Nashville is experiencing a double pandemic with the COVID-19 and the March tornado, with people of color surviving worse than others around the city. With stimulus money from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act coming to Nashville to help rebuild, The Equity Alliance has partnered with organizational and educational institutions to provide a direct line of communication to the Mayor’s office and the Metro Council.
They have done so by creating a survey for Black and Brown people in Nashville called OurFairShareNash. A second survey for the impact COVID-19 has had on minority owned businesses is available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ourfairshare.
Heading this push is native Nashvillian LeLann Evans. “The Black and Brown communities have been overlooked, left behind and not given the resources to be a growing community. Right now, we have the opportunity to have our voices heard with how the Cares Act money is spent with the Our Fair Share Nash Initiative,” says Evans, Project Manager of this community-wide Initiative. “If we don’t fill out the survey and know the needs, then we cannot hold the government accountable for what our needs are. If we don’t continue to do the things to make sure our voices are heard, then we are going to continue to be overlooked.
Evans’ mission is straight-forward and to the point.
“I have been doing campaign management for about five years. I have done campaigns, initiatives, etc. With COVID-19 being a pandemic right now, helping Black and Brown communities get the help they need during this pandemic and making sure their voices are heard in the Mayor’s office,” Evans explained
The collaborative Evans is leading has already began to gather information, with a pattern in the survey so far.
“The top things we are seeing is that people need an information hub that they can trust. Right now, with so many different government officials at all levels saying different things, most people don’t know what or who to trust.” Evans continued, “that is the number one thing that we see right now and what we want to be is something they can trust. Also, grant assistance. A lot of non-profits are not able to raise money like they use to due to COVID-19. The needs change for different area codes. That’s why we did this. To make sure we don’t have a ‘one size fits all’ solution to present to the Mayor’s office. “
These surveys have been out since July 23rd and are considered key because of the impact that COVID-19 and the Tornado have had on the community. The Equity Alliance believes with all that has happened in 2020 it is important that people complete the survey.
The importance of the survey is in the fact that it is the first step in change. After gathering the information, Evans and his committee plan to keep advocating for the needs shown by the survey to the Mayor of Nashville. Finally, once a decision is made on how to spend the money, they plan on making sure to hold the Mayor and local government accountable for the decisions made by making sure that Black and Brown people get their fair share.
The special committee surrounding the initiative will be presenting their findings later in August. The Mayor will make his decision before then more than likely in late August to September. The last day to take the survey is August 10th.
Our Fair Share is getting the ball rolling, but they cannot make a huge impact unless people get out and fill out the survey. Head to OurFairShareNash to have your voice heard.
For minority business owners and entrepreneurs please visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ourfairshare to share important information about how your business has been impacted during this time.
Together, the community can lift their voices to fight for what they need.