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 Pexels

Abortion Rights

Sponsored by Planned Parenthood

Abortion is not just a women's issue. Reproductive rights, including abortion, affects everyone, including queer people. Our involvement in the fight for abortion rights is both crucial and interconnected to the fight for LGBTQ+ rights. Here are five reasons why LGBTQ+ communities are involved in abortion rights.

Keep readingShow less
Photo by Tanushree Rao on Unsplash

Pride Travel Guide

Pride Month is a time of celebration and solidarity for the LGBTQ+ community, and what better way to immerse yourself in the festivities than by visiting some of the best destinations for Pride events? These cities offer vibrant parades, festivals, and a rich history of LGBTQ+ activism. In this Pride travel guide, we'll explore the nine best places to visit for Pride Month and links to pride organizations in each city.

New York City Pride

crowds of people celebrating the Pride parade in NYC.NYC Pride Photo by Josh Wilburne on Unsplash

Keep readingShow less
Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

HIV progress with treatment plans.

By Dr. Thanes Vanig, Founder and Chief Medical Officer at Spectrum Medical Care Center

I saw my first case of HIV when I was a medical student in Bangkok, and it was incredibly sad. I compare the beginning of the HIV epidemic to the COVID-19 pandemic when the disease was an alarming mystery. Patients were locked up in their rooms. We had to wear gowns, gloves, masks, a suit, and full personal protective equipment, just to see them. We were afraid of what we didn’t know.

Keep readingShow less