Thursday, December 4, 2003

With immigrants coming in and race tensions heating up, Nashville leaders found the Davidson Group

"By last count, almost 400 Nashvillians had joined The Davidson Group, which organizers say may well be a unique effort. They know of no other similar programs in other cities. In joining, members commit to pair up with someone of a different racial and/or ethnic group and meet monthly in an effort to achieve greater understanding between the expanding number of diverse groups that call Nashville home. After several months of meetings, small groups of the pairs are to gather in larger groups to ripple their friendship and understanding into wider circles."

"'About two or three years ago, we had a sense that we were again getting into a bad situation from a racial standpoint in Nashville,' Andrews says. 'Again, the economy was hurting, but also the community had changed. All of a sudden, there was an influx of internationals, mainly Asians at first but then a whole bunch of Hispanics. The Asians were so below the radar that when they began to take jobs, nobody noticed, but when the Hispanics came in, it was pretty evident, and it was almost a conflict.'"

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