Nashville Feminist Collective has over 1,300 members – wow!! In less than two years this group has grown to include hundreds of members who have participated in many new and exciting events supporting feminism in the greater Nashville area including monthly trivia nights, reading groups, a march against gender-based violence, and spoken word performances, amongst others. The creation of this group clearly tapped a nerve – there is a palpable need and desire to connect feminists and to build community in Nashville. The energy behind this group is truly exciting!
For several months now, a few active members have been discussing the vision and future of the NFC. This “discernment group” has explored together possible new avenues of action for the collective. It is our hope that the NFC will continue to grow as a local radical coalition of individuals and groups, bringing together people of differing identities and backgrounds to find some common ground and work together to advance feminist goals and build collective power. We also want the Nashville Feminist Collective to solidify its own identity as a group devoted to advocacy, education, and building power, all while maintaining our intent to deepen our efforts towards greater intersectionality (i.e. centering the experiences of people most marginalized because of their social positioning at the intersections of systems of oppression, i.e. race, class, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, ability, religion, nationality, and more).
In the spirit of full transparency, active members of the “discernment group” have been: Anna Carella, one of the founders of NFC, Doris Palomino, member of the Immigrant Women’s Committee/Comite De Mujeres Migrantes Nashville at TIRCC, Kelly Hill, chair of the Nashville chapter of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), Whitney Washington and Olusola Tribble, leaders of the NFC march against gender-based violence and the feminist multimedia art event in April 2015, and Alex Chambers, a discussion group facilitator. D.J. Hudson, Policy and Civic Engagement Coordinator for SisterReach, attended some early meetings, and Hasina Mohyuddin, a member of the Islamic Center of Nashville, contributed insights and perspectives by email.
This particular group of “discerners” focused on getting to know each other better since we believe the foundation of organizing is relationship-building and, ultimately, friendship. We came together in the spirit of diversity, trying to bring women and gender nonconforming folks who may not know each other together into an intersectional space, while acknowledging that our efforts at inclusivity were always imperfect and incomplete, and that limits on people’s time and energy were working against us. We acknowledge that the discernment group was not as diverse as we hope the Collective will be in the future.
To ensure that NFC continues to work towards an intersectional politics and to grow into our vision, we have identified the need to create a somewhat more formal structure. This includes establishing more clearly defined leadership. The intention is not to take away agency or initiative from members, but is a way to help share responsibilities and the everyday work of planning, communication, etc. In the next few weeks, we will be initiating a process to recruit new leaders for the NFC. This process will include a combination of nomination and application. We hope to find a diverse group of committed and passionate people to lead the group. We do not want the future leadership to be composed of only white, cis, able-bodied, middle class, heterosexual, documented US citizens.
To give the NFC the structure it needs to thrive, we imagine this leadership council could include two co-chairs, a secretary/historian, treasurer, and a social media/communications representative, along with a number of at-large or general leadership members. We hope that establishing a leadership council will ensure that our goals for events, advocacy, and other areas are met.
We also hope that this leadership will further imagine its role and the growing and possibly, changing, possibilities for NFC in order to move the group forward. While we are imagining an NFC leadership into being, we do not want to limit this new leadership with our own imaginations. So, if you have interest in serving as a leader of NFC, imagining what NFC could be, and working to create that space with others, we ask you to join us!
We imagine that leaders might take on the following responsibilities:
- Holding regular meetings (perhaps monthly?)
- Outreach – building membership and participation
- Planning of events (or delegation to others for planning) that contribute to the collective’s mission (i.e. intersectional feminism, community building, activism/advocacy, etc.)
- Commitment to intersectional feminism and inclusiveness
- Moderation of the Facebook group page to remove hateful speech and spam
- Management of and contribution to the website nashvillefeministcollective.com
Nominations for Leadership
If you would like to serve nominate yourself or someone else as a leader of the NFC, please submit your contact information using this Google form. We highly encourage self-nominations by interested individuals. Nominations will be accepted until September 10th, 2015.
Please direct any questions you might have to firstname.lastname@example.org.