Published June 29, 2021
The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –
Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced Monday that grants are now available to help in the fight to reduce violence in the city.
Mayor Cooper is asking local organizations to collaborate as part of a $3 million community safety initiative. His hope is that these groups will help to implement proven strategies for violence reduction throughout neighborhoods in Nashville.
The new Community Safety Partnership Fund (CSP) was announced in March. At that time, Cooper also named longtime youth mentor Ron Johnson as Metro Nashville’s new Community Safety Coordinator.
Johnson will work with local nonprofits, as well as the Metro Nashville Police Department, to coordinate efforts to curb violence before it becomes an issue.
“I am honored by Mayor Cooper’s trust. This is my life’s work. We need to do everything we can to prevent gun violence and keep our kids out of the criminal justice system,” said Johnson.
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Cooper previously described the efforts as an opportunity for the city.
“To achieve community safety, we must harness the power of a community working as one,” Cooper stated. “This is an opportunity to invest in partners who are doing innovative work, to support them, and take their successful models even further in Nashville.”
Nonprofits that meet grant requirements can apply for grants of up to $5,000. The city plans to disburse up to $150,000 from the Community Safety Partnership Fund.
The mayor’s CSP Advisory Board, made up of eleven Nashville residents, will make recommendations for grant recipients to Metro Council in July and August.
For the first round of grants, recipients must meet Metro ordinances and have a certified audit for the most recent fiscal year in order to receive a grant.
The first round of funding is intended to support grassroots organizations working to enhance community safety and reduce violence,” said Sharon Roberson, president and CEO of YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee.
Roberson is a committee vice-chair for Mayor Cooper’s Policing Policy Commission and is serving as leader of the CSP Advisory Board.
While the current round of grants will be capped at $5,000 each, organizations that have an audit completed can apply for larger Implementation Grants when those become available next month.
Metro Council also voted on June 15 to increase the Community Safety Partnership Fund with an additional $1 million to be used for a Cure Violence pilot program in North Nashville.
Nashville residents believe the new grant program is a step in the right direction for the city.
“The Community Safety Partnership represents a proactive investment in the safety and future of Nashville by helping to strengthen people and groups who have already proven to be effective in making a positive impact in our community,” said Chris Jackson, senior pastor at Pleasant Green Baptist Church.
Jackson is also president of the Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship and a member of the CSP Advisory Board.
Metro Councilmember Jennifer Gamble also serves on the CSP Advisory Board and is the chair of the Council’s public safety committee. She praised the efforts of the program.
“Investing in and supporting the groups on the front lines of creating community-based solutions for violence reduction will make our city safer,” said Gamble.
Applications for grants can be found at hub.Nashville.gov. Implementation Grant and Cure Violence program applications will be available on the website next month.
About the Author:
Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative
Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career. Most recently, he served as Deputy Directory for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen and the Crossville Chronicle among others. He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History.