Martha O’Bryan Center is a proud member of the Nashville Child and Youth Collaborative. The Collaborative is dedicated to advancing dialogue around the best systems and practices needed to support our city’s children and youth. We are calling on mayoral candidates and other city leaders to commit to increasing positive youth outcomes.
Our shared agenda advocates for the collective ownership of the city’s children and youth. We have identified budgetary priorities, Metro Government structures, and policy plays that enhance the development of children and youth and are asking all mayoral candidates to commit to these actions. Our published agenda incorporates the first-hand experience of our Collaborative partners and insights from our recent youth survey. Martha O’Bryan Center firmly believes that all children and youth deserve effective and equitable policies that will support better opportunities and healthy development.
Influencing the shared agenda in part was key data from an online survey of Nashville youth, ages 13-24. From April 18- May 12, 350 young people responded to the Collaborative’s youth survey. Participants represented a wide swath of Nashville youth from 38 zip codes in Davidson County.
Sadly, over half of all respondents (51.7%) either don’t think youth have a voice in our city or don’t know if they do. When asked what they thought Nashville should prioritize, one in five respondents (21%) listed access to affordable mental health support as their top priority. Behind mental health supports, respondents prioritized access to safe, welcoming community spaces (14%), access to stable housing (13%), access to regular health care (11%), and access to quality schools (10%).
Other key findings will be shared on the Collaborative’s social media channels over the summer – so follow along.
Next month, June 26, the Collaborative will host a thematically titled, “For Nashville’s Future”, child and youth mayoral forum at Family and Children’s Service – Honey Alexander Center. WPLN will be our media partner and the wonderful host of This Is Nashville, Khalil Ekulona, will co-moderate the forum along with members of the Mayor’s Youth Council. We will be working to uncover and amplify more youth voices from across the city prior to and during the event. Registration for this highly anticipated forum will begin May 25 and you can check out our website for more information.
In addition to an infographic about Nashville’s children and youth and one that illustrates Nashville’s investments in our young people as compared to our peer cities (which you can see below), the Collaborative has just released its latest infographic about city systems and departments. Cities play a critical role in ensuring children and youth have the resources and opportunities to excel. This new infographic explores how the intersection of city systems and Metro Government agencies support the development of children and youth in Nashville.
Martha O’Bryan Center is proud to support the needs of our children and youth. We hope you will join us in advocating for proactive change by our city’s next group of leaders. More information is located on the Collaborative’s website.