Nashville Pride grand marshal offering holistic approach to setting & achieving goals

Eric Cox talks about his work with community leaders in Nashville to support various outreach initiatives for people in the LGBTQ community. He’ll join Olivia Hill as a Grand Marshal for Nashville Pride Festival.
Nashville Pride says the parade is free to attend and more info will be released in the coming weeks.
Published: Jun. 22, 2023 at 4:16 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Health & Wellness Coach, Eric Cox says he’s committed to showing love and support in the community.

He’s on a mission to equip professionals with transformational tools to lead courageous, healthy, and fulfilling lives. For the author and entrepreneur, being among the Grand Marshals at this year’s Nashville Pride Festival highlights his drive to enhance the personal and business lives of millennials including women and members of the LGBTQ community.

“It’s good to receive this honor when you’ve been working in the trenches. I think it’s just doing your part of the work and not making it bigger than that. It’s staying focused on what’s needed. It’s what can I do in this situation, in this moment to help move the needle with our community, and in what way,” said Cox.

The 37-year-old is now joining the ranks of notable Grand Marshals for the big event. Not only is he accompanied by community activist, Olivia Hill, he’s serving in a role previously held by actor Leslie Jordan and one of his good friends, Greg Carson.

“I was happy that we kept it in our friend group. I was just really in shock. I don’t think anyone does the work for the honors, or for the accolades,” said Cox.

The Nashville native serves on the board for MashUp! Nashville The non-profit organization focuses on bridging the gap between those people in the LGBTQ community and healthcare. It offers a safe space for those people in need of an outlet that caters to their well-being.

“People’s lives are literally on the line in this community. I hear about it, we hear about it, and people see it on TV. Even if you choose to turn a blind eye to it, it’s still happening. People are getting murdered. You can look at a news report today, or within this week, where there was some troubling bit of news concerning the LGBT community in this country and around the world, said Cox.

Cox noted that there are people within Mashup! Nashville who dedicate a lot of their time to important causes like creating programming through art-centered events and understanding the potential impact of anti-LGBTQ legislation popping up in Tennessee.

“We’re here we’re not going anywhere. We deserve equality, just like you. Love and respect, just like you. And until we’re seen as human, we will just keep fighting for that,” said Cox.

Back in 2020, he released “Sign-up” which stands for “set intentional goals now to unlock your potential”. He took a moment from his own journey to craft an interactive guide that could help other people.

“In 2014, there were so many life lessons that came from running and I thought there’s so much correlation here. I think this would be valuable for other people. And so, I found a way to take all that I learned and chunk it out into 10 chapters,” said Cox.

By the end of the book, Cox says, you’ll be able to execute in whatever area you want to change, within your life.

“The life section is the applicable stuff for the reader. So even if a person doesn’t run marathons and doesn’t plan to, you can still take what I’ve learned in running, and apply it to your life. The last part of each chapter is an activity where you immediately get to write in the book, and I guide you on different practices to help you take your own dreams and goals, and structure them into a map,” said Cox.

In addition to showing up authentically, Cox believes his holistic approach to transforming lives through his work as a life coach is critical to helping someone understand what direction they should take. Not only is he doing private life coaching, but Cox is also working with organizations, like Career Thrivers led by Brittany Cole, to offer support to their clients.

“So, people who believe in doing more in their life, more intentionally, living more by their values and their beliefs, and showing up authentically, that is what the brand “Sign-up” is about,” said Cox.

For more than 10 years, Cox served on the Nashville Black Pride board. He credits its founder, Dwayne Jenkins, for his motivation to continue working in the community.

“He’s the reason I even got started in this work. I volunteered under him and under his initiatives that he spearheaded. So, he’s like “The Godfather” to most people in Nashville who are part of the LGBT community,” said Cox.

Although he plays a lot of roles behind the scenes, he will be in the forefront during Saturday’s parade in Nashville. It starts at 10 a.m. on Broadway and 8th Avenue.