1st Annual Statewide Convening 2017

Healthy and Free Tennessee was pleased to host our first annual statewide convening October 27-29 at Tennessee State University, an HBCU, in Nashville, TN. The theme for this year was "2018 and Beyond: Building Collective Power," and the sessions included issues (i.e. HIV policy in TN, centering people of color in birth work, reproductive rights and TN's opioid epidemic, etc.) and general skill-building (i.e. how to increase civic engagement, best practices in youth organizing, rural organizing in Tennessee, demystifying the legislative process, etc.). The convening was FREE and open to our coalition partners and the general public. People who were unfamiliar with reproductive rights, health, and justice were encouraged to attend and learn about why this work must be centered in our progressive movement. #HFTNConvening2017 #BuildCollectivePower17

Panels and Speakers
Speaker Bios
Lodging and Meals
List of Convening Sponsors


Our keynote speaker was Loretta J. Ross (pictured above right). Ms. Ross is an expert on women’s issues, racism, and human rights. Her work emphasizes the intersectionality of social justice issues and how this transforms social change. She is a nationally-recognized women's rights and human rights leader. She was a co-founder and the National Coordinator, from 2005 to 2012, of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, a network of women of color and allied organizations that organize women of color in the reproductive justice movement.


Presenters included local Tennessee experts like Larry Frampton with the Tennessee AIDS Advocacy Network, Mary-Linden Salter from Tennessee Association of Alcohol, Drug & Other Addiction Services, Elizabeth Gedmark of A Better Balance, Terri Lee-Johnson Founder and Executive Director of Birth Strides in Memphis, Erica Perry of Black Lives Matter Memphis, Cherisse Scott of SisterReach, and Dawn Harrington of Free Hearts, as well as national speakers from National Advocates for Pregnant Women, Center for Reproductive Rights, and SisterSong


Friday, Oct 27 Welcome Reception 6-8pm
  Co-Director Welcome 7-7:15pm
Saturday, Oct 28 Breakfast 7:45-8:30am
  Opening Remarks 8:30-8:40am
  Conference Plenary #1 8:40-9:40am
  Conference Plenary #2 9:45-10:45am
  Break 10:45-11am
  Breakouts #1  11am-12:10pm
  Lunch + Keynote Address 12:10-1:40pm
  Breakouts #2  1:40-2:50pm
  Break 2:50-3:00pm
  Breakouts #3 3:00-4:10pm
  Break 4:10-4:20pm
  Strategizing Small Group Session (meet in AWC Auditorium) 4:20-5:20pm
  Closing remarks 5:20-5:30pm
Sunday, Oct 29 Breakfast 7:45-8:30am
  Opening remarks 8:30-8:40am
  Conference Plenary #3 8:40-9:40am
  Break 9:40-9:50am
  Breakouts #4  9:50-11am
  Break 11:00-11:10am
  Breakouts #5 11:10am-12:10pm
  Closing remarks 12:15-12:30pm