2nd Annual Statewide Convening 2018

Healthy and Free Tennessee was pleased to host our 2nd annual statewide convening October 5-6, 2018 in Nashville, TN at Tennessee State University, an HBCU, in Nashville, TN. The theme for the convening was "Claiming Our Power: Autonomy, Dignity, & Health for All Bodies." The convening was FREE and open to our coalition partners and the general public. #HFTNConvening18 #ClaimPower18

Lodging and Meals

Panels and Speakers
List of Convening Sponsors
View Videos from the Convening on our YouTube Channel

This year's focus centered around our two primary campaigns that we are launching in 2018: Pregnancy Autonomy and Dignity (decriminalizing pregnancy outcomes) and Maternal Health. 

Our keynote speaker this year was Dr. Willie Parker (pictured below), a Christian reproductive justice advocate, OB-GYN, abortion provider, one of the few doctors to provide abortion services to women in Mississippi and Alabama, and author of Life’s Work: A Moral Argument for Choice(2017, Atria Books). His work as an abortion provider at the last remaining abortion clinic in Mississippi was featured in the 2016 documentary "Jackson."

[Image description: Healthy and Free TN Logo—a “female” and “male” symbol linked together as a Venn diagram with three white stars on three shades of blue inside. Beside this reads “Healthy & Free Tennessee: working together for sexual health & reproductive freedom.” Below that is a box, blue on the left, white and gray on the right with details about the convening. A picture of Dr. Willie Parker, a black man with a bald head and closely shaved gray beard wearing a tux and purple bow ties, is on the right side. All of the writing is detailed above.]


We also hosted a pre-conference workshop with Afrosexology. This pre-conference workshop was followed by a pre-conference welcome reception with refreshments served from 6-8pm at TSU's Avon Williams campus in the Atrium on the 2nd floor, Room 287. You did not have to attend the conference to attend this workshop. This workshop was open to the public. 


Women’s sexual experiences and exploration has seemingly existed as a source of pleasure, power, and consumption of men. As a result, there are many stereotypes about how women should perform their sexuality which has also impacted feelings of body autonomy. Defining the erotic self strengthens the sexual voice and challenges “the do’s and don’ts” of women’s sexuality. From erotic literature to candlelit baths, explore what stimulates you and leads to the discovery of your authentic and most erotic self.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

• Explore different forms of eroticism
• Discover ways to get in tune with their erotic self
• Create an Erotic Care Plan

Afrosexology was birthed out of a desire to experience a more sex-positive Black community. One that encourages self agency & promotes love in regards to bodies, relationships, and sexualities. One that liberates from the sexual shame & policing inherited from generations of sexual & body oppression. One that follows in the tradition of Black sexual politics by seeking to rediscover & reclaim sexuality. Their mission is to educate, explore, and reclaim Black sexuality. Their vision is to promote Black self empowerment through sexual liberation. Read more about them on their website www.afrosexology.com.

Schedule for Friday, October 5th

Pre-Conference Workshop: Exploring Your Erotic Self with Afrosexology 4:00-6:00 PM
Welcome Reception with Refreshments 6:00-8:00 PM

Tentative Schedule for Saturday, October 6th

Breakfast 8:00-9:00 AM
Opening Remarks 9:00-9:15 AM
Conference Plenary #1 9:15-10:15 AM
Break 10:15-10:20 AM
Conference Plenary #2 10:20-11:20 AM
Break 11:20-11:30 AM
Breakout Sessions 11:30 AM-12:45 PM
Lunch + Keynote Address Dr. Willie Parker 12:45-1:45 PM
Breakout Sessions 1:45-3:00 PM
Break 3:00-3:15 PM
Breakout Sessions 3:15-4:30 PM
Break 4:30-4:40 PM
Presentation on HFTN's 2 Campaigns 4:40-5:20 PM
Closing Remarks 5:20-5:30 PM


Tennessee State University's Avon Williams Campus is accessible by bus numbers 1, 10, 17, 24, and 25. The closest bus stop to the campus is Charlotte Ave & 10th Ave N. If you will be traveling to the campus from Broadway (making a left on 10th Ave N off of Broadway), please note that there is a road closure. Detour signs are posted. The campus is wheelchair accessible. There is an elevator on the 2nd floor providing access to the 3rd floor where the convening will take place. A lactation space (Blue Tiger Room) is located on the 2nd floor, Room 206. Single stall restrooms are available near the breakout panel rooms. These restrooms will be designated as gender neutral. Parking at TSU is free; no parking permit is required. Childcare will be available Saturday Oct 6th. 

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