Electing progressive leaders for a stronger community


Tami Sawyer - Endorsed Candidate Bio

Future901 is excited to endorse Tami Sawyer as she runs for the Shelby County Commissioner for District 7. Future901 will be hosting a Meet & Great early February where the public is invited to meet all Future901 endorsed candidates and donate to their campaigns. Read on to learn about Tami and how she hopes to build a greater Shelby County:


Tami Sawyer is the Director, Diversity & Cultural Competence with Teach For America Memphis and a writer, speaker and social justice & education advocate. Tami was named by The Tennessean and Commercial Appeal as one of 18 Tennesseans to watch in 2018 and was included in the Commercial Appeal’s 2017 Person of the Year recognition. She is an alumna of the University of Memphis and attended Howard University School of Law. A leader in Movement for Black Lives in Memphis, Tami is a TEDx speaker and has been featured on The New York Times, Al Jazeera, NPR, BBC Radio, Huffington Post, MLK50, and the covers of The New Tri-State Defender, Memphis Flyer, Commercial Appeal and Memphis Daily News. Tami has been an introductory speaker for social justice leaders Angela Davis, Gloria Steinem and Minister Louis Farrakhan. In 2016, she was a social justice oriented candidate for Tennessee State Representative. In 2017, Tami continued her work as a social justice advocate, which led her to organize #takeemdown901, the successful movement to remove Confederate Statues from Memphis' public parks. In October of the same year, Tami announced her candidacy for Shelby County Commissioner D. Tami's free-time is spent with family and friends, catching up on indie movies and reading through her Kindle list.

Tami 2018.jpeg

Why I Am Running

Shelby County, TN. Roads are unpaved and transportation is inadequate. Schools are segregated and underfunded. Poverty and joblessness are widespread. Racist symbols are prominent. 1 in 4 young adults are neither working nor in school. 1 in 100 people live with an STD.

This sounds like the opening to a dystopian novel, but it is the reality we face daily in our county. To many it feels like we are in a continuous fight for our right to liberty and often it feels like we are fighting alone.

Over the last four years, a multitude of engaged community members and I have dedicated ourselves to solving the problem of inequity in our county. Whether this has been speaking out when funding for free condom distribution was threatened or advocating to ensure young people were safe and treated fairly when in custody of our juvenile court, I have worked diligently to make sure my neighbors do not feel they are fighting alone.

Taking a stand against the status quo is never easy but as Frederick Douglass said “There is no progress without struggle.” In order for Shelby County to develop and grow, equity in all areas from education to business opportunity to healthcare to criminal justice must be realized. For this to occur, strong leadership is required.

This is why I have decided to run to be Shelby County Commissioner for District 7. As a resident of District 7, I know its opportunities and its needs. I am ready to be the bold and courageous leader that is required to further the work towards equity in our community. Ida B. Wells stated that “the way to right wrongs is to turn the truth of light upon them.” I will be a light for District 7 and all of Shelby County continuing to illuminate the truth about the inequities that are faced by people of color, women, immigrants, LGBTQ people, and our children. I will champion innovative solutions to our social and economic disparities and continue the work of the past incumbents to sustain and increase development in our neighborhoods. I will listen to your voices and use my privilege as your commissioner to amplify them. I will stand in partnership with you when you feel no one else will or can.

There is a movement across the country of progressive leadership that puts the people first and I plan to embody the spirit of that movement here in Shelby County. Supporting my campaign with your vote, donations, endorsements and volunteering, will allow you to be a part of this movement for true change in our communities. My campaign team and I will spend the next six months in the neighborhoods of District 7, deepening our connection to our neighbors and carrying their voices with us to the primary on May 1st. I look forward to the opportunity to elevate my grassroots work to ensuring the policies and systems of Shelby County are ones that benefit and consider us all.

Help us bring bold and courageous leadership to District 7 with #tami2018 by visiting www.tamisawyer.com to donate and sign-up for more information. Let’s fight together for equity, equality and progress in Shelby County.

Learn more & donate:

Tami Sawyer for Shelby County Commission, District 7

Robert Donati