mayor Karl Dean
2019 bridge builder
presented by cigna
As Nashville’s mayor from 2007 to 2015, Karl Dean was a vocal supporter of immigrants and refugees, recognizing and championing the great economic and cultural contribution that international newcomers bring to Nashville. During his tenure, Mayor Dean championed multiple citywide initiatives to make Nashville more welcoming and inclusive for immigrants, including the creation of improved pathways for immigrants to become U.S. citizens and a district-wide program that paired new American parents with established Nashvillians from their same country to help navigate the Nashville school system.
In 2014, Mayor Dean created the Mayor’s Office of New Americans, a city office tasked with engaging immigrants in Nashville, which is still in operation today. The Office of New Americans seeks to empower immigrants to participate in local government, expand their economic and educational opportunities, and build a bridge between newly-arrived and established residents. Through initiatives like MyCity Academy, which provides a 7-month training for new Americans to learn about and engage with local government programs, the Office of New Americans has created new avenues for immigrants to connect with established residents and become contributing thriving members of the greater Nashville community.
In all his endeavors, Mayor Dean has always leaned on the insight of the international community to guide his actions. He has remained a steadfast friend to Nashville’s immigrant and refugee community, always striving to build a Nashville that is welcoming to all.