Christ Presbyterian Academy
The Summit: Nashville's first youth non-profit fair

The Institute for Cultural Engagement (TICE) hosted a large-scale, co-curricular non-profit fair for upper school students. The event (first of its kind), “The Summit,” speaks to the TICE program’s focus on the restoration of community and leadership to bring about solutions to local people, places, and things. 

More than 40 nonprofit organizations were represented, some Nashville-based, some global, lining up to present their creative solutions for a broken and need-filled world. The US administration set aside the class schedule during this day to provide a sole focus on students’ engagement with local leaders. 

A highlight of The Summit was the keynote address from Founder and CEO of Cul2vate Farms, Joey Lankford. Lankford shared powerful testimony to his upbringing in Nashville and the success he experienced in the healthcare industry. As he stated to students: “I was insulated by my family’s success, and the success of my peers, completely blind to the needs of others right in front of my face.” 

Lankford’s candor about his lack of purpose and conviction in his early adult life resonated with students. He describes a walk into Scripture one night that changed the trajectory of his faith and his family’s future—a watershed moment transforming his desires to those of the Lord’s: to carry the burdens of his neighbors, stepping outside the pursuit of material comfort, pleasure, and influence. This spiritual transformation for the Lankford family meant selling their home, moving to South Africa, and embarking on a mission to develop sustainable farming systems to fight hunger in Cape Town’s most impoverished communities. The recounting of his ministry abroad gave students a glimpse into the radical work of the gospel when we seek God’s higher calling in our lives. Ultimately, it was this work that led to Lankford’s founding of Cul2vate, a Nashville-based non-profit seeking to relieve hunger in Tennessee’s food deserts while also providing stable, life-giving employment to those in need of second chances. Cul2vate is a faith-based organization granted land at the state-owned Ellington Agricultural Center located in Crieve Hall. 

Lankford was unassuming and compassionate in his address to students, helping them widen their awareness to friends and neighbors in Nashville who may be food insecure, struggling, isolated, and the power they have to help. He encouraged them to use their own skills and talents—not necessarily a decade into their fully-formed careers—but now, to become part of the solution, stepping in to carry each other's burdens as Jesus calls us. Students also heard from two current employees of Cul2vate, sharing their personal testimonies and their new-found hope in farming and feeding others.

“Jesus very practically teaches about caring for others when He states, ‘I was hungry, and you fed me’ (Matthew 25:35). It is our job to feed the hungry locally–those who suffer from physical hunger, and those who hunger for a fresh start,” explained Lankford. 

Following this powerful address, students attended the non-profit fair, mingling with representatives from each group: asking questions, networking, collecting literature, and later connecting in small breakout groups to process what they learned. 

Some of the non-profits who graciously allocated their time to be with students: 

  • Adziwa
  • Preston Taylor Ministries
  • Alive Hospice
  • Siloam
  • Thistle Farms
  • Cul2vate
  • 4:13 Strong
  • Second Harvest Food Bank
  • UpriseNashville
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • E.L.I.’s House
  • Soles4Souls
  • Rescue 1 Global
  • Men of Valor
  • Harpeth River Conservation
  • Middle Tennessee Special Olympics
  • Legacy Mission Village
  • Nashville Diaper Bank
  • Ella’s House
  • RooftopNashville
  • Nurture the Next
  • Nashville Homeless Outreach
  • The Branch of Nashville
  • BeginAnew Middle TN
  • Nations Ministry Center
  • EmpowerNashville
  • Faith Family Medical Center
  • The Next Door Nashville 
  • The Salvation Army
  • From Your Father
  • The Oak Cottage for Women
  • Nashville Inner City Mission
  • Harvest Hands

As a signature program of CPA Upper School, all upper school students participated in The Summit and members of each TICE Center will be digging deeper into discovering their own part in the restoration of Nashville and the world–beginning the process of transformation. Visit to learn more about The Institute.