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Compass TN 2015

On February 6 and 7, the Nashville Peace and Justice Center partnered with the Tennessee Alliance for Progress to hold “CompassTN 2015”, a statewide gathering of both new and experienced activists to build relationships, share experiences and plan for the future. Participants seemed to feel that the conference was successful and useful.

NPJC has traditionally held a leadership training institute at least once each year, to encourage the development of new community organizers and to help veteran organizers hone their skills. This training program has morphed over the years. It now gives less emphasis to “teaching” and more to sharing. This approach is appropriate to the current generation of intensely engaged new activists.

The partnership between NPJC and its member group TAP was very natural for two reasons. First, this was a statewide conference and TAP, a statewide organization, has held “Compass Conferences” on and off over many years, while NPJC’s training institutes have been more local. Even more importantly, Dan Jaranko, CoDirector (and now, since Nell Levin’s retirement, Director) of TAP, had already coordinated several of NPJC’s previous trainings.

But the most important participants in organizing this conference were the young activists themselves, who had come together at our Nashville Organizers Institute in January and February of 2014. They were the ones who recruited most of the wonderful speakers and workshop leaders, and who gave the two-day Conference it’s optimism and energy. We will continue to encourage continuity and solidarity, and we will continue to organize these events at least once each year, possibly alternating between local trainings and statewide conferences.

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