The staff that keeps the fight for Equity moving:
Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director
Hailed as a “Now Generation Activist” by The Tennessean and a 2019 Woman of Influence by the Nashville Business Journal, Charlane Oliver is an award-winning community organizer, respected movement builder, and public relations strategist. Recently she was named to Nashville’s 2020 Power 100 list and is considered a rising star among Music City’s political scene. She is the co-founder and co-executive director of The Equity Alliance, a nonprofit that works to build independent political power among the Black electorate and end voter suppression in a state with one of the lowest voter participation rates in the nation.
With the recent election of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, Charlane has been named among 8 women fighting for voting rights in the South.
As a trusted voice on voting rights issues, her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, National Journal, Pew Charitable Trusts, Huffington Post, the Associated Press, Think Progress, on NPR Weekend Edition, MSNBC, CNN, internationally and throughout Tennessee. She has graced the coveted stage at the inaugural TEDxNashvilleWomen and has been a featured guest on various local television broadcasts, radio stations and national podcasts.
Her organization led a statewide coalition that registered 91,000 Black and brown Tennesseans to vote for the 2018 midterms, increased Black voter turnout by 413 percent, scored two legal voting rights victories against the Tennessee Secretary of State, and is responsible for electing the most diverse and progressive Metro Council in the city’s history.
She is a partner with OEM Consulting Group, LLC and founder of the Power of 10 PAC, a political action committee dedicated to funding and supporting candidates of color. As a consultant and public relations expert for candidates, nonprofits, and small businesses, she has helped to elect school board members, city council members, judges and state legislators.
Prior to taking the helm at The Equity Alliance, Charlane served as the community liaison and communications strategist for U.S. Congressman Jim Cooper. She led one of the most successful company voter registration initiatives in Congress called Project Register, a nonpartisan initiative that recruited over 215 Middle Tennessee companies to encourage their employees to register to vote online.
With over 15 years of professional experience in nonprofit management, civil service and communications, Charlane has garnered numerous accolades and awards, including the 2020 Luminary Award, 2019 Nashville Young Leaders Council Leader of the Year Award, and 2016 Nashville Black 40 Under 40. She serves on the boards of the Metro Nashville Emergency 911 Communications District Board, Purpose Preparatory Academy, Stand Up Nashville, and Nurture The Next.
A native of Little Rock, Arkansas, Charlane has a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University and holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.
Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director
Tequila Johnson is an award-winning cause driven community organizer and strategist whose work focuses on creating equity and increasing civic engagement among Black Americans and other communities of color. She has been recognized for educating communities of color about the political process, relevant economic, social, and political issues, the impacts of impending legislation, and providing people with the tools to exercise self-agency. 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 Co Executive director of The Equity Alliance, a Tennessee-based nonprofit that equips Black and brown citizens with tools and strategies to strengthen their communities and make government work better. In 2018, Johnson served as the statewide manager for the Tennessee Black Voter Project, a statewide coalition of nearly two dozen local nonprofits working together toward the goal of registering 50,000 Black Tennesseans to vote. The group, under Johnson’s leadership, submitted 91,000 voter registration forms. In addition to her involvement in local politics and community organizing, Johnson is also the founder and CEO of The Equity Consulting Group, LLC, a firm specializing in issue advocacy, government relations, community relations and media strategy.
She served as campaign manager and lead strategist for newcomer Christiane Buggs’s successful Metro Nashville School Board election and has provided strategic oversight, analysis and field operations for a variety of political organizations. Her
Work in and for the community has earned widespread praise and recognition. Her awards include: 2020 Roddenberry Civil Rights Fellow, 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 2018 Healthy and Free Tennessee Reproductive Rights Summit, in 2019 at the national Unrig Summit, and in 2019 at the Muslim Women’s Conference in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Johnson is a graduate of Tennessee State University, where she received her master’s degree in counseling psychology and is currently 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 organizational management. She currently serves on the Metro Nashville Industrial Development Board (2020), the sustainable business coalition, and is a Board Member for Creative Girls Rock. When she’s not working, she enjoys singing in her church choir, doing crossfit, and spending time with her daughter.
Kendra is a native Memphian and graduate of Spelman College with a bachelor’s in Psychology and Juris Doctorate from the University of Dayton School of Law. Her commitment to public policy led to her become an organizer in 2016. She has worked on local and national campaigns including canvasser for Tami Sawyer for Shelby County Commissioner in 2018; political advisor to Dr. Jeff Warren for Memphis City Council; community organizer for Elizabeth Warren for President; and training manager for the Jon Ossoff for Senate Campaign’s community organizer program. Additionally, she served as the political director and redistricting fellow at the A. Philip Randolph Institute.
As a part of the TEAm, she will strengthen and advance our advocacy presence at the Tennessee General Assembly.
Tiffany is originally from Oklahoma, but came to Nashville by way of Miami and Brooklyn. She was previously a marketing manager in the music industry and for a tech start up, but has volunteered for political campaigns and joined in many fights for justice over the past several years. She is excited for the opportunity to finally have her passion for justice become her full time work, and help fight for Equity in Tennessee.
Tori, a Knoxville native, joins us as the Organizing Director. He manages our organizing staff and volunteers, as well as oversee civic engagement strategy, programs, and organizing campaigns. Tori is no stranger to TEA as he served as the Operations Director for BlackPAC in 2018, and ran field operations for the Tennessee Black Voter Project. He most recently comes to us from Atlanta, GA where he worked as a Regional Field Organizer for the national NAACP’s Environmental Justice Climate Change Program, focusing on environmental and energy issues in the South.
As a political science major at Morehouse College, Tori was a White House intern under President Bill Clinton. Tori has experience working on taxation reform, marijuana legalization, labor, faith-based, and political organizing. He draws from his experience working on the presidential and congressional campaigns of Al Gore, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Jon Ossoff for Congress. In 2018, Tori became a first-time candidate running for an at-large County Commission seat in Knox County, TN.
Community relations manager
Growing up in Tennessee with parents as educators, giving back has always been RaCarol’s foundation. At 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 that bridge to help fill the gap and make sure that democracy is best achieved when everyone participates.
Tamika is a native Nashvillian. She is a currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in business management and leadership. Tamika serves as Regional Vice Chair for District 5 with the Davidson County Democratic Party. She started as a volunteer with The Equity Alliance a few years ago and has a passion for connecting the dots. As Statewide Organizer, she works to move The Equity Alliance’s mission and vision throughout the state of Tennessee.
Tereva serves as our consultant Communications Manager to strengthen our voice and further our impact through email and website engagement, and engineer of Porch Politics. Since 2017, she has held roles within TEA as a volunteer, on our Leadership TEAm as an event logistics liaison, and partner in Black Women for Tennessee. She is a communications and media strategist with diverse experience in public relations, broadcast and media, and corporate communications for non-profit organizations, small businesses, and Fortune 500 companies.