bookfest2015Mercury is in retrograde, which may explain why everything is scattered and black right now.  (A painful back injury has left me prone and miserable of late.) Happily, that depressing period should be coming to an end Oct. 9. That means perhaps there will be an upswing in all things personal and professional. Let’s hope. In the meantime, I have regained the ability to sit behind a computer without too much discomfort, so let’s get back on track with Music City events covering Thursday through Monday.

THURSDAY, OCT. 8

  • The Nashville Peace Coalition holds its monthly meeting Thursday at 6:30 pm. On the agenda is planning for upcoming events to serve Music City-area people of peace and love. The gathering will be at the Friends Meeting House,  530 26th Ave. N, 37209.
  • Join fellow progressives for this weekly bit of quaffing and conversing. The original Nashville Drinking Liberally kicks off at 6:30 p.m. at the Flying Saucer, 111 10th Ave South #310, 37203. Get more details by sending email to nashville@drinkingliberally.org.
  • This Thursday is October’s second, which means it’s time for the Nashville chapter of  Americans United for the Separation of Church to gather. The meeting starts at 7 pm at the West Police Precinct, 5500 Charlotte Pike, 37209. Nashville AU’s next meeting is held the fourth Thursday of October.
  • Also gathering Thursday at 7 pm is the Sierra Club of Middle Tennessee. The group gathers at the Radnor Lake Visitor Center, 1160 Otter Creek Road, 37220. The center’s entrance is on Granny White Pike.

FRIDAY, OCT. 9

  • The 27th annual Southern Festival of Books kicks off Friday at War Memorial Plaza, 301 6th Ave N, 37243, in downtown Nashville. This celebration of the written word runs through Sunday and features activities and events for adults and children, author signings, discussions of poetry and prose, and more. See the full event schedule here. The festival runs Friday from noon to 5 pm, Saturday from 10 am until 6 pm, and Sunday noon through 5 pm. The event, organized by Humanities Tennessee, is free and open to the public.

SATURDAY, OCT. 10

  • Working for the social good is not easy. Get educated Saturday at an all-day workshop sponsored by Nashville Organized for Action and Hope. From 9 am-3 pm, the group offers training in faith-based community organizing, which the group says is essential to allowing NOAH to remain an effective voice in Nashville. The workshop will be facilitated by Greg Galluzzo and Mary Gonzales, national trainers with the Gamaliel Foundation. The event will be held at Belmont United Methodist Church, 2007 Acklen Ave., 37212. Lunch will be provided for a suggested cash donation of $7.Please plan to arrive between 8:30 and 8:45 to park and register.
  • More training on the horizon this weekend: Launch Pad is an invaluable organization that saves lives and gives hope by providing shelter for homeless youth in Nashville. Learn about the group and how you can help at Saturday’s Launch Pad Volunteer Training. The event runs from 10 am-noon at Saint Augustines Chapel, 200 24th Ave S, 37212, on the campus of Vanderbilt University.
  • Whatever activities you pursue Saturday, end your day with this: the Joe Hill Solidarity Concert. Douglas Corner is the place where progressive Nashvillians will join from 7-11 pm to mark the 100th anniversary of the state-sanctioned killing of Wobblies labor activist and songwriter Joe Hill. And what better way to build solidarity and celebrate Joe Hill’s good works than with music? Performers include the Shelby Bottom String Band, Todd Sharp, the Cantrells, and Jack Herranen & the Little Red Band. Tickets are $15 at the door; they’re also available online via Eventbrite. Sponsors are TN Alliance for Progress, Nashville Peace and Justice Center, and Middle TN Jobs with Justice. Get more info via Facebook.

SUNDAY, OCT. 11

  • comeoutCome out, come out wherever you are! Be you gay, lesbian, bi, transgender, questioning, straight but not narrow, pan-, omni-, a-, whatever. Diversity is our societal strength, and we are all beautiful in our individuality. Visibility is key: I believe firmly that we would not have seen the dawn of legal marriage equality without the bravery of people who came out with their truths, be it decades ago or in 2015. Sunday’s 27th annual National Coming Out Day is a great day to tell the world or reaffirm your pride in being exactly who you are. It’s also a great way to kick off a week that will culminate in the Parents, Friends & Families of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) National Convention, which takes place at the Nashville Airport Marriott next weekend.  As we fight for equality for LGBT people in housing, employment, and public accommodations, demand safety and respect for trans people (in the wake of Caitlyn Jenner’s courageous coming out and the continued killings of transmen and women of color), and struggle for lgbt and human rights around the globe, where being gay or attending a Pride event can still get you jailed or killed, speak your piece: Come out!
  • Shelbyville, about 60 miles from Music City, will be the site of a Protest March Against Unfair and Illegal Firing on Sunday. This action is being waged to stand up for working mothers who too often are fired from their jobs if they have the temerity to become pregnant. Organizers illustrate the issue by presenting the story of Fabiana: She was a three-year employee at Shelbyville’s El Mexico restaurant who claims she was terminated after announcing her pregnancy. Protesters are asked to meet at 11 am at the The Fly Arts Center, 204 S Main St., Shelbyville, 37160, and then march through the center of town to El Mexico.

 

MONDAY, OCT. 12

  • Columbus Day? Feh. It’s Indigenous People’s Day, unless you like celebrating genocide.
  • Get the scoop on Nonviolent Communication. This free training group gathers the second and fourth Monday every month at Nashville’s Unitarian Universalist Church, 1808 Woodmont Blvd., 37215. Everyone is invited to come in peace. Formore info, email Diane Allison at sparky_allison@hotmail.com or Pete Kopcsak at greatcr@gmail.com.
  • Feeling the Bern? With the recent news that Bernie Sanders, without taking a dime from billionaires and corporations, is raising nearly as much campaign money as mainstreamer Hillary Clinton, many of us are feeling energized by his presidential campaign. Join the effort: A Nashville for Bernie Organizing Meeting takes place every other Monday at 7 pm, including Oct. 12, at the Nashville 4 Bernie Sanders Club House, 1200 49th Ave. N, 37206 . For more info, call 615-207-5803.

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