A new LGBT organization being highlighted in Nashville news is a project of an incubator run by a local Christian organization.
Inclusion Tennessee’s website describes the group: (the group’s website uses all lower-case letters)
inclusion tennessee was conceived following a one-year community needs assessment of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community throughout middle tennessee in 2019. this community assessment engaged over two-thousand people throughout the mid-state to gain an understanding of what lgbtqia+ people in this region needed in order to thrive.
the community needs assessment that was commissioned by nashville pride, referred to as the community visioning project, clearly identified many unmet needs within our community. these ranged from having access to affirming and fully inclusive healthcare to having safe social environments outside of nightlife. the community visioning project recommendations were released at the end of 2019, sharing five specific solutions that could be created by our then current lgbtqia+ organizations. the charge was placed to the community and the research continued into the new year.
The group says its work has accomplished “deeper partnerships with leading organizations to create new programming initiatives to support the lives of lgbtq+ people throughout middle tennessee” and “statewide partnerships with organizations to support lgbtq+ programs already existing, but to bring new energy to the middle tennessee region, specifically for trans/nonbinary community members, older adults, and drag artists.”
But in the fine print of Inclusion Tennessee’s site, it is described as “an incubator program of The Center for Contemplative Justice,” a fact that NewsChannel5 did not report.
The Center for Contemplative Justice is a Christian organization.
According to its website:
The Center for Contemplative Justice is a non-profit that supports a variety of social justice ministries and contemplative practices. Members on its board regard contemplative inner work as foundational to acts of social justice and community.
The Center for Contemplative Justice provides administrative and financial resources to individuals and groups that create opportunities for social and structural change.
Rev. Becca Stevens is the chair of the The Center for Contemplative Justice. She graduated from Vanderbilt Divinity School.
“As a priest, author, and entrepreneur I have tried to spend my life inspiring communities to organize and act with love,” the biography page on her website says.
The president and vice char of the Center For Contemplative Justice is Rev. Dr. Scott Owings, an Episcopalian Chaplain at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Chapel in Nashville.
“Scott was ordained to the priesthood in 2015 and has been serving at St. A’s since that time,” his biography says. “His areas of involvement include spiritual direction, preaching, pastoral care, leading the contemplative Eucharist, chairing the CCJ, overseeing our graduate interns, and is the point person for our efforts in Botswana.”
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