The staff that keeps the fight for Equity moving
tequila M. johnson,
Co-Founder & Executive Director
Tequila M. Johnson is an award-winning activist, community organizer, and political strategist whose work focuses on creating equity by increasing access to economic opportunities and civic engagement for marginalized communities. Revered as “The Mouth of the South,” she has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, on CNN, MSNBC, and around the country.
Johnson is the co-founder and CEO of The Equity Alliance, a Black Led Tennessee-based multi-entity network of for-profit and nonprofit businesses designed to equip black people with tools and strategies to strengthen their communities and keep the government in check. She is most known for Building culturally relevant programs and events that center the voices and leadership of those at the helm of injustice. Her work in and for the community has earned widespread praise and recognition. Her awards include the 2020 Roddenberry Civil Rights Fellow, 2021 Echoing Green Fellow, 2020 Tennessean of the year, 2019 Human Rights Coalition Rising Advocate Award, The Nashville Business Journal’s Women of Influence Award 2019; Nashville Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Superstar 2019; the NAACP Ella Baker Power Award 2019; the Women’s Political Collaborative of Tennessee’s Movers and Shakers Award 2018; Nashville. Business’ 100 Leading African Americans 2018; Nashville Black 40 Under 40 2018; and Nashville Voice’s 2018 Nashvillian of the Year. Johnson was a featured presenter at the 2020 Global Political Activism Summit in Ghana, Accra, in 2019 at the national Unrig Summit, and in 2019 at the Muslim Women’s Conference in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Johnson graduated from Tennessee State University, received her master’s degree in counseling psychology, and is pursuing a Ph.D. in industrial and organizational psychology. Additionally, she is a certified project manager and holds a graduate certificate in grant writing and nonprofit, public, and executive management. She serves on the Metro Nashville Industrial Development Board, the sustainable business coalition, and is the Vice President of Rosebank Elementary PTO. When she’s not working, she enjoys singing in her church choir, dancing, and spending time with her daughter.
Director of operations
Sherese DaSilva is a Brooklyn, NY native who spent her formative years in the Caribbean. Heavily influenced by the working women in her family, she developed an appreciation for valuing family, education, and serving the local community.
She has a professional background in small business management and is passionate about cultivating good stewardship of communities and the environment.
Sherese earned a bachelors in political science and minor in public administration from Fisk University. She is currently pursuing a graduate certificate in public policy and a Master of Public Administration from Tennessee State University.
DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT AND MARKETING
Jessica Williams is a self-proclaimed Nashvillian, imported from Detroit, Michigan and a graduate of Tennessee State University. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications and she is a member of Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity, Inc. Throughout her professional career she has positioned herself in the arena of non-profit communications, marketing, and events.
Over the last five years, Jessica has built relationships through advocacy and marketing within the Nashville non-profit community, including working with the Lupus Foundation of America, Mid-South Chapter and YWCA of Nashville & Middle Tennessee. She is an experienced and dedicated communications and social media strategist, specializing in growth and brand management. As the director of development and marketing, she oversees partnerships and investor relations to further TEA’s impact.
Director of programs and special projects
Tamika White is a native Nashvillian, pursuing her bachelor’s degree in business management and leadership. She serves as Regional Vice Chair for District 5 with the Davidson County Democratic Party.
She’s been a part of the TEAm since 2016, beginning as a volunteer using her passion for connecting the dots to help people understand the political process. This eventually led to her becoming the statewide volunteer manager.
As director of programs and special projects she researches, develops, and implements all TEA programs, while leading volunteer operations.
Tamika is on sabbatical until April 2023. Please direct inquiries to Sherese DaSilva.
REGIONAL ORGANIZING DIRECTOR, MIDDLE TN
Growing up in Tennessee with parents as educators, giving back has always been RaCarol Woodard’s foundation. During childhood, she understood and believed in the power to give people knowledge to ensure a better community, economy, and nation.
A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, she majored in political science and minored in criminal justice. Everyone has a calling, and this is hers! As an organizer, she is the bridge to help fill the gap and make sure that democracy is best achieved when everyone participates.
Lajuana “LJ” Abraham,
REGIONAL ORGANIZING DIRECTOR, West TN
LJ Abraham is a proud Memphian who first moved to West TN during childhood. Although born in Germany to a military family and having lived in multiple places, Memphis and West TN have been and always will be home.
LJ’s entrance into social justice activism came as a result of her disgust with Black people being shot and killed by police. What began as impassioned social media posts in 2012 led her to participate in community conversations, protests, and eventually lead full scale organizing efforts. Since being in the movement space, she’s evolved her once-shy voice into a fierce siren for Black communities and issues.
Inspired by the free refrigerator movement in Portland, Oregon, LJ launched 901 Community Fridges, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and provider of free refrigerated food and beverage items intentionally placed within three Memphis communities to combat food insecurity. 901 Community Fridges received national attention in a TIME article highlighting the free refrigerator movement across the U.S.
LJ has a people-centered personality and brings career experience from hospitality, retail, and administrative industries. She is eager to connect, champion, and bring valuable change for West TN as a regional organizing director.
When it’s time to relax, LJ enjoys spending time with her family – especially her nieces and nephews, and pets.
Tereva Parham serves as communications manager to strengthen our voice and further our impact through email and website engagement, production engineer for Porch Politics, and event moderator.
Since 2017, she has held roles within TEA as a volunteer, event logistics liaison, and partner in Black Women for Tennessee. Tereva is a courageous communicator with diverse experience in organizational and corporate communications, copywriting, public relations, broadcast and voiceovers, and corporate social responsibility for multi-industry clientele.
Tereva earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music Business from Illinois State University, Master of Arts in Strategic Communication, a certificate of Corporate Social Responsibility from the University of Colorado – Boulder, and certificate of Racial Equity and Inclusion in Leadership from Northwestern University. She is the owner of TerevaFeva, a communications and media consultancy.
liberTEA collective coordinator
Terrica Arnold is a Louisiana native who was raised in Georgia. She earned degrees in political science and educational leadership from two Nashville gems: Fisk University and Tennessee State University.
Terrica has dedicated over ten years to community-based minority health disparity research and programming, service learning, and student academic achievement. In recent years, she has supported health equity through policy research and training future minority health care professionals. As LiberTEA Collective coordinator, she directs the program’s curriculum, partnerships, cohort support, and impact efforts.
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