Inclusion Tennessee Forms to Create Nashville LGBTQ+ Center

Photo courtesy of Inclusion Tennessee

Inclusion Tennessee


Inclusion Tennessee launched in June after nearly two years of development. Its mission is to connect people, resources, and opportunities that enrich and enhance the lives of the LGBTQ+ community. Nashville Pride completed a Community Needs Assessment in 2019 which is much of what Inclusion Tennessee will be focusing on in the coming year. This is what you can expect to see:

Inclusion Tennessee Focus for the First Year

  1. ​ Embracing the LGBTQ+ mission focused, mission adjacent, and community partners in collaborative spaces focused on creating models of collective impact.
  2. Co-locating wraparound services, resources, and programming for LGBTQ+ 18-24 year-olds with affirming agencies in the mid-state. This includes affordable housing, health care, respite care, mutual aid resources, and career training.
  3. Co-locating services, resources, and programming for LGBTQIA+ older adults in the mid-state. This includes safe social opportunities, healthcare, affordable housing, respite care, mutual aid, support groups, and end-of-life planning.
  4. Partnering with healthcare organizations and providers to establish a digital-first healthcare navigation solution that delivers LGBTQIA+ community members with information about affirming healthcare providers, specialists, health services, and safe places in Tennessee.
  5. Building a Nashville LGBTQIA+ Community Center for all ages with satellite services throughout the region. The center will be community-designed and may include a co-working space, a theater, meeting rooms, a cafe, a library, maker spaces, retail spaces, and physicians' offices, and more.

Taking leadership of Inclusion Tennessee is founder Phil Cobucci, Dr. Quinton Walker, and Meredith Fortney. The remaining board members include thirteen professionals and industry leaders in healthcare, education, branding, marketing, government, and nonprofit organizations.

Inclusion Tennessee is being incubated by The Center for Contemplative Justice, an organization founded by the Rev. Becca Stevens which fosters unique justice startups. Acting as an umbrella organization for those holding vision and allowing an organization to birth the idea, nurturing and growing it into its own independent nonprofit organization. When approached with the idea and mission of Inclusion Tennessee, Becca Stevens said, "Inclusion Tennessee offers a mission of love, and the minute Phil Cobucci shared it with me, I knew I wanted to do something to support his beautiful vision. I am honored that The Center for Contemplative Justice could play a role in helping them get off the ground. My hope is that they will be a blueprint for new opportunities and structures within and for the LGBTQIA+ community in Tennessee.”

Initial organizational funding has been secured through The HCA Foundation, The Center for Contemplative Justice, Nashville Pride, and private donors. Visit Inclusion Tennessee for more information.

Board Members

Founding Board Members

Phil Cobucci

Founder and Board President
Marketing and Branding Consultant

Dr. Quinton Walker

Board Secretary
High School Headmaster at University School of Nashville

Meredith Fortney

Board Treasurer
Senior Manager Employee Branding at HelloFresh


Hal Cato

CEO of Thistle Farms
(Former CEO of Oasis Center; Founder of Hands on Nashville)

Del Ray Zimmerman

Director of LGBTQI Health at Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Joseph Woodson

Founder + Principal, Woodson Results, Inc.
(Former LGBTQ Liaison to Mayors Barry and Briley)

Dr. Christopher Ott

Chief Medical Officer, Physicians Services Group at HCA Healthcare
(Past President of the Board at Nashville Cares)

Matthew Gann

Associate Vice Chancellor for Marketing, Digital Strategy, & Public Relations at Tennessee Board of Regents

Pamela Kelner

Executive Director at Jewish Family Service; part of the Jewish Federation of Middle Tennessee

Marcia Masulla

CEO at Roar Nashville;
Founder of Nashville Fashion Week; Nashville Fashion Forward Fund; and Tiny But Mighty

Dawn Cornelius

CEO at MyHuman; Principal Consultant at The Cornelius Group

Jordan Constantine

Senior Policy Analyst at The Center for Innovation in Public Health, University of Kentucky
Co-Founder at affinità consulting

Olivia Blake

Salesforce Implementation Specialist, Idlewild

Amiee M. Sadler

Research and Education Manager, people3, inc.

Jon Paul Yarbrough

Board Member, Yarbrough Family Foundation

Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

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The LGBTQIA+ National Grant allows eligible small businesses to receive one of 25 grants totaling $25,000. Founders First is committed to increasing the number of diverse founder-led companies generating over $1 million in revenue and creating premium-wage jobs. To be eligible, the company's founder must identify as LGBTQIA+, have an active U.S.-based business, be the CEO, President, or owner, and employ between 2 and 50 employees

SAN DIEGO (PRWEB) May 06, 2023 -- Founders First CDC (Founders First), a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that empowers the expansion of diverse founder-led, revenue-generating businesses alongside TurningPoint Executive Search, is pleased to announce that the inaugural National Pride Grant, a grant fund to support U.S. based LGBTQIA+ small business owners, is now open for pre-registration.

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