Happy New Year, and happy (almost) 5th anniversary to us! This November we will celebrate our 5th year of making change while also (hopefully) celebrating the passage of new legislation and bringing our Healthy Relationships & Finances course to more students in Tennessee. The first few months of our year mainly centers around our advocacy work as that’s when the Tennessee General Assembly is in session. As 2017 closed, we completed our research around the issues our bills addressed, met with local partners to garner their support, solidified the legislators who will sponsor and support the bills, and began having early conversations around what we hoped our legislation would accomplish. The method to our madness also includes citizen lobbyists, fellow Tennesseans who also want to create change in their communities by helping us lobby for our bills (or bills of their own!). Before we send people to the Cordell Hull building though, we train them! In the month of January, we held two Lobbying 101s, one at East Park Community Center & one at Vanderbilt Law School. At the first training at East Park, we had over 40 interested volunteers and two state legislators: Representatives Sherry Jones & Bill Beck who gave the elected official’s point of view on lobbying dos and don'ts. Later in the month, we trained 25 new volunteers (including quite a few future lawyers!) and were given the legislator’s perspective from Representative Bo Mitchell who also challenged us all to get and stay involved even when session is over. January 20th brought the anniversary of the Women’s March in Washington D.C. and its sister marches all across the world including in numerous cities all over Tennessee. This year, a large group of organizations worked together to bring the Women’s March 2.0 Power Together Tennessee event to Nashville. The morning saw informational sessions on running for office, lobbying, grassroots organizing, artivism, and much more; meanwhile, AWAKE tabled amongst thirty amazing organizations who also serve Tennessee’s various communities, and we were a proud sponsor of the event as well. The afternoon brought out over 15,000 (!!!) people to march, ending in a rally at Bicentennial Mall. It was incredible. It was inspiring. And it was encouraging and energizing to see so many groups and so many people ready to create change and make their communities more equitable and empowered. We also officially kicked off 2018 with an event at The Greenhouse Bar with new and old volunteers and members ready to learn about our legislation and how we plan to get our Health Relationships & Finances curriculum in front of as many students as possible. We also detailed our 2018 fundraising goal of hiring an Executive Director. As an all volunteer board and organization, we know we could be in more schools, working with more groups, researching more issues, and passing more legislation if we had an Executive Director to take the lead. So thank you to everyone who came out to the kickoff- your donation helped us take another step towards this goal! And because January has 31 days in it, we used them all to advance women's and kids’ issues. On the last day of the month, AWAKE along with the Sexual Assault Center and the YWCA co-hosted a screening of the documentary “I Am Evidence” about the rape kit backlog across the U.S. and what can be done to address this frustrating issue. The Joyful Heart Foundation brought the film to Lipscomb University and invited legislators, attorneys, local police departments, and community groups together for a discussion on and call to action to address the rape kit backlog in Tennessee. If you are interested in lobbying for our legislation this year, please email us at email@example.com. And if education is your thing, we will have our teacher training in February before we begin our spring classes, so be sure to stay in touch with us for details on our upcoming events, trainings, and volunteer opportunities.
AWAKE is proud to be involved again with the Women's March in Nashville on January 20th. In the year since the incredible Women's March and its sisters marches that became the largest organized protest ever, Power Together & the Women's March organizers are upping the expectations with an entire day's worth of activities. From the organizers: On January 20, 2018, the anniversary of the Women’s March,we are calling on you to join us in the Women’s March 2.0: Power Together TN in Nashville, TN. This morning conference and march to an afternoon rally is the follow-up action we all promised -- that we would unite and persist! What is the 2.0 part of Women's March 2.0? We knew that marching would be not enough to kick us off for 2018, which is midterm election year and a time to transform our anger into something more powerful, transcendent and sustainable. Thousands will choose to attend the conference for an entire day of activism, and thousands more will join us for the march and rally for free. TICKETS ARE FOR THE CONFERENCE AND CAUCUS LUNCHEONS. No one will be turned away for inability to pay. We never want finances to be a barrier for participation, so if you cannot afford one of the registration levels below, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know and we will make sure you can attend. Conference topics will include: Artivism - The role of creativity in social justice; artistic voice = activist voice; using music, dance, theater, film, visual and performance arts for civic engagement Faith and Spirituality- Dealing with trauma; spiritual and moral life of progressives; self-care to stave off burnout; people of faith; values and politics Grassroots Organizing - Skills-building; understanding and managing power; direct action; ensuring safety and security at demonstrations Youth - Leadership development; connecting campuses throughout the state Legislative Skills and Issues - How bills become law; how to lobby; dealing with legislators; specific issues impacting women, communities of color, youth LGBTQ+, individuals with disabilities, indigenous communities, the earth and our environment etc... Understanding Elections - Voter registration; how to become a candidate; Get Out The Vote From Resistance to Persistence! Last January, during inaugural weekend, over 20,000 people marched in our state’s capital, with an estimated 15,000 Tennesseans marching in Knoxville, Memphis, Chattanooga and Jonesborough and DC. This was an important moment of unity, but we know that uniting is just the beginning. There is great work to be done and we must organize our efforts to effect change. Most importantly, Tennesseans from all walks of life will gather to connect and support one another, to demonstrate that we are not alone as we face a barrage of political assaults on our communities. We aim to foster a sense of belonging, create a space for learning, and kickoff 2018 with sustained meaningful action. To purchase conference tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/womens-march-20-power-together-tn-tickets-39532803680 RSVP & say you'll march with us! https://www.facebook.com/events/141601549799013 Power Together's Facebook with information on the Sign Making parties, day of events, and after party! https://www.facebook.com/PowerTogetherTN See you in the streets!
Want to get involved in our truancy program? The time is now! Hear from our own Sara Beth Myers as well as the Honorable Sheila Calloway and Honorable Jennifer Wade as they provide details on the C.A.R.E program (developed in conjunction with Metro Nashville Public School and the Metro Student Attendance Center). You will receive CLE credit, the training is free, and there is breakfast! For more details and to register, head to: https://www.nashvillebar.org/index.cfm?pg=events&evAction=showDetail&eid=49198&evSubAction=listAll. Continue reading
What do beautiful art and biscuits have in common? Continue reading
Our Domestic Violence Offender Notification law was signed today in a ceremony at War Memorial with Governor Haslam & members of AWAKE! Continue reading
Buy a ticket to the Nashville Sounds game on July 8th and support AWAKE! We'll be there at the 7:00pm game sporting fabulous, new AWAKE t-shirts. Bring your friends and families and enjoy a night out to support a great cause. Sit wherever you want, but be sure to swing by our table. We are grateful to The Sounds for recognizing us on July 8th! Continue reading
Give Back on Wednesday, May 3 On May 3, all of your donations to AWAKE through the Big Payback earn us more money! If you've never donated before, May 3 is your day. If you have donated before, thank you and please consider making an additional donation on Wednesday.
Join us for our 2017 Spring fundraiser, Tapas & Toasts at Casa Azafran! This year we are already on the ground working to bring more safety to domestic violence survivors and educating students around Middle TN about healthy relationships and finances. Help support our work on March 30th from 6pm - 8pm and learn more about how you can get involved this year.