To Honor Life from Stacy Rector on Vimeo.
TADP has singular mission: to abolish the death penalty in the state of Tennessee. In the current political climate in this state, our mission requires education of Tennessee citizens and legislators on an issue that most people wish to avoid consideration of altogether. When people are confronted with the facts and compelled to consider them, they tend to agree, regardless of their political orientation, that the death penalty should be reconsidered. However, this is not an issue that affects the day to day lives of many people, and getting their attention and compelling action is a challenge. The road is long, and we need sustained action and funding of that action even though our progress (changing hearts and minds one person at a time) is not always apparent.
We have made progress. We have had some substantial monetary support from surprising sources, but we need more for the long journey. Legislators from both sides of the aisle are listening. We are not infrequently told by them that if we bring their constituents along, they are ready to give us serious consideration. People are increasingly skeptical of the state prosecutorial apparatus; through our efforts they have seen and heard from the growing number of exonerees who were wrongfully accused and convicted. People are tiring of the enormous cost of the death penalty. The tide is slowly turning.
Our board members tend to be passionate death penalty abolitionists due to various life experiences, and these board members are not typically people who have access to wealth or the wealthy. One challenge is to find board members who share our passion and who have access to those of a different socio-economic status. We are seeking out those individuals to join with us in accomplishing our mission.
High school and college students from across the state gather at a college or university in February to attend the annual Student Conference on the Death Penalty. Over the past seven years, this conference has included nearly 1,000 Tennessee students. Keynote speakers from past conferences include Nick and Amanda Wilcox whose daughter, Laura, was murdered while volunteering at a mental health clinic by a man with severe and persistent mental illness; Vicki Shieber whose daughter, Shannon, was murdered while attending graduate school; David Kaczynski, whose brother Ted is the so-called Unabomber; and Juan Melendez, who spent nearly 18 years on Florida's death row for a crime he didn't commit.
Justin Phillips joins us as the TADP organizer from Jackson, Tennessee, having served on the staff and faculty of Union University (Jackson, TN). Justin grew up in Union City (TN) and attended Union University for his undergraduate studies. Upon graduation, Justin attended Duke University Divinity School and earned a Masters of Divinity. He later graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena, CA) with a Ph.D. in Christian Ethics. Justin has taught courses on biblical studies, ethics, race, and justice. All of these interests have led him to join TADP to work toward the repeal of the death penalty.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
Copyright © 2014 The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee
3833 Cleghorn Avenue, Nashville, TN 37215