Tennessee Progress Report
hosted by Nell Levin

Archives of a program that aired on Radio Free Nashville

Comments, suggestions for shows, complaints?
Let us know what's on your mind.

Why Tennessee Progress Report?

Unfortunately, Tennessee is at or near the bottom on a number of indicators including education, the condition of women, environmental protection and the condition of children. Tennessee Progress Report tracked our state’s progress on these and other vital indicators week by week.

Tennessee Progress Report remains dedicated to airing the views and publicizing the activities of advocates, activists and concerned citizens who are working, day by day, to make Tennessee a better place for all Tennesseans.

We envision a society where everyone –regardless of his or her income or educational level, race, sex, age or country of origin -- has a voice in the governmental policies that affect their lives.

Our guests reflected this point of view.

Each week we held a candid and informative conversation with one of Tennessee’s key progressive leaders. Many of those conversations are archived here so that you can go back and listen to them.

Since Nell is a musician as well as a radio host and activist/organizer, we also play music (by some of the world’s best songwriters) that offers commentary or reflection on the issues under discussion.

Please tune in.

This cartoon of Nell was created by her long-lost cousin in Finland, Elof Senkas. Elof had been actively searching for Nell for the last ten years. He finally found her at this website and sent her the cartoon. He does not speak English. We don't know where he found the
names for the newspapers in the cartoon.

Audio Archives

  • MP3 audio available for shows in this online jukebox.

Show Topics and Guests


Dates Topics/Guests
Feb 5 No show
January 29 Jane Fonda on women's rights and media reform (taped at National Media Reform Conference in Memphis)
January 22 Bill Moyers on media reform (taped at National Media Reform Conference in Memphis)
January 15 Bill Moyers and Jesse Jackson on media reform (taped at National Media Reform Conference in Memphis)
January 8 Tony Garr of Tennessee Health Care Campaign on healthcare crisis in Tennessee
January 1 No show - New Year's Day
January 1 No show - New Year's Day
December 25 No show - Christmas Day
December 18 Alex Weisendanger of Tennessee Coalition to Abolish State Killings on Paul House and others on death row. Also Mark Naccarato of Democracy for Tennessee
December 11 Live broadcast of FCC Hearings in Nashville
December 4 Ginny Welsch of Radio Free Nashville and April of Prometheus Radio on the FCC Hearings in Nashville
Nov 6-27 No Show
October 30 Marisa Richmond of Tennessee Equality Project on the Tennessee constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage
October 23 Albert Bates of Global Village for Appropriate Technology on global warming and peak oil
October 16 Mark Naccarato of Democracy for Tennessee on Tennessee politics
October 9 Martin Sir, Nashville attorney on Doing Justly: Integrating Our Deepest Spiritual Beliefs Into Our Professional and Public Lives. Also recorded interview with Rabbi Michael Lerner of Tikkun
October 2  
September 25 Denver Schimming, Voting Rights Activist, on Tennessee’s new law giving ex-felons the right to vote.
September 18 No recording
September 11 Mary Tyler, founder and former executive director of Area Relief Ministries of Jackson on self-sufficiency and empowerment of lower income people.
September 4 Labor Day Show with Jerry Lee of the AFL/CIO on the condition of labor today.
August 28 No Recording
August 21 Rev. Rebekah Jordan of Mid-South Interfaith Network for Economic Justice on the Memphis living wage campaign
August 14 Jen Cartwright and Keith Caldwell of the Nashville Peace and Justice Center on building new leadership in the progressive movement.
August 7 Gail Tyree of Grassroots Leadership on prison privatization and the living wage in Memphis. 
July 31 Kimberly Naujock and Chris Hargrove of the East TN Progressive Network on building the progressive community.
July 24 Clemmie and Lonnie Greenlee of Galaxy Star Drug Awareness Program on reaching out to inner city youth.
July 17 Rick Casares of Tennessee Immigrant and Regugee Rights Coalition on immigrant rights in Tennessee.
July 10 Roy "Futureman" Wooten and Diane Saliba Ault on the Black Mozart and the Circle of Harmony Concert & Salon
June 26 Rikki Hall of Hellbender Press on the ecology of the Appalachian mountain region.
June 19

Stewart Clifton, public interest lobbyist, giving us an update on the legislative session.

June 12 Chris Sanders of Tennessee Equality Project on the anti-gay marriage amendment to the Tennessee Constitution and adoption issues.
June 5 Howard Allen and Matt Leber of the Homeless Power Project on building a grassroots organization representing the homeless in Nashville
May 29 Rev. Herman Lawson, with taped segments with Rabbi Michael Lerner and Peter Gabel of the Network of Spiritual Progressives on building a progressive, spiritual left in America.
May 22 John Miglietta teaches at TSU and is a member of the Green Party. He talks about Green Party politics and how what is going on in the Middle East impacts Tennessee. 
May 15 Rev. Don Beisswenger, retired Vanderbilt Divinity School faculty on School of the Americas, his time in prison for civil disobedience, and the affordable housing crisis in Nashville
May 8 Clifton Harris, Homeless Service Coordinator for Metro Social Services on solutions to homelessness in Nashville.
May 1 Special May Day Show with Aisha Brown of Tennessee Economic Renewal Network. Subjects included the recent Day Without an Immigrant demonstrations and a living wage for all workers.
April 24 Jim Hightower, America's #1 Populist! Hightower talks about condition of the country and his trip to Nashville for the Compass III Conference: A Statewide Progress Gathering on April 29th.
April 17 Keri Adams of Planned Parenthood of Middle Tennessee talks about recent anti-abortion measures at the state legislature and other women's issues.
April 10 Rev. Bill Barnes, ledgendary leader of the civil rights movement in Nashville, tireless advocate for the poor and the homeless
April 3 Linda Manning, director of Margaret Cunningim Women's Center at Vanderbilt, talks about alternatives to Tennessee's death penalty.
March 27 Chris Lugo of Indy Media on what's wrong with the mainstream media and how can we change this.
March 20 Carol McCullough of the Neighborhoods Resource Center on building grassroots democracy.
March 13 March 13 - Bill Mason of Tennessee Citizen Action, AT&T/Bellsouth merger, Malpractice reform
March 6 Christina Kretchik of MANNA, Eradication of Poverty
February 27 Jay Mazon of Solutions in Knoxville, Education, Welfare Reform, TennCare
February 20 Brian Miller of Tennesseans for Fair Taxation, State Tax Reform
February 13 Alan Coverstone of Montgomery Bell Academy, State of Education in Metro Nashville
February 6 Will Calloway of Tennessee Environmental Council, State of the Environment in Tennessee
January 30 Shelby Tabeling of Tennessee Conference on Social Welfare, The Budget Reconciliation Act, TennCare
January 23 Steven Sondheim of Citizens for Transportation Reform, TDOT, Roads, Sprawl
January 16 Brian McGuire of AARP of Tennessee, Long Term Care, TennCare
January 9  Robert Elliott of ACORN, Community Organizing
January 2 Dr. Sekou Franklin of Middle Tennessee State University, African American Politics in Tennessee
December 26 Ina May Gaskin of the Farm and Cordelia Satterfield Hanna, Pasadena Black Infant Health Program, Alternative Childbirth, Women's and Infants Health
December 19 Dr. Gene TeSelle, Community Activist, formerly of Vanderbilt Divinity School, Spirituality and Politics
Hector Black, Charlie Osburn and Jack Queen of Veterans for Peace, The Truth in Recruiting Program in the Cookeville schools
November 21
TDOT Long Range Transportation Plan, Brian Paddock, Sierra Club of Tennessee
Elections: The Sanctity of the Ballot Box - Thelma Kidd, Chick Westover and David Mills, Gathering to Save Our Democracy
November 7
Ethics Reform in Tennessee, Dick Williams, Common Cause Tennessee
Home and Community Based Care for the Elderly - Tom Stovall (AARP) and Merry Adams (Center for Independent Living and Tennessee Disability Coalition).
Early Childhood Education, Hemp, War, and Democratic Politics, Don Peterson, citizen lobbyist for AARP, longtime activist
Youth, College and Predatory Lending in the East Nashville Community - Tayo Atanda, Kendrick Johnson, Community Impact Nashville
Gender and Trade and the effects of NAFTA in Tennessee - Rosemarie Mincey, visual artist, grassroots activist and cultural studies professor
Religious Freedom - Charles Sumner, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State
Tenncare with Courtney Jenkins of the TennCare Save Lives Coalition (rebroadcast of earlier show)
Art and the Culture of Peace and Justice with Masankho Banda, Performing Artist, Educator, Spiritual Healer and Peace Builder.
September 12 Hurricane Katrina and Racism - Molly Secours, filmmaker and activist.
September 5 Labor Day Special - Don Driscoll, president of SEI Local 235 (transcription)
August 29 Gerrymandering and Lobbying - Jeff Wilson, candidate for state Senate, Director of FinD 18
August 22 Transformative Justice and Prison Reform - Susan McBride , Coordinator for the Visitation on Death Row Program
August 15 Racism and White Privilege - Tim Wise, author of White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son
August 8 Voting Rights, TennCare and the Disability Community
Joanne Rich, VOTE! Coordinator, Tennessee Disability Coalition
August 1 Mental Illness and TennCare, Sita Diehl, Executive Director of National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) of Tennessee.

July 25

Restorative versus Retributive Justice
Harmon Wray, Director of the Vanderbilt Program in Faith and Criminal Justice

July 18 Women's Issues with Kathy Austin, former state chair of NOW

July 11

Alternative Energy
Jeff Barrie, environmental filmmaker and former Coordinator of Citizens for TDOT Reform

July 4 Peace, Justice and Freedom - Jane Hussain, Nashville Peace and Justice Center
June 27 Disability Voting Rights - Joanne Rich, Coordinator of Tennessee Disability VOTE! Campaign
June 20 Immigrant Rights - David Lubell, Director of Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition

June 13

Community Economic Development
Michele Flynn, Former Director of Tennessee Network for Community Economic Development

June 6 Get Out the Vote strategies - Megan Mecaraeg, activist and former Executive Director of Tennessee Citizen Action

May 30

2005 Legislative Session Roundup
Mike Murphy, Capitol Hill Lobbyist

May 23

Rev. Lisa Hunt, Member of Metro Nashville School Board

May 16

The Death Penalty in Tennessee
Randy Tatel, Executive Director, Tennessee Coalition to Abolish State Killing