From left: Rob Watkins, COO of the Tennessee Justice Center, Executive Director Michelle Johnson, Chanda Freeman, health advocacy program manager. Keith Caldwell, pastor of Seay-Hubbard United Methodist Church, and Janet King, social services coordinator for the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency.(Photo: Submitted)
The Tennessee Justice Center (TJC) and the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency
(MDHA) in Nashville capped a year of partnership with a lunch and awards ceremony Thursday to recognize leaders in the Napier-Sudekum community and organizations active in the community.
A TJC building is under construction in the neighborhood, just south of Downtown Nashville, and staff members began meeting with community leaders in the area in late 2021.
In that time, the group has collaborated with community-based organizations and individuals to host and promote resources and services, identify needs and barriers, parent and caregiver exhibitions, vaccine events, record expungement clinics and driver’s license reinstatement clinics.
Sterling Wright, who is known to community residents and friends as “100” in reference to his complete dedication to
community, was given the Harvester award for his service to his community.
Other awards included the Boots on the Ground Award, Rising Star Award, and Health Hero.
“We were absolutely delighted to have an opportunity to recognize the courageous work of this informal coalition of residents and community partners who joined efforts to collectively address the needs of residents in the Napier Community,” said Chanda Freeman, TJC’s health advocacy program manager.
Founded in 1996, TJC has worked to assist vulnerable Tennesseans in finding health care, financial and nutrition assistance. The organizations has played an instrumental role in protecting the Affordable Care Act and continues to press for an expansion of Medicaid in Tennessee.
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