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 EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Renee Parker Sekander was born and raised in Memphis, TN and graduated from University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2016. The first time Renee ever voted, she faced so many obstacles that she left the polls feeling like the process was too hard to navigate. 

She was a college student at the time, and registered in Shelby County, 6 hours away from where she was studying. Unaware that first time voters who register to vote online must vote in person in their first election, she unexpectedly had to drive 12 hours to cast a ballot. Even worse, she went to the wrong polling location, too. Strict laws and barriers make Tennessee one of the hardest places in the country to cast a vote, which contributes to our low voter turnout as a state. 

 

After studying and organizing in college, she went on to work at human rights nonprofits like Amnesty International USA serving as the Canvass Director for their Los Angeles office. During the 2020 Presidential race, Renee served in Mobilization Director and Regional Field Directors positions on the Warren campaign, Amy McGrath campaign, and the coordinated campaign for Warnock and Ossoff in Georgia. 

 

Now, Renee serves Organize Tennessee as Executive Director. Her goal? Protect every single Tennessee voter and defend our democracy. 

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 Organizing director

Makayla McCree lives in Nashville Tennessee and received her Bachelor’s in Political Science from Tennessee State University in May of 2020. Before graduating college, Makayla joined the Jim Cooper for Congress campaign as the Director of Operations during the 2020 election cycle. After Representative Cooper won the election, she joined the
official staff as the District Scheduler and went on to serve as a Congressional Caseworker.


In 2021, she was elected to the Metro Nashville Community Oversight Board, serving as the youngest official in Davidson County. In addition to her work in government, she is engaged with several civic non-profits like the Equity Alliance, Stand Up Nashville, New Leaders Council, and Emerge Tennessee.
 

Now, Makayla serves as Organizing Director for Organize Tennessee. Her goal is to expand participation in the democratic process through voting rights advocacy.

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MEET OUR TRAINING DIRECTOR

Charles Uffelman grew up in Erin, TN and was involved in his local 4-H and FFA chapters. He is an alumnus of the University of Memphis where he first worked as an organizer on progressive campaigns for local and federal office. 

 

Since graduating, Charles has focused on organizing in rural areas, first working in Middle Tennessee for the Tennessee Democratic Party. Throughout the 2018 cycle he led volunteer teams and trained new organizers to get out the vote in rural, suburban and urban communities. Charles was a Regional Organizing Director for the Karl Dean for Governor campaign. 

 

Charles consulted several municipal races in the Nashville 2019 Metro Council Election before moving to Iowa to organize for the Kamala Harris, and later the Elizabeth Warren presidential campaigns. He returned to the south with the Elizabeth Warren campaign to organize Clarksville, TN for Super Tuesday. At the conclusion of the presidential primary, Charles led the regional organizing team for West Kentucky on the Amy McGrath for US Senate Campaign. Most recently Charles led the regional organizing team in the North Woods for the Wisconsin Democratic Party through their successful spring elections. 

 

Charles lives near Clarksville, TN near his large family and is focused on increasing civic engagement and supporting the coalition of activists that are working to make Tennessee a safer and more welcoming state for everyone.

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BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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Kristal Knight

Board Chairman 

Former Executive Director Emerge Tennessee.
Political Strategist & Impact Strategist. 

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Civil Miller Watkins

Board Member

Candidate for Tennessee Senate and House of Representatives. Fayette County School Board Member.

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Anne Ferrell Quillen

Board Member

Candidate for TN House of Representatives. Chair of the Cumberland County Democratic Party. 

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Reverend James Lawson

Board Member

Architect of the Civil Rights Movement. Professor to the late John Lewis & MLK Jr.