Weekly Wrap-Up: September 13, 2019

The Weekly Wrap-up 9/13/19
Your MEMBER ONLY email on all things the Chamber worked on this week
and you need to know about, to get the most of your membership.
Thank you for being a member.
CEO Chat - ?
We pride ourselves in being fully transparent with everything we do and we want to make sure our members are fully aware of an issue that arose with a new Chamber member this week. In my seven years of working with our Chamber, we have never encountered this issue, and it has been a difficult one for us. We were asked to address whether companies may be excluded from membership based on the nature of their business.

Tuesday afternoon, CoreCivic joined the LGBT Chamber at our Bronze Level for $300. CoreCivic is a private prison company based in Middle Tennessee, it was formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America. You do not have to search far online to find plenty of information on them. 

I spoke with their head of Diversity and Inclusion and Diversity Spend Initiatives, she is the person who joined online and reports to the COO, who approved seeking the membership with us. She had heard from other corporate members of ours about our work around supplier diversity and procurement policy in regards to LGBT owned businesses, and about our work with LGBT employee policy with our Pride in Business group. CoreCivic is wanting to expand and improve its policies in both areas and they want us to help them in those areas. Both of those are central to the work we do with corporations, both benefit the LGBT community, and it fits with our mission. 

There are a number of people who are upset that we are working with Core Civic in any way due to the business that they are in. We do not condone their business, but their interest in the work of the Chamber around our mission is what our Board decided that we will focus on when their membership was upheld. Some in our community have suggested that membership equates to acceptance, but we view it as a door through which we can help organizations become more inclusive and supportive of LGBT inclusion in many ways.   

Some have said that we should require them to change prior to membership, which is a valid approach. There are issues that we plan to address with our new member about how they treat LGBT people in their facilities, among others, but we, at least for now, believe we can be more effective in working with them than turning them away. Collaboration on equality and equity is central to what we do on everything we do. While we can’t control their business model, and some people will always have issues with that, we do hope to help them change some of their disturbing practices for the better while becoming a more inclusive company.

We are extremely sorry that people are upset about their membership and we hear them and respect their points of view on this. We are willing to host a community conversation to hear from the public about this. We will invite CoreCivic to attend, speak, and to listen. If they don’t we will take the concerns of the community to them when we eventually meet to discuss the things that they joined for. 

As a membership organization, I and the Board welcome your thoughts, inputs, suggestions and am eager to hear from you on this and any other issue on your mind.

New and Renewing Members
Please join us in welcoming the following businesses that joined our Chamber this week:

We are proud of the continued participation from the following individuals and businesses who renewed their membership this week:
What We Did
Election Results
Congratulations to John Cooper for being elected Mayor of Nashville last night. We are ready to work with you on LGBT issues, & continue the work for equity for all in our city.

Thank you to Mayor David Briley for his unwavering support for the Chamber, his dedication to the LGBT community, & his hard work to make Nashville a more equitable city fo r all.

We also are looking forward to working with all the new councilpersons. Congrats to all that have been elected and thanks to those that ran. Now its time to get to work!

Speaking of that work we need to do, look for a major announcement next week around an Equity Pledge we will be signing and are helping push forward with other community groups, to make sure we don't move backward from where we are and keep moving forward, holding Metro and elected officials accountable around equity issues.
Nancy VanReece's Swearing In

Congratulations to  Council Member Nancy VanReece  on being sworn in on Tuesday for her second term! Nancy was a founding member of the Chamber and is still heavily involved today. We are so proud of her and appreciate her work.
Emily Benedict's District 7 Win

Congratulations to Emily Benedict for winning District 7! Emily has been a dedicated board member of our chamber. We are sad to accept her resignation from the board in order to concentrate on her duties for the government. We look forward to working with Emily!?
Nashville Health + Well-Being Survey

Nashville Health shared the results of the Nashville Community Health + Well-being Survey this week.

Dell Do Gooder Event

It was great participating in the Dell Do Gooder event on Wednesday. Many organizations gathered to celebrate the work they are doing with Dell's partnership.
Looking Ahead
September Brewing Up Business
Make sure you register for the September Brewing Up Business that will be held on Thursday, September 19th at Downtown Sporting Club .

This event is co-hosted by Fifth Third Bank .

Registration is free for members and first-time guests and $10 for repeat non-member guests. Come network on the rooftop with incredable views and hear an announcement from the Nashville Predators!
Gender Blender III : An amateur drag showcase benefiting Just Us is right around the corner!  This year’s event will be held on Friday, October 18 at Play Dance Bar. Doors open at 6 pm and the show starts at 7-ish (sometimes Queens run a bit late). Cover is $20 at the door, with all proceeds – including performer tips benefiting Just Us! 
Over the last four months, Nashville Pride  and a number of other LGBTQ+ organizations in our community have partnered together to engage residents of Middle Tennessee in a conversation about LGBTQ+ life in our region. Nashville Pride is hosting one last conversation on Monday, September 16th at the Thistle Farms Education Center at 7:00 pm. If you are not able to make it next Monday, we would invite you to participate in the online survey which can be  found here . The online survey closes down on Saturday, September 16th so please click through now to make sure your opinions are counted. 
TASTE 2019!
Sponsorship and vendor signups are going fast! Don't miss out!

Join us as we celebrate the 8th year of  TASTE   - Nashville’s premier tasting event! This year we are headed back to where it all started,  OZ Arts Nashville. A diverse and lively group of attendees will enjoy food and drink samples from over two dozen of Nashville's best-known chefs and monologists, a silent auction that will bring out the competitor in the kindest among us, and a DJ to keep you moving throughout the night.   
All proceeds benefit the Chamber’s Foundation. Our mission is to educate, inspire and empower LGBT business professionals throughout Nashville and the surrounding area. And with multiple ways to get involved, from sponsorship's to attending, now is the time to get on board. Visit our TASTE website below to buy tickets, contribute a silent auction item, sign up as a food or beverage vendor, or sponsor the event!
Saturday, October 5, 2019 | Public Square Park | 9am-1pm
Use the Promo Code  LGBTCHAMBERCARES  
for free registration!
Register to attend and create a fundraising team for your business or ERG to help Nashville CARES end the HIV epidemic in Middle Tennessee. Our goal is to raise $200,000 and we need your help! Participating in the Nashville AIDS Walk is a great way to promote your business or ERG while supporting Nashville CARES. Your employees or members can attend the walk with their entire family. We have lots of great new changes to the AIDS Walk this year! We have partnered Jack Davis and Good Neighbor Festivals, to create a fantastic festival experience that includes: Live Music, Kids & Family Fun, Food Trucks and Bars, Great Vendors, and of course, a 1.3 mile AIDS Walk.
Applications are now open for year two of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center ’s InFlight program! InFlight is designed to help startups in the critical stage between “I have an idea” and “I have six figures in revenue” with monthly programming and ongoing support. Program resources include industry-leading curriculum, access to and learnings from successful EC alumni and Nashville business leaders, unlimited advisor meetings, and more. Applications will close on September 27th. If you’re a launch level founder in Middle Tennessee looking to significantly grow your business, InFlight is for you! Learn more and apply now!
BAO Certification Training
Attention minority business owners: Join the Nashville Business Assistance Office - BAO for certi fication training on Wednesday, October 2nd from 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. at the Sonny West Conference Center in the Howard Office Building.

?Get all of your certification questions answered! Register now !
Membership Has Its Perks
We are excited to be a Supporting Member of the 2019 Nashville Film Festival.

The  Nashville Film Festival  is celebrating its 50th Anniversary October 3-12, 2019.
We will be presenting the film 'Changing the Game' on Tuesday, October 9th at 6 pm . We hope you will join us for this screening and a panel discussion with director, Michael Barnett and others, following the film.
This film is FREE FOR MEMBERS! Make sure you register for this event to receive your free ticket.

Members of the Nashville LGBT Chamber can also use the code LGBTCHAM19 to receive a $2 discount on regular ticket price for all other festival programs !
Joe Woolley

Lauren Bland
Membership Manager

Nashville LGBT Chamber
41 Peabody Street
Nashville, TN 37210
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