Critical Race Theory in Our Backyard: Metro Nashville Public Schools’ ‘Equity Roadmap’


Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) may be the next leader in critical race theory (CRT) integration into classrooms. Their “Equity Roadmap” largely originated with MNPS’s newest Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Executive Officer, Ashford Hughes Sr. (pictured above) – a big CRT advocate and outspoken anti-racist.

Hughes served previously as the Chief DEI Officer for Nashville Mayor John Cooper from February 2018 until October 2019. During that time, Hughes submitted a report that was also called a “roadmap” to achieve DEI throughout all of Metro Nashville – the “DEI Roadmap.”

In this report, Hughes claimed that systemic barriers were preventing marginalized groups from full participation in Metro government. Although the roadmap doesn’t expressly mention CRT, it is clearly informed by it.

CRT establishes that structural racism exists in all aspects of society, which leads to inequality and inequity. Its proponents uphold race as the answer to and reason for everything within ideologies, policies, and institutions. Race is also used as a metric of success – for example, the racial makeup of employees hired is weighted as heavily as skill or ability, if not more so in some cases.

Hughes’ DEI Roadmap focuses mainly on race and ethnicity. It urged Metro government to require cultural proficiency of its employees, modify its hiring practices to match the demographic makeup of the community, and expand opportunities specifically for minority and women-owned businesses.

Several months after he published the roadmap, Hughes declared that racism is a public health crisis. He noted that action needed to be taken, especially with the youth.

“[H]ere are my solutions: 1. Mayor publicly declare a city public health crisis alongside of Health Department, MNPS, council, Gov’t officials, grassroots orgs. 2. Convene these groups and map out a countywide strategic plan to address access to opportunities for black and brown youth,” wrote Hughes.

Hughes has been forthright about his support of CRT. Especially the ideology’s influence on his work.

Last March, Hughes indicated that he would attempt to continue to further his attempts to expand his DEI Roadmap.

Hughes was hired by MNPS last June.

In December, Hughes hinted at what the Equity Roadmap would entail. The terms pictured in their workgroup slides present the same bloated definition of racism as CRT. Rather than the original meaning of racism – the hatred of individuals and belief of an inherent superiority based on race – the slides rely on the modern interpretation that any inequalities between races are signs of racism.

The slides declared the realities of structural racism (racial bias as systemically baked into institutions and society, giving White people privileges exclusively), institutional racism (organizational advantages present in treatments, policies, or practices reserved exclusively for White people), and interpersonal racism (slurs, biases, or hateful words or actions). Those are all main tenets of CRT.

The slides also declared that the goal isn’t for individuals to not be racist. Rather, the goal is to be “antiracist,” which is defined as the active rejection of White supremacy, “White-dominant culture,” and unequal institutions and society.

“Key working terminology to address our @MetroSchools Equity in Education efforts. Other essential items for this work: Racial Equity, Cultural Representation, White Privilege, Race,” wrote Hughes. “Our student, our city can’t wait.”

Hughes indicated that CRT would shape his leadership style for creating equitable education.

“Self reflection and organizational reflection is a key element to the Theory of Change for creating more equitable learning institutions and environments,” wrote Hughes.

According to Hughes, one of the “most helpful and resourceful education equity networks in the country” for him as of late is the Building Equitable Learning Environments Library (BELE Network). Choice resources within this library include guidebooks outlining starting points for any school’s equity journey, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance contributions (now known as Learning for Justice), and documents advocating that race be the center of conversations. Many of these resources specifically identify White people in some regard, sometimes as the source and perpetuator of oppression, disadvantages, and racism experienced by minorities.

Hughes announced at the beginning of the year that he and MNPS were working on the Equity Roadmap. Posts concerning this project didn’t offer further details of what policies and practices MNPS would include on the roadmap.

Shortly after, MNPS promised to release additional information on the Equity Roadmap in January. That information hasn’t been published yet.

Last month, Hughes shared in an interview with the Tennessee Diversity Consortium discussed his vision of equity. Though he didn’t specify which demographics were overrepresented, Hughes alluded that the Metro Nashville City Council, MNPS School Board, administrators, and state lawmakers were too White and economically well-off – and that was a sign of inequity.

“When you look at the way the inequity shows up, it’s involved in access. We know that within many wealthier districts, if we look at the makeup of the Metro City Council, and we look at the makeup of the MNPS School Board, you look at most of our administrators and most of our public policymakers come from certain demographic areas[,]” stated Hughes.

During the last MNPS meeting, one slide mentioned their Equity Roadmap but didn’t offer further detail.

According to the MNPS board meeting agenda notes for Tuesday, the Equity Roadmap is scheduled for discussion.

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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Ashford Hughes Sr.” by Ashford Hughes Sr.






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13 Thoughts to “Critical Race Theory in Our Backyard: Metro Nashville Public Schools’ ‘Equity Roadmap’”

  1. Melanie

    Remember when.. Obama put the Weather Underground Terrorist, Bill Ayres, as Secretary of the EDU..?

  2. Melanie

    Of course , they would put a racist black man to lead the charge towards Cultural Marxism. He belittles all races in order to divide and to conquer. the minds of the youth. He is the chosen Pied Piper, who is to lure and keep our Youth towards Uncle Sam’s Plantation in the NWO and Lenin and Marx would be proud! Every race has their useful idiot. He is too dangerous to be around children. He is non-essential. Time to shrink the Marxist EDU..

  3. Hal Rounds

    When people hate another group of people – like the CRT advocates hate whites – the best way for them to honestly and without hypocrisy demonstrate their condemnation of what they hate is to stop coveting what the hated class has produced. Start with, perhaps, the wheel. Progress to anything. powered by fuel, as opposed to muscle. Continue to airplanes, electricity, and all the major technologies, then getting to the whole thing that really matters: The idea that a society can leave history’s structure of every person having a master who must be obeyed, whether called a serf or a slave; that, instead: a man can actually escape that form of aristocracy imposed by force and stand on his own merit. Of course, when each person stands on his own merit, the measure is what he produces. And those who covet what he produces will find some reason to excuse themselves from having to make the same efforts and sacrifices that the object of their hate – jealousy, actually – did to create what they deny any responsibility for duplicating in their quest for unearned results at the destruction of those who earned the results by actually creating them.

  4. Dan Meredith

    This is the kind of BS that created the Williamson County School System. 30-40 years ago when these crusaders decided education was no longer the goal, everyone who could afford it moved south. This is why Metro Schools are 50% “minority”. When the libs decided schools were for social engineering and not for education, the only ones who stayed were those who had to.

  5. jamesb

    the only way folks like this exist is to peddle their insanity and hate.

  6. Wolf Woman

    Hughes’ plan ” . . . urged Metro government to require cultural proficiency of its employees . . . ” Does he mean the culture we see in the BLM riots? Or the culture that we saw on the 2020 Grammy’s? Or the culture of the gangs, like the Crips? Or the culture that thinks that having numbers of children with different mothers and not supporting any of them is okay? Could Mr. Hughes define what he means by “culture?”

  7. rick

    Why doesn’t Hughes go to MBA where Coopers kids go and try to promote his racist program. I would be surprised if he got very far, he might not be allowed at all, but if he was he would be laughed at behind his back. Was this not the reason Williamson Co got rid of their previous superintendent, for promoting garbage like this. Cooper pushes junk like this on the common people while his kids go to an elite white school. People like Hughes are repulsive. Metro schools and Metro Government are in sad shape. What a mess!

  8. Gordon

    CRT is Marxism plain and simple and should be outlawed

  9. Charles Martel

    Are there any Caucasian children in MNPS?

    1. M. Flatt

      Yes, but they are the children of parents that cannot escape.
      I forget which conservative thinker, maybe Sowell or Steele, suggested that Crime creates Poverty, not the other way around. They claimed that in areas where there was a high crime rate, those that could leave did so, leaving behind those without the resources to leave. This is the same for the public school system. Those parents that can have removed their children from it. This is why Governor Lee’s voucher plan is so important, since it allows parents without the resources to move their children away from this sort of crap!
      There is no reason why over 3/4ths of the American population should be putting up with this sort of stuff from a group that is a bit more than 1/8th.

  10. John Bumpus

    Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a falsehood. CRT ought to be outlawed by the Tennessee General Assembly. If a School Board deigns to teach CRT as truth (even though it isn’t), it should lose a certain portion of the funding that it receives from the State.

  11. rick

    Hughes should not have any platform to promote his racist ideas. Cooper is a disgrace.

    1. turbo

      could not agree more…