways.”
Imagine Nashville will be a yearlong project divided into two phases. Phase One will begin this summer with attitudinal research designed to identify a set of shared values. The research phase employs evidence-based methods that build on one another, including one-on-one interviews, “voice of the people” digital focus groups, and a scientifically designed and administered survey that will also be fashioned into and delivered as a field survey for all who live in Nashville.
To that end, the steering committee will be recruiting people and organizations across the city as community partners and working hand in hand with them to ensure all voices are heard and that everyone has an equal seat at the table. There also will be an intentional effort to engage young people in the conversation in meaningful ways. This will include a special collaboration with the Civic Design Center and their Nashville Youth Design Team.
With the research findings as a foundation, the steering committee will launch a second phase in the fall that will involve conversations across the city about ideas for action to advance those values.
The idea for Imagine Nashville began more than a year ago with discussions within Nashville’s Agenda Steering Committee – a group of civic and community leaders formed to help carry out a similar visioning effort in the 1990s. That effort was a yearlong, grassroots initiative that culminated in the release of “21 Goals for the 21st Century.” Its profound success in shaping the future of Nashville, which included ideas such as building a new, centrally located main library facility, developing a trail/greenway system throughout the county, and promoting Nashville as a place for major league and amateur sports, prompted today’s leaders to take on this new yet similar effort.
“We are excited to have played a small part in helping Imagine Nashville take flight,” said Janet Miller, chair of the Nashville’s Agenda Steering Committee. “The Nashville of today is a very different place than when we were involved in the original visioning effort in the 1990s. For it to work, it must be a much larger, independent effort with many community partners sitting as equals around the table. We are excited to see where this goes and committed to coming behind it to help the city realize its full potential.”
The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee will serve as the fiscal sponsor, providing important insights and fiscal oversight under Hal Cato’s leadership.
For more information about Imagine Nashville, please visit www.imaginenashville.org.
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