NOTE: To download a PDF version of this report, please click here.
Stand Up Nashville
Stand Up Nashville (SUN) has received two consecutive grants from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) totaling $95,000. Its most recent grant from the 2020-2021 grants cycle was worth $50,000.
The Lepanto Institute produced a report featuring Stand Up Nashville (SUN) in February of 2021, showing that it and its members were actively involved in the promotion of abortion, LGBTQ ideologies, and Marxism. We’ll reproduce the relevant portions of that report at the end of this one for ease of access.
But in addition to what we discovered about SUN (see below), SUN is a member of a radically pro-abortion organization.
The CCHD absolutely forbids organizations from membership in organizations acting against Catholic teaching. In an FAQ on the USCCB website, the CCHD directly answers the question about whether grantees may be members of coalitions that oppose Catholic teachings. In answer, the CCHD firmly stated, “CCHD will not fund groups that are knowingly members of coalitions that have as part of their organizational purpose or coalition agenda, positions or actions that contradict fundamental Catholic moral and social teaching.”
Despite that rule, SUN is an affiliate of Powerswitch Action.
On July 28 of this year, Powerswitch Action published an article on its website slamming the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, saying things like, “denying people safe, legal access to abortion restricts their ability to have any semblance of control over their economic lives,” and “This ruling denies women the right to exercise autonomy over their own bodies and health.”
At one point in the article, which is written in an interview format, one of the Powerswitch Action representatives implicated all affiliate members saying, “The Supreme Court’s decision to return issues like abortion back to state legislatures changes the battleground. As federal rights are eroded, this is where the importance of state and local organizing comes into play. Our affiliates and allies know this—and so do our opponents.”
Previously reported Material on SUN
Two of Stand Up Nashville’s seven member organizations directly endorse and advocate for abortion as a “right” and are engaged in LGBT activism. If SUN indicated to the CCHD that its member organizations were in compliance with this guideline, then SUN lied. Furthermore, since this is a guideline that is supposed to be verified by the CCHD’s “rigorous vetting process,” it’s clear that the CCHD likewise failed to perform its due diligence.
Partnership for Working Families (PWF)
PWF is also identified on SUN’s members page as a member organization:PWF has taken an obvious stand for “reproductive justice” in support of abortion and consistently promotes homosexual activism across all its channels of communications. Some examples:
In 2019, PWF published a white paper crying against legislation that restricts abortion.
On page 15 of the document, PWF complained that Representative Hutton supported bills that would “make it more difficult for his female constituents to access abortion services.” On page 16, PWF accused Representative Casada of undermining “women’s reproductive rights,” and Senator Hale of sponsoring legislation “that is harmful for women” because it requires “Tennessee Medicaid provider[s] to report annually on the number of abortions paid for by the medical assistance program.”On social media, PWF is actively promoting ideologies and agendas which contravene Catholic moral teaching. This September 2018 Facebook post echoes a progressive cry against then Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh for his consistent stand against “reproductive justice.”This June 28 Twitter post celebrates the homosexual Stonewall riots, endorsing homosexual activism.This June 2015 Facebook post actually celebrated homosexual “marriage.”In an October 2019 Facebook post PWF equated “rights” for all manner of sexual perversions with “workers’ rights.”
Central Labor Council of Nashville (Nashville CLC)
- How LGBTQ Union Activists Transformed the Labor Movement – This article promotes homosexual and transgender activism, especially in the workplace by unions.
- Intertwined: The Labor Movement and LGBT Rights – This article praises LGBTQ pride, and promotes homosexual activism as a fight for basic human rights.
- Trumka: The AFL-CIO Must Fight for Trans Lives Inside and Outside the Labor Movement – This article links the LGBTQ Nation website and promotes transgender activism.
Stand-Up Nashville (SUN)
Remember, the CCHD demands of each organization that its “affiliates, partners and coalition members must not endorse or advocate policies and issues that are contrary to Catholic Social Teaching.” On this basis alone, due to the activities of the two member organizations we just profiled, SUN is disqualified from CCHD-funding. But this isn’t the only concern.
In addition to having member organizations that are acting in direct opposition to Catholic moral teaching (in violation of CCHD guidelines), SUN has itself been identified as a front group for the Marxist “Freedom Road Socialist Organization” by both the Epoch Times and Key Wiki. While we can’t prove this, it is worth noting that SUN has also participated in conference calls with the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), at least giving weight to what the Epoch Times and Key Wiki alleged:But this really shouldn’t be surprising, considering the fact that Stand Up Nashville’s executive director and the majority of its board members are heavily involved in the promotion of abortion and LGBT activism.
Odessa Kelly is SUN’s executive director, and her Facebook page shows numerous examples of this. For instance:
This June 2018 Facebook post shows Odessa Kelly participating in the Nashville Pride Parade.nother Facebook post from June 2018 is also from the Nashville Pride Parade, this time Kelly is posing with a man in drag.This Facebook post from 2016 shows Kelly at an earlier Pride parade, establishing a pattern of activity.The following video from Kelly’s Facebook feed shows her participation at the 2019 Pride Parade, this time filming some provocatively dressed homosexual men as well as some transgender activists.
In 2019, SUN promoted the heavily pro-abortion Women’s March, sponsored by Power Together Tennessee (more on them later), on social media. In fact, Odessa Kelly, identified as the executive director for SUN, was a keynote speaker at the march itself:Stand Up Nashville’s board member Charlane Oliver is outspoken in her pro-abortion views. She was featured in the Black Women’s Roundtable discussing Roe v. Wade. The central themes of the discussion included “women’s health and reproductive rights and the vulnerability of Roe v. Wade if Judge Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court.”Stand Up Nashville board member and recent former co-chair of SUN, Anne Barnett, is also involved in homosexual and abortion activism. Her “likes” on Facebook are a strong indication of this:
This June 24 2017 Facebook post shows participation in a homosexual pride event.Barnett also posted this picture that shows an affinity toward communist activism as intertwined with LGBT activism:Barrett’s “likes” on Facebook include abortion-giant, Planned Parenthood, several LGBT organizations, and Marxist organizations as well:Stand Up Nashville board member (and lead organizer for CCHD grantee NOAH, more on them in a moment) Mike Hodge’s social media likes and posts show strong evidence of homosexual activism.
Hodge’s likes on Facebook include many prominent pro-abortion and homosexual activist organizations –This June, 2015 Facebook post celebrates the SCOTUS decision legalizing same-sex “marriage”:In 2013, Hodge posted an image of the marriage equality symbol over the Constitution of the United States:
Stand Up Nashville’s own coalition members, its leadership, and the organizations of which it is also a member are all engaged in the promotion abortion, homosexual and transgender ideologies, and Marxism. There is no way this organization should have ever been provided a grant from the CCHD, proving once again that the CCHD’s vetting process does not work.