Student Voices


“I really like how there's sometimes like, whenever we're driving to school or anything, we'll just see like sculptures everywhere and just art and buildings that are not just regular brick buildings they are designed to be beautiful.”

Student from Oliver Middle School

I just feel like, before they go to change this stuff, they should really have a meeting of like, what would we want in our community? We should have an opinion because basically that’s really our community we grew up in since we was kids like, like little kids, we went to elementary there, and now we here. And it’s kinda, I don’t want to say sad, but like, it’s really driving my nerves that they want to take something from us that we’ve been having all our life.
— Student from Two Rivers Middle School

Gentrification is breaking us apart, and I feel horrible because I can't help my mama with rent. I feel like I’m burdened because in the community there's all this trash around it, in the parking lots. I can make changes by cleaning the community. I can get kids to help.”

-Student from Two Rivers Middle

“I feel like like the big houses and everything is getting rid of the culture. So I wish they would like recognize the fact that we lose so much culture and diversity in Nashville when we get rid of houses and help that, and help the people that create the culture and diversity instead of just plowing over them like their new big houses that nobody can really afford.”

-Student from Bellevue Middle


“I feel like the higher income people are not really thinking about the low income people's lives after their neighborhood has been gentrified. They're not thinking about what the effects of them living in that neighborhood is. They are just like, ah yeah, I'm fixing to build a new house, it's gonna cost a lot of money. Like I'm about to build a bigger house, bye, hope it doesn't affect you. They don't even think about it.”

-Student from Creswell Middle

“What they did in my neighborhood, is they took the abandoned houses all down. And my sister and I were like, they should put the park there, you know, that would be really good for our neighborhood to turn that problem into a solution, but they ended up just rebuilding another house there. And I don't know who lives in it now and I don't know if they know about what happened.”

-Student from Donelson Middle


“In some parts you see you see like small little homes and then you see these giant buildings and it's like, oh my god, what has Nashville turned into”

Student from Creswell Middle

Yeah, like I say, it does directly affect us because we have to like move away too and we have to leave all of our friends and some of our family behind just because we can’t afford it anymore. And our parents can’t either.
— Student from Bellevue Middle