What does it mean to be a Nashvillian? A Black Nashvillian? A white Nashvillian? What does it mean to be an organizer, an ally, an elected official, an agent for change? Deep Dish Conversations began as a running online interview series in which host Jerome Moore sits down over pizza with Nashville leaders and community members to talk about the past, present, and future of the city and what it means to live here. The result is honest conversation about racism, housing, policing, poverty, and more in a safe, brave, person-to-person environment that allows for disagreement.
This book is a curated collection of the most striking interviews from the first few seasons of the series, with a foreword by Dr. Sekou Franklin, an introduction by Moore, and contextual introductions to each interviewee. Figures like Judge Sheila Calloway, comedian Josh Black, anti-racism speaker Tim Wise, organizer Jorge Salles Diaz, and many more explore their wide-ranging perspectives on social change in a city in the midst of massive demographic and ideological shifts.
For anyone in any twenty-first-century city, Deep Dish Conversations offers a lot to think about—and a lot of ways to think about it.
“We are all affected by the social, cultural, and political issues facing our community: white supremacy, racism, poverty, housing, education, anti-Blackness, gender equality, policing. And if these issues affect us all, then we should all be talking about them—together. The conversations can and will be tense and uncomfortable, but we must learn to lean into the tension and get comfortable being uncomfortable if we really want to address and reconstruct the problems that affect us all—albeit on different levels.
‘I started Deep Dish Conversations to explore perspectives of social change through conversations with leaders and members of the Nashville community.
“I have had the opportunity to build community power with respected community-based organizations throughout Nashville, Tennessee, and in international settings like Paraguay, Costa Rica, China, and the Philippines. This unique journey helped me understand the value and importance of engaging with people outside of my own community bubble. Once we do that, we not only open ourselves to learn about other communities, but we also garner new perspective on how and why we are all variously affected by the critical issues that appear in every community.
“As a native of Nashville, I didn’t grow up knowing much about other communities in my city. I needed to keep exploring with intention and to cultivate cultural awareness and acceptance that would help break down barriers. I needed to interact meaningfully with people of different backgrounds, ideas, and lived experiences, and I needed a brave space to do that. Deep Dish Conversations created an intentional, civil, brave space for our community to engage and learn through brave conversations about difficult issues and about what actions we might take to build a more just and equitable Nashville.”