DECEMBER 2022  |  ISSUE 33

Edwina Freeman works tirelessly to provide opportunities for her “diamonds” to shine.  She serves as the Director of Programs for DYMON, which stands for the Dynamic Young Minorities of Nashville. The Nashville-based nonprofit organization strives to lessen equity gaps for Nashville’s youth through afterschool programs, mentorship, and scholarships. The program currently serves four schools in the Nashville area: H.G Hill Middle School, Madison Middle School, Robert Churchwell, and Haynes Middle School.
DYMON was originally founded in 2012 by Brittany Tyler as a scholarship program. The program sought to address startling statistics that showed a need for resources between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., which is a time when youth are subjected to the most violence. The program expanded to provide a safe haven for girls, but also to combat low state literacy levels by filling the resource gap for underserved people.
“Our service is not just to focus on tutoring but to make sure our kids have the same resources as their counterparts and to provide social-emotional learning as well,” said Freeman. “Closing the gap for young minorities to have the same experiences as their white counterparts is so important to us.”
Over the last several years, DYMON has expanded over three times in size. Freeman, who joined three years ago, was the first full time employee. At the time, she was a single mother pursuing a nursing career and was connected with Tyler to explore volunteer opportunities. After meeting for coffee, the two clicked instantly and it was clear to both women that there was potential in a partnership.
“I joined one year before the pandemic,” Freeman said. “We faced a lot of challenges but working here has been one of the first experiences that I’ve had feeling seen and heard in the workplace. Every challenge we’ve faced, it’s been together.”
From then on, Tyler and Freeman worked side by side to grow the program through the pandemic into what it is today.
Freeman’s main motivation? Helping her community prosper.
“I really try to provide an oasis for our kids,” she said. “If they hit a bump in their lives, we’re here. When they go on to high school, they can call us. When they go to college, they can apply for a scholarship. If their family falls on hard times, they can apply for DYMON Cares.”

Through the resources Freeman and her team provide, she believes DYMON can help the whole community. As a mother, Freeman sees the importance of this support and what a difference it can make in a family’s life. When she was a young adult, Freeman also had the support of similar programs which she said helped shape her into the woman she is today.
“Exposure is huge, there weren’t a lot of success stories around me,” Freeman said. “The program gave us homework help, mentorship, and college tours. That’s how I was exposed to college and found Tennessee State University.”
Becoming involved in DYMON allows Freeman the opportunity to provide the same experiences to other young minority women. Freeman said it’s more than a job, it's a passion. It's also a family that allows her to use her personal experience along with her involvement in various local organizations, boards, and chambers to better the community and shine a light on Nashville’s next generation.
 “All children deserve love and all of their stories deserve to be told,” she said.

With the Vandy Boys in our backyard, it was easy to hit a “home run” this Fall with our interns, Troy Laneve and Thomas Shultz.
Both Pennsylvania natives were drawn to Tennessee, nearly 600 miles away from home, by their mutual love for the game of baseball.
“Sports were a huge part of growing up in my family,” Laneve said. “I decided to come to Vanderbilt because of the culture the baseball program has built over the last two decades. It was a perfect fit.”
Shultz was also an avid athlete growing up, playing three sports during high school, but it was always baseball that he loved most.
“My love for the game made wanting this opportunity very easy, and it has been gratifying getting to be a part of this and understand it more,” he said.
During their freshman year, at the first David Williams Classic, they heard of the Stars for the first time and immediately became captivated by the idea of bringing a Major League team to Nashville. Later that same year, following a game against Oklahoma State, the team took a trip to Kansas City where they were given a personal tour of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum by Bob Kendrick.
After returning to Nashville, the two were determined to get involved somehow. Nearly three years later, the Vanderbilt seniors, now majoring in human and organizational development, were presented with the opportunity to earn credit hours through internships.
“My experience this fall interning with the Stars exceeded my expectations. The environment at the office, as well as the collective shared vision with the staff, is inspiring,” he said.
Since reaching out and landing interviews with the help of Brooks Webb, Coach Tim Corbin, and Ro Coleman, they have assisted with many integral parts of our mission.
Shultz worked directly with Coleman and former Major League pitcher Jarrod Parker to support the efforts of the Nashville Stars Youth Foundation. Laneve assisted in an operational role at the Stars headquarters. Their time spent as part of our organization has provided valuable experience and insight into the careers they both want to pursue after graduation.
“When the day comes when I’m no longer playing, I would like to stay inside of sports,” Shultz said. “This opportunity has given me a chance to explore what that means for me.”
With May right around the corner, Laneve is also thinking about what’s next.
“Playing baseball has been a passion of mine since I was very young, but this experience made me realize that I want to stay in the sport as a career,” Laneve said. “Bringing MLB to Nashville would make the city complete to me, and I want to be here to see it.”


We were proud to support our partners at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City for the Thanks a Million Buck Gala on November 12. Special guests included our very own Dave Stewart, Joe Carter, Kenny Lofton, Bo Porter, and Lee Smith.

Pictured above (L-R): Mia Vickers, Bob Kendrick, Lonnie Murray, and Dave Stewart.


When referring to the effort of bringing the Nashville Stars to Major League Baseball, the late David Williams once said, “this opportunity is much bigger than the game of baseball.” Tim Corbin, head coach for the Vanderbilt baseball team and a Baseball Advisor for Music City Baseball, announced last month that the team’s Black and Gold Fall World Series will be officially named the David Williams Fall Classic on an annual basis. The annual intrasquad scrimmage, held this year on November 13, allows Vanderbilt the opportunity to honor Williams, who was Vanderbilt's vice chancellor for athletics and university affairs and athletics director. The Commodores wore uniforms branded with Stars across the front—an ode to the Detroit Stars and Nashville Stars of the Negro Leagues.


It’s football season, and our Stars team welcomed the chance to support MCB Board Member and Tennessee State University’s head football coach Eddie George on November 5.  A special “thank you” to the TSU Athletic Fund for their hospitality during the game!


Dave Stewart had a chance to update the TSU Alumni Association during their November meeting about the ongoing efforts to bring MLB to Nashville.

Pictured below (L-R) are Dave Stewart, Mia Vickers, and TSU Alumni Association President Charles Galbreath Jr.


Dave Stewart was a guest on Sharon Kay’s “What’s the 411” show on November 16. The program aired on Jazzy 88 WFSK, which is located at historic Fisk University in Nashville.


MLB legend Don Mattingly and his wife Lori hosted the 6th Mattingly Charities fundraiser on December 1. This year’s event featured country music singer/songwriters, and MCB Music Advisors, Mitchell Tenpenny and Ryan Hurd. Also appearing were singer/songwriter Jeffrey Steele and Sirius XM Radio Host Storme Warren.

Pictured above (L-R): MCB Music Advisor Steve Hodges, Ryan Hurd, Ray Schulte, Mitchell Tenpenny, and MCB Managing Director John Loar.

Pictured above (L-R): John Loar and Don Mattingly.

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