ENVIRONMENT (room 203)

1. Alternative Energy and Sustainability: Coal in Tennessee

Presentations and discussion with audience: Coal for Electric Power Production and TN's energy source mix; coal's Impact on TN health, poverty, carbon footprint, severe weather, and sustainability; alternative Energy Approaches (green jobs, reduce energy demand, improve health, reduce poverty, mitigate catastrophic climate change, and motivate Tn to change).

Cliff Cockerham, is the chair of the Environmental Education Committee, Sierra Club - TN, and Sierra Student Coalition)


2. Close the Nuclear Plants and Stop Fracking in Tennessee

A summary of TVA’s many nuclear projects, Tennessee’s unique role as the processor of over 75% of the nation’s and an increasing amount of the world’s low level radioactive waste, and a status summary of the management of Oak Ridge environmental contamination from nuclear weapons production.

The oil and gas industry is poised to push into the Chattanooga shale formation in east Tennessee. They have purchased mineral rights to hundreds of thousands of acres and will be fracking on a large scale soon. Also, the University of Tennessee is ready to frack 8500 acres of public land. An outline of the problem and what we can do about it.

Don Safer is the Board Chairman of the Tennessee Environmental Council (TEC), Chairman of the Know Nuclear Committee of the Tennessee Chapter of the Sierra Club and an active member of the Bellefonte Efficiency and Sustainability Team (BEST). He follows as many of the radiological matters in the state of Tennessee that he can. (There are a lot!)

Eric Lewis is a founding member of the Nashville Peace and Justice Center which began in 1984. He has been working on environmental issues for three decades. Eric served on the Governor’s Panel on Forestry Management in the early 90’s, and was a founding member of the Tennessee Forest Defense Council. He started a small green construction business in 1979 called Solar Works, which is still going, and has built many energy efficient structures in the Nashville area from solar green houses to super-insulated homes. Eric is presently serving as President of the Board of the Swan Conservation Trust which is preserving 1400 acres of forest land on the western highland rim of Tennessee. Eric is also the Administrator of the Cumberland Green River Bioregional Council providing environmental education since 1984, and he is the editor of the Green Living Journal, the voice of the CGBC. Most recently Eric has been active with the newly formed Coalition for a Frack Free Tennessee (CFFT). His main emphasis is to tie together the goals of the peace, justice, and environmental communities.


3. Solar Energy and Efficiency

A presentation on the case for solar energy in Tennessee as an investment.

Gary Wolf of Sundog Solar Energy promotes and installs solar systems both on and off the grid.


4. Climate Change Activism Panel

Discussing action on nuclear energy/waste, XL pipeline, hydrofracking, carbon tax, and solid waste.

Eric Lewis - CFFT, Don Safer - TEC , Teresa Campbell (CCL), and John Van De Harst - RAM.

Eric Lewis & Don Safer (See Panel 2)

Teresa Campbell is an activist with Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) explaining the implementation of a carbon tax to slow GHG emissions and provide funding for alternative energy.

John Van De Harst is an achievement-oriented environmental activist, long known for promoting a wide range of energy-saving solutions. A solid waste specialist for 25 years, John has experience with issues rising and falling in the public spotlight. As a principle, John does not oppose anything without proposing something better to replace it. As he has already done with solid waste disposal, John advocates more comprehensive taxation of energy than simply a carbon tax, in order to more sustainably correct present subsidies in the marketplace. John promotes lowest cost / lowest impact alternatives, and decries showy-but-unsustainable faux "alternatives" like nature-blocking photovoltaic systems. Best alternatives now include conservation (e.g., more compact living / working / transportation spaces, insulation, recycling, and low-on-the-food-chain diet), and on the production side, large ocean wave attenuation and greater than six megawatt wind turbines.


COMMUNITY (room 202)

1. Energy Efficiency and Green Jobs

Panelists will be Nell Levin, TAP Executive Director, Dan Joranko, TAP Consultant, and Jackie Sims, TAP Outreach Coordinator.

Nell Levin helped found and has run Tennessee Alliance for Progress for the eleven years. She is the former legislative liaison and coordinator for Tennesseans for Fair Taxation. She was a weekly community blogger for the Tennessean for two years and hosted the Tennessee Progress Report radio show on Radio Free Nashville for three years. She is also a musician and songwriter. Her band, Shelby Bottom String Band, recently issued its CD, East Nashville Rag,featuring Nell's song about mountain top removal, Don't Blow Up The Mountain.

Dr. Dan Joranko. was the Consultant Organizer for the Sierra Club's Tennessee Climate Action network, the Project Director for TAP 's Tennessee Green Jobs Network and the National Screening Coordinator and Nashville Neighborhoods Coordinator for the documentary Kilowatt Ours. He also coordinates the Vanderbilt University Riverbend Program, a unique program inside a prison that brings together prisoners and Vanderbilt students.

Jackie Sims is TAP 's Community Outreach Coordinator for our "Green is Alive in District 5" Energy Efficiency Demonstration Project. She is also the neighborhood advocate for Neighborhoods Resource Center and has been active in Urban EpiCenter, Nashville Peacemakers and Tennessee Citizen Action. She has an M.S. in Counseling Psychology and is a mental health professional with 12+ years experience in project management and development and community service.


2. Healthy Living & Access to Health Care

Martha Stamps will speak on holistic healthy living caring for the physical, emotional, and spiritual. Martha Stamps Catering is providing today's lunch featuring delicious local vegetables for a recommended donation of $10. Haowei Tong will focus on the immediate legislative need for Medicaid expansion & enrollment. She will discuss opportunities later in the year with upcoming changes in eligibility and enrollment.

Martha Stamps is a local chef and writer. She is devoted to finding and promoting local foods. Join her for 'A Place at the Table', a weekly community dinner and movie/lecture series, sure to expand your palate, broaden your horizons and warm your heart. Sign up for the email newsletter to receive weekly information about the menu and movie by emailing us at info@marthastampscatering.com.

Haowei Tong is the statewide coordinator for the Tennessee Health Care Campaign (THCC)


3. The Local Food Movement

A discussion of the local food movement and the distribution from farm to table.

Alan Powell is owner/operator of Nashville Grown, a non-profit food hub, helping small farms sell their produce, and aggregating from small farms to allow larger institutions to purchase local food to meet their needs. He manages Jeff Poppen's (aka 'The Barefoot Farmer) CSA, distributes food to 175 people each year, sells to local restaurants, and coordinates charitable donations for the farm. He is a member of the Nashville Food Policy Council. He forages wild foods for local restaurants.


4. Transition Nashville: Evolving Resilient Communities Panel
The presentation includes: A brief synopsis of the Transition Movement; The Transition Movement's permaculture roots -- Design from Pattern to Details; Transition Nashville's unique role in supporting multiple related groups and initiatives; Building community resilience by encouraging leadership and participation on diverse projects and events; Fostering creative change at every level -- individual, neighborhood, community, and region.
Susan Shann has been an activist and advocate for all things environmental since 2006. As creator of Earth Revolution, a local access show highlighting the work of "green" non-profits, businesses and leaders, as well as founder of Transition Nashville and Timebank Nashville, she continues to educate and organize for the development of a more sustainable and resilient Nashville. Susan has earned a Permaculture Design Certificate, and has begun work on a Masters' Degree in Lipscomb's Institute for Sustainable Practice.
Cindy MoonRose has been instrumental in the development of Transition Nashville since its founding in 2009. She serves the larger Nashville area by teaching, facilitating, and inspiring people in personal development and natural living skills, including year-round gardening and making food and medicine from wild-growing plants. Cindy has been gardening and learning from Nature on her 23 acres of mostly wooded hill and valley land for 33 years.
Mark Wingate has been learning about and promoting community-based and bioregional-based food production since eating his first organic carrot in 1970. He brings to Transition Nashville a passionate belief that we as a community can access the same miraculous creativity we see in the natural world.


1. Panel Discussion: Poverty & Inequality, Education, Incarceration

Effect of concentrations of poverty, creating opportunities for minority youth, & closing the cradle to prison pipeline.

Rev. Bill Barnes is a native of Nashville who has been an institution in the city for nearly 40 years. Barnes is a Methodist minister who was a Civil Rights Activist in the 1960’s and is a life-long instigator and servant of social justice. He is the founding pastor of Edgehill United Methodist Church, an award winning interracial, interclass inner-city, reconciling church, still-active throughout the community. Barnes is known as an advocate for people who are poor and marginalized and as a leader in racial justice issues and a champion of the rights of LGBT people. Barnes published “To Love a City”, chronicling his ministry at Edgehill Church (proceeds from sale of the book go to O.N.E/Barnes Scholarship program).

Howard Gentry serves the Metropolitan Government of Nashville as the Criminal Court Clerk of Davidson County in the 20th Judicial District. He was a Metro Council member-at-large before being elected Metro County’s first African American vice mayor. He served as CEO of Nashville Chamber Public Benefit Foundation, an organization focused on finding solutions to socio-economic challenges such as poverty, homelessness, adult literacy and work force development. At Tennessee State University he was director of athletics and spent 30 years in sports radio.

Sharon Dixon Gentry, Ed.D. is District 1 Davidson County School Board Member and chair of the Director's Evaluation, Advocacy, Non-Discrimination Procurement Program Committee. She was a member of the Mayor’s Early Childhood Advisory Committee. She is an advocate for keeping black youth in school and out of prison by changing policies like “zero tolerance” which fuel dropouts. Dr. Gentry is an IT executive with Hospital Corp. of America.


2. Care No Matter What: Planned Parenthood and a Vision of Reproductive Justice

Insurance coverage of birth control, the Violence Against Women Act, safe and legal abortion access: these are just a few of the arguments that pervade politics at the expense of the lived experiences of real people. Our sexual health and reproductive choices have been reduced to political tools and separated from the lived-out, on the ground personal decisions that people make every day. The work of reproductive justice shapes a world where these decisions are honored and supported compassionately and confidentially. Learn more about the diverse work of Planned Parenthood, and help us envision a reproductive and sexually just world. Lyndsey Godwin is the Manager of Education and Training at Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee, providing education and professional training on a variety of sexuality topics with a focus on understanding values and decision-making skills. She has a Masters of Divinity from Vanderbilt University focused on sexuality and faith. Lyndsey is particularly interested in working with faith communities and has developed faith-based parent trainings and teen retreats.


3. Feminism, Permaculture and Politics: How We Change the World
An up-beat, solution-oriented talk reviews our lessons of the past half century and moves us into implementing positive change from a place of love, joy and celebration. We are the ones we've been waiting for.
Katey Culver is a Permaculture Designer, eco-warrior and electoral politics activist. With up to 40 years devoted to these subjects she brings a faceted perspective that connects at the heart level. Katey lives on a 65 acre Permaculture-based homestead with her husband and co-conspirator, Howard, 9 chickens, 2 horses, 2 dogs and 3 cats.


4. Community Activism Panel (Immigration Reform, LGBT Programs, Tn Legislation and Education)

Juan Canedo runs the Progreso Community Center promoting Latin culture and working with the community on issues including immigration, poverty, housing, jobs, and healthcare. Chris Sanders, Chairman of The Tennessee Equality Project (TEP), is a founding board member of TEP. He received the Tennessee Alliance for Progress Long Haul award in 2010 for his work in support of the 2009 Metro Nashville non-discrimination ordinance. TEP is a statewide organization with local committees in Memphis, Jackson, Nashville, Cookeville, Chattanooga, and Knoxville that work to advance the equality of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in Tennessee. He will discuss legislation and programs on LGBT issues. Gene Bryant is a retired educator, having been a teacher, principal and editor of the Tennessee Education Association’s newspaper. He has written extensively on issues involving religion and public schools. He has been a member and supporter of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State for 50 years. Gene Bryant will discuss church-state issues in general and religion-and-education issues more specifically. He will address the conservative religious lobby’s influence in the state legislature and how the Haslam administration’s proposed school voucher plan would channel public money into private religious schools. Amy Frogge, an attorney and grant writer, is on the Nashville School Board representing District 9. Amy served as PTO President of Gower Elementary School for the 2010-2011 school year and continues to be deeply involved. She is committed to neighborhood schools. She believes that it is critical to hire the best principals and teachers, invest in quality professional development, and support faculty and staff in their work to improve learning. Amy also seeks to shift the focus from test-taking skills only to educating the whole child through programs that involve physical activity, unstructured and creative play, proper nutrition, and exposure to nature and the arts.


1. War Economy & the State of Fear: Benevolence not Imperialism

Tom Roberts discusses cutting the war budget and confronting the state of fear that compromises our rights. The U.S. perpetuates war with our growing nuclear arsenal and drones that threaten the sovereignty of all nations. Joey King will present Veterans for Peace's opposition to U.S. intervention in Latin America. He will discuss the goals of VFP including the following: to increase public awareness of the costs of war; to restrain our government from intervening, overtly and covertly, in the internal affairs of other nations; to end the arms race and to reduce and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons; to seek justice for veterans and victims of war; and to abolish war as an instrument of national policy. Lynn Grassmeyer draws attention to the suffering of children in Palestine and Syria and Arab Spring's potential for democracy. What is Palestine? Who are Palestinians? What is the true nature of the Israel-Palestine conflict, the Two-state solution, and how does it relate to the 'Arab Spring'? How does America balance it's support of Zionism while working for a Palestinian state? What is happening in Syria & other Arab Spring countries? How does war effect these children?

Tom Roberts has been a peace activist for 50 years. In 2006, working for NSA as an architect on their Total Information Access System, he argued the project would illegally invade our privacy. He has worked as a computer scientist consulting at institutions such as Caltech, supporting planetary science and NASA on Earth modeling. He organized a group against the misuse of science, the ACM, which was a founding member of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Joey King is the chair of the Veterans for Peace (VFP) Latin America/SOAW working group on the SOA Watch Council. This working group will oppose the interference and intervention in any form by one country over another. It will support those that endeavor to peacefully improve the living conditions of their populace, exercise and protect human and civil rights (including freedom of speech), and promote peaceful coexistence. This working group opposes military aggression and expansionism of any kind, believing that governments are better served investing in social development.

Lynn Grassmeyer started "Children of Palestine, Syria & Peace" several years ago,(recently adding Syria),with the goal of educating Nashvillians about the plight of children living under occupation and war. Of Palestinian and Syrian descent, Lynn has a vested interest in these areas and promotes a sustainable peace through justice and reconciliation for all those living in the Middle East. Her next trip to the West Bank will help solidify the work she is doing with child rights organizations and NGO's that support the medical and emotional needs of children living there. “If we are ever to have real peace in this world we shall have to begin with the children”. Gandhi


2. Failure of Capitalism Panel

Eric Schechter is an eco-anarcho-zen-socialist, more a Lennonist than a Leninist. Lately his message is too complex for roadside signs, so he is putting it in essays and videos. He also runs the Nashville Peace Calendar and the NPJC's eblast – with increasing reservations, as those are both reformist in nature. Warren Duzak, 66, is a retired journalist who was active in the anti-war movement during the Vietnam War. A former member of the Socialist Workers Party, he is a sympathizer and supporter of the Socialist Equality Party and a promoter of the World Socialist Web Site. Jase Short is a local socialist activist and member of Solidarity with experience in anti-war, feminist, environmental, labor, anti-Islamophobia and Occupy movement activity.


3. Revolutionary Strategy & Theory: Beyond Capitalism - Panel
In this moderated panel discussion, we will discuss the concrete conditions, requisite ideology and strategic alliances necessary to make radical social change occur in the United States. Panelists will discuss the challenges that confront Marxist movements and the possibilities for radical social change in our times.

Preston Gilmore is a communist committed to winning freedom in our lifetime. He is also a sociologist studying political economy and pedagogy from Austin Peay State University. He organized with Occupy Clarksville and is currently organizing with Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). Jeremiah Carter is a local student/worker. He is a member of the Nashville State Community College Leftist Student Union and of Workers' Power, and an organizer for the Wobblies; he was part of the Occupy movement. Jeremiah stands for a communist movement that distances itself from the state with the creation of counter-institutions, militant class struggle, and a re-analysis of contemporary capitalism. Will York is a Nashville civil rights attorney with a practice focused on employment discrimination and constitutional rights. Beyond short-term gains for the working class, Will advocates for a re-imagining of work, capital, ethics and "socialism." He considers himself a post-Marxist.


4. Shifting the Paradigm: Leveraging a Culture Change

Human behavior is driving mass extinction, but what is driving human behavior? How anticipatory system design can change the way we do everything?

Howard Switzer is a local architect focusing on sustainable living and building systems who of late has been studying the influence of monetary design. He is a member of the Green Party national committee and was twice Green Party candidate for Governor of Tennessee.