NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Nashville man started a video conversation series on YouTube and Instagram called, "Deep Dish Conversations," in which Nashville leaders discuss social justice issues over a slice of pizza twice a week.
Jerome Moore started Deep Dish Conversations at the beginning of 2020 and launched Season 2 of the series in the fall with a goal of making the powerful accessible and open the discussion for tangible solutions to social justice issues in Nashville.
"It's about really what's going on in various ways with a diverse group of people, that's building community in their own unique way here in Nashville and we're just talking about that," said Moore.
The guests sit down with Moore at a local pizza restaurant and talk about issues ranging from poverty, to policing, to racism to food deserts and much more.
"There's really only one benchmark," explained Moore. "‘What impactful change are you having on the Nashville community? That’s it. Like, and so if you are having some type of impact with change, and that can be from doing community cleanups, to you know, being the mayor, right? You are welcome."
So far, the guest list includes former Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell, Comedian Joshua Black, Metro Nashville Police Department Captain Carlos Lara and also Juvenile Court Judge Shelia Callaway.
"Judge Shelia Callaway was talking about, you know, kids in court and, you know, arresting kids is not the answer and really like looking at what we're doing in policing and how we can change that and what she's doing while she's on the bench," explained Moore. "She has the power to make these decisions to change kids' lives, change parents' lives and make a better Nashville that's inclusive."
He explained the project is about erasing lines in Nashville, "Whether you're a person that comes from the projects, or you're a person that comes from a more privileged life than that and now sitting on Capitol Hill, right? Bring all those together and everybody can, you know, hear your perspective. What are some ways that we can build a better Nashville? Build a better community and talk about some solutions around that?"
Moore is a Nashville native who worked abroad on the Peace Corps and on social justice projects in other cities before returning to his hometown.
"I want to do something here for Nashville, make my mark on my city that I grew up in and I'm a product of and make it to where everybody can join in and tap in and have a conversation. That's what we're doing," explained Moore. "And so whether you are a council member or whether you are a community organizer, boots on the ground, you know don't have extravagant titles, you can come sit at the Deep Dish Conversation table, [as] long as you're trying to do something that is trying to empower people in the Nashville community."
Moore started Deep Dish Conversations in 2021 and does not have an end date. As the episodes go on, he said he hopes to discuss new topics, including the environment, the Pride Community, as well as the LGBTQ+ community.
"I want people to know that there's a platform that is dedicated to speaking directly to Nashville and what's going on here and our community where everybody's included," said Moore.
Moore said he hopes to see change in Nashville from the discussions that lead to growth.
He said, "We may, you know, have our own cultural biases that we may not recognize, implicit biases that we may not recognize, but hopefully Deep Dish Conversations after listening and watching and getting connected to these people from your other communities that you may not be tapped into, you can learn, you can grow, and you know you can watch us have good pizza, too."
To watch the latest episode of Deep Dish Conversations, click here. To follow the project on Instagram, click here.