North Nashville students think they know how to solve youth viol - WSMV News 4

North Nashville students think they know how to solve youth violence

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The debate took place at Gordon Memorial United Methodist Church. (WSMV) The debate took place at Gordon Memorial United Methodist Church. (WSMV)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A north Nashville church believes civilized dialogue could be the right step to solving race-related issues.

Church leaders organized a debate for a diverse group of teenagers and college students.

Tennessee State and Vanderbilt. McGavock High School and Pearl-Cohn. They may be foes on the athletic field, but inside Gordon Memorial United Methodist Church, they engaged on the intellectual field.

The stained glass church debate setting fits the mission at the church.

“It’s helping, not only as a church, but as a community to elevate the conversations and issues that are affecting our young people today,” said Rev. Charles White.

“I really do like debate, because I like to argue, get my point across. I think debate was meant for me,” said Kenneth Miller, a McGavock High School student and member of the church.

Miller knows he has a home field advantage.

“I know my church folks are going to be behind me and they’re going to understand where I’m coming from, so I think I have the advantage on the other team,” Miller said.

The topic was “does civil disobedience still work?”

“Maybe civil disobedience worked in the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s, but times have changed,” Miller said. “It’s also inefficient. It doesn’t change laws, legislators do.”

In a change of typical manners, the church elders listened and paid respect to the youngsters.

“It’s very surprising to me how conscious they are. They’re really involved socially about what’s going on. I think a lot of times, adults don’t realize how aware the kids are these days,” said Tabitha Mundy, a church member.

The back and forth, civilized verbal passion sent its own message.

“If we could learn how to do that instead of shooting and killing people, probably America would not be like it is today,” said James Blevins, a McGavock High School student.

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