DECEMBER 12 - Harpeth Hall was excited to welcome Nashville's first female mayor, Megan Barry, to campus today.
Mayor Barry encouraged our students to think about ways to serve the community and to run for office.
"If you can see it, you can be it!" Barry said acknowledging that it is helpful for young women to see her in office as the first female mayor for Nashville.Barry encouraged our girls to get involved in public service at Harpeth Hall and beyond our campus. She shared statistics on women who hold elected offices, and challenged our students to help raise those stats.
The Mayor spoke about public policy that is meaningful to her, most notably, transportation and affordable housing. She explained how the two are connected and how important it is for our city to plan for the future.
Barry was aware of Harpeth Hall's focus on sustainability initiatives and talked about the importance of planting trees and "making sure that Nashville becomes the greenest city in the nation."
"What I'm trying to draw for you here is the importance of public service. There are many ways to serve," said Barry. From planning what Nashville will look like in 2040 to planning for better education, greenways and parks and libraries in our city.
"I hope that you will think about how you can serve. Government cannot solve every problem - strong partnerships make a big difference," said Barry.
During the Question/Answer portion, Barry received thoughtful questions from our students about education, voter turn out, food deserts and the importance of transit.
Mayor Barry closed the assembly with a story about her son, Max Barry, who died in 2017 from a drug overdose.
"If we don't talk about it, and if we don't raise up our voices and talk to people who are struggling about the resources that are available to them," Barry said, "then this will continue to happen." She continued, "Don't ever hesitate if you see someone who is struggling - raise your hand. You can help save someone."
We are deeply grateful to Mayor Barry for the inspiring and memorable assembly, and to the Mayor's office for their help planning the event.
The Mayor was introduced by Lia Hayduk, Women in Government Leadership Council President; and Betsy Beuter, a past intern in the Mayor's office, helped facilitate the Question/Answer session. Metro Councilwoman Angie Henderson '91, attended the event with Mayor Barry as the Councilwoman for Harpeth Hall's district (District 34) and also as a proud parent and alumna.