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Regional Vignette: The Healing Trust

This article first appeared in The Racism Issue of Change Agent.

Racism persists in Nashville in a variety of ways: Anti-refugee and anti-immigrant sentiment abounds, African American students have higher suspension rates for the same behaviors exhibited by peers of other races, African Americans in the city are arrested at nearly three times the rate of people of other races, and African American neighborhoods continue to be gentrified. Nashville has a well-documented history of student participation in the Civil Rights Movement, and remnants of the racism that made that participation necessary remain in the community.

At The Healing Trust, we are working to improve the communications capabilities of our grantees around these issues. We brought in the FrameWorks Institute to help our grantees learn how to use framing techniques that resonate with their audiences to change opinions. We are also funding research to test which messages about immigration positively resonate with residents in rural communities. As a health-focused funder, we look at every issue in our community from a health perspective, and our social media strategy includes sharing materials about the impact of racism, housing, and trauma on mental and physical health.

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