At the first 37208 special committee meeting, a resident summed up his life experience at 37208 by saying, âEither die or you go to jail. Despite this reality, there is a love network at work every day in North Nashville. Neighbors who have a little more buy groceries for neighbors who have a little less. Artists organize community bike rides, workshops and outings for neighborhood youth. Community leaders put together summer and after-school programs on prayers, hope and courage. Calm, consistent acts of love are plentiful in North Nashville, if you know where to look and you know how to listen.
What if neighbors, artists and organizers did not have to self-fund solutions to food insecurity, lack of childcare and mass incarceration? What if they could be freed from the never-ending cycle of fundraising?
âWith the launch of Fund 37208, we hope to find out,â community organizers said.
This privately funded, participatory grantmaking model will allow people who live, work and minister in 37208 to distribute funds to those who are making a difference in their own community. It was one of many recommendations in the special committee’s report, designed to bring “redress and justice” to North Nashville.
Fund 37208 was established over an 18-month period and initial funding was provided by the Healing Trust and the Frist Foundation. Corner to Corner, an organization centered in North Nashville and dedicated to educational equity, economic equity and spiritual growth, has graciously agreed to serve as a tax agent.
âThe work Corner to Corner and the 37208 committee do is valuable, responsive and timely in meeting the needs of residents of Nashville’s historically most excluded and disadvantaged community,â said Healing Trust President and CEO Kristen Keely. Dinger. âWhitney Pastorek and Mr. Simone Boyd took a recommendation from Special Report 37208 to launch a fund that supports North Nashville and made it a reality. This collaboration and model provides a unique and necessary opportunity for community residents to use their wisdom to better meet their own needs.
âWe are thrilled to be associated with this work to amplify the many great things that are happening in North Nashville,â said Shana Berkeley, director of Corner to Corner at the Academy. âWe believe that the 37208 Fund will have a huge impact as it will become an invaluable resource in the community. “
The benchmarks for the 37208 Fund were set by the founding team, but subsequent decisions (including the distribution of grants) will be entirely left to the new 37208 Fund Committee. Comprised of a representative sample of residents, artists, pastors, business owners and guest youth representatives, the Fund committee will make all subsequent choices independently. Their first meeting was held virtually on August 14.
Philanthropic professionals and community stakeholders generously volunteered their time and wisdom throughout this process, including Deputy Mayor Jim Shulman, Council Members Brandon Taylor, Freddie O’Connell and Bob Mendes; Alisha Haddock and the Housing Fund; Judy Orr and Catholic Charities at CE McGruder; Kim Carpenter Drake and the Middle Tennessee Donors Forum; the Middle Tennessee Community Foundation; and Dr. Phyllis Hildreth of American Baptist College.
To request funding, complete funding request 37208 by visiting
To contribute, mail checks to Corner to Corner, PO Box 60646, Nashville, TN 37206. Designate fund 37208 in the memo line. More information on digital donation will be forthcoming.
37208 Fund Benchmarks
The goal of Fund 37208 is to support and enhance the work already underway in North Nashville.
Guiding principles of the committee:
- Funding is limited to organizations, businesses, and individuals who live or work in 37208.
- Funding is limited to organizations, businesses and individuals with a documented history of service in North Nashville.
- Funding recommendations will be made at the discretion of the committee, after consideration of proposals from the community. No funding will be dispersed without going through the committee proposal process.
- In order to maintain accountability, the committee must report on progress to residents of North Nashville through word of mouth, social media and / or events twice a year.
- At the end of each calendar year, the committee will decide whether or not to continue another year.
- We will finance things for culture: mentally, spiritually, economically, educatively, socially, etc.
- We will support organizations, businesses and individuals who tap into creativity to uplift this community. We recognize that failure is often part of the creative process, and we welcome those who are willing to aim high.
- When in doubt, put children first.