While it might escape the national headlines, Nashville is a region of change in the equations of power — and in shifting towards economic equity.

While facing rapid gentrification and relentless state-level pushback against inclusion, new upsurges in labor-community organizing are opening high-road job access and helping neighborhoods fight for fair share. With this, a dramatic increase in Black, Latinx and Muslim-migrant voter registration, and other changes are radically redefining a Southern landscape in ways that both reverberate with civil rights histories and set forward innovative models.

When it comes to expanding the geographic reach of funding to support lasting change on inequality, in other words, mobilizing resources must be met with a deeper knowledge of and partnerships with Black, Indigenous, migrant, and people of color-led movements rooted in place. Local funders, too, must also be considered in this landscape and as potential partners.

In the case of Nashville, NFG’s Amplify Fund was essential to this process, having developed its Nashville strategy using a co-created process with key Black-led local labor/community organizations since 2018. The perspectives and activities of these organizations were gathered throughout the process of developing and executing a virtual joint Learning Visit in September 2020, including producing a short film sharing their story and informal interviews and conversations. The Learning Visit was recorded to also ensure accuracy in quotes.

Local funders and grassroots groups