Statement: We, members of the Circle of Elders, strongly support the actions of Representatives Gloria Johnson, Justin Jones, and Justin Pearson in the Well of the TN House on March 30, 2023.  

This was a nonviolent direct action in the spirit of US Rep. John Lewis to protest “business as usual” being conducted during outcries of pain from thousands of citizens, both adults and young people, who left their jobs and their schools to make their voices heard.  

For a long time, Nashville has been a focus of gathering clouds, with legislation that limits the freedom of minority groups being passed in our Nashville, one of the very centers of the Nonviolent Movement of America. This gives Nashville, once again, the opportunity to participate in the important work of making our democracy better, to render respect, to uphold the dignity of all. To listen, to hear, to speak.  To prevent the perfect storm from forming and to build community.  Beloved Community. 

We have seen communications about expelling Gloria, Justin, and Justin from the House for this direct action. We raise our voices to oppose this action when listening, hearing, and speaking must continue. 

Jane Felts Osgerby, Lynne McFarland, Francisco Garcia, Shaundelle Brooks, 
Ann Roberts, Ellen McPherson, Ken Edwards, Matt Steinhauer, Lenda Sherrell,
Zulfat Suara, Keith Caldwell, Blondell Strong Kimbrough, Katie Cowley-Carpenter, Clarice Rankins, David Dark, Herb Stone, Jarrett Harper, John Owens, Mike White, Michelle Holt, Niyatii Sharan, P. Morgan Gordy, Ruth M. Reeves, Sheila Peters, 
Timothy Hughes, Vivian Ervin