Dr. Nikia Grayson, Memphis, TN
Dr. Nikia Grayson is a public health activist, anthropologist and nurse-midwife who has devoted her life to serving and empowering people in underserved and marginalized communities. Nikia has more than 10 years experience working in public health, with her more recent work focusing on reproductive rights, birth justice, and midwifery. She is passionate about ensuring all persons have the rights and means to make decisions regarding their sexual and reproductive health.
Max Carwile, Knoxville TN
Alex Chambers, Nashville TN
Alexandra Chambers is a Ph.D. candidate at Vanderbilt University in religion and ethics. She has been working alongside people incarcerated in Tennessee’s jails and prisons for over ten years and currently provides pre-trial and jail support for criminalized survivors of domestic violence and for women criminalized for their pregnancy outcomes in the state. She is the policy co-chair for Healthy and Free Tennessee and is a founding member of Free Hearts, an organization led by formerly incarcerated women advocating for incarcerated mothers and their families.
Larry Frampton, Goodlettsville TN
Larry Frampton aka Cowboy Larry has lived in many places around the country and his activism has increased as he moved from Oregon to Reno, Nevada to New Mexico to Iowa and then to Tennessee where he’s lived for the past 10 years. He's a public speaker on HIV and has travelled around the country speaking at HIV conferences, retreats, World AIDS Day and other HIV awareness days about living with HIV and how to keep people from becoming infected. In Iowa, Larry was one of the founding members of Positive Iowans Taking Charge ( PITCH). As a certified HIV/ Hep C tester/counselor Larry found his niche and has worked in that capacity for many years. He has chaired many local, state, and national committees and HIV planning bodies. He most recently served as the chair of the Tennessee Association of People With AIDS. He is a past President of the Board for the Knoxville AIDS Housing Authority, and former chair of the Faith Coalition in Knoxville, which brought faith leaders to the table to discuss the stop of HIV and bring testing and prevention into the church. He is the current Co-chair for the Nashville Part A HIV Planning Council, which is a Mayor appointed position. He visits lawmakers in TN often to educate them and travels to D.C. several times a year to advocate for National HIV initiatives and funding. Cowboy Larry has received many accolades for his work including 2009 HIV worker of the year in Knoxville TN, Planned Parenthood’s Family Life Educator of the Year for Middle and East TN, and POZ Magazines POZ 100 for Long Term Survivors. He has dedicated his life to educate people about HIV and help others living with HIV/AIDS. He has lost two partners and over 300 friends to the disease.
LaRonia Hurd-Sawyer, Memphis TN
LaRonia Hurd-Sawyer holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS (2001) and a Masters of Public Health from University of Memphis (2009) at this time PEAS Inc was created to fill some of the gaps in holistic services of community members. Ms Hurd-Sawyer's graduate thesis focuses on the incarcerated male population and HIV/AIDS in the South. After obtaining a Masters of Science in Nursing from UT Memphis in 2015, her evolved goal was to explore some of the health disparities to see where she could implore additional services to positively impact Memphis communities. LaRonia is certified through the Centers For Disease Control to facilitate SISTA/D-UP. She is also employed as the Linkage to Care Specialist with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in the Infectious Disease Department overseeing the collaboration between local community-based organizations and the local health department to link newly diagnosed HIV positive youth into medical care. She also engages in street outreach in her spare time. LaRonia presently serves on the March of Dimes Program Services Committee, Memphis and Shelby County Health Department's Public Health Emergency Preparedness Health Professionals Committee, Mid-South Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Ryan White Planning Council, Connect 2 Protect Coalition, and Syphilis Elimination Coalition. More recently, she has enhanced skills in mental health and infection disease working as a Mental Health/Public Health nurse with Alliance Healthcare Services and PEAS Inc., linking HIV positive individuals to mental health services.
Brenda Gadd, Nashville TN
Brenda Gadd is a partner at Hancock & Gadd Public Strategies, where she represents nonprofits and socially conscious companies in the public policy arena. Prior to starting her own public affairs practice, Brenda served in lobbying and public policy roles for the Tennessee Bar Association and CivicPoint. In 2014, she managed the successful statewide retention election of three Tennessee Supreme Court Justices. Brenda began her career working on political campaigns and quickly rose through the ranks to serve as a chief of staff in the Tennessee Senate and then as a legislative liaison in Governor Bredesen’s administration. In addition to The Sycamore Institute, Brenda serves on volunteer boards for the Lawyers Association for Women’s Marion Griffith Chapter, Justice for Our Neighbors, Tennessee Equality Project, Tennessee Lobbyist Association and as a founding board member of Emerge Tennessee. Brenda has been recognized for her leadership through the Young Leaders Council, Leadership Middle Tennessee, and Nashville Emerging Leaders and serves as chapter director of Nashville’s New Leaders Council. Brenda is the proud alumna of Maryville College, Nashville School of Law, and the Women’s Campaign School of Yale University.
Lyndsey Godwin, Nashville TN
Lyndsey Godwin is the Assistant Director for the Carpenter Program in Religion, Gender, and Sexuality at Vanderbilt Divinity School. With an eye on intersections and multiple-issue lives, she works to connect academics, activist, organizers, artists, faith leaders, and educators in order to have deeper conversations and develop more impactful justice practices. While she primarily approaches her work looking at religion, gender, and sexuality first, she prioritizes community-based work that empowers youth, centralizes those most marginalized, and lifts up issues of racism, classism, and other forms of systematic oppression. She’s a queer, white, feminist sexuality educator, a youth volunteer in a Baptist church in the south, who is seeking to develop anti-racist practices and liberatory spaces that center engaged, shared learning.
Sara Jane Goodman, Memphis TN
Sara Jane Goodman resides in Midtown Memphis, TN. Currently Board President of CHOICES, Memphis Center for Reproductive Health and TN State Director for UniteWomen.org. Additionally Sara Jane is part of the national graphics team for UniteWomen.org and has been a strong advocate for women and all reproductive healthcare issues.
Jordan Scruggs, Chattanooga TN
Born and raised in Tennessee, Jordan Scruggs is a communicator and activist that specialises inreproductive justice and progressing LGBTQ rights. The passion of their community activism comes from being raised by a plethora ofBlack women and men who stressed the importance of change through community actions. Through this passion, Jordan has been an activist for progressing LGBTQ rights in Tennessee since advocating for anti-bullying rights for LGBTQ youth in schools to state politicians. Their hard work resulted in being given MTV’s Logo Youth Trailblazer Award and becoming a board member for Nooga Diversity Center. Recently their activism was highlighted by Organizing for Action which led to introducing the President of The United States, Barack Obama in 2015. Today Jordan focuses on writing with Echoing Ida to include the necessity of action for comprehensive reproductive education and justice in Tennessee.
Christina Perkins, Knoxville TN
Christina Perkins is a native Tennessean, having spent the first eighteen years of her life in Mountain City, Tennessee. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, where she was actively involved for several years with a semester long workshop known as the Female Sexuality Workshop where she first learned about her passion for the sexual and reproductive health and the rights of women. She also has a Master’s of Science in Social Work from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where she was active in the Master’s Student Organization, a Graduate Research Assistant, and volunteered to help coordinate UTK’s OUTstanding LGBTIQA Diversity conference. Christina is currently a practicing Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Knoxville, where she is working in community mental health and addiction treatment. She is proudly working with women who are parenting and pregnant and dealing with co-occurring diagnoses. She is newly a community canvasser and ever more passionate about making Tennessee a healthy and free state. In her down time, Christina is an active community theatre actress, a big sister, and a woman who spends a lot of time with her spouse, two elderly dachshunds and one troubled but loveable cat.
Corinne Rovetti, Knoxville TN
Corinne Rovetti, APRN-BC, FNP-BC, has been providing women’s health care services for almost 30 years. With an emphasis on preventive and holistic care, she is passionate about her work to educate and empower individuals to make responsible health care decisions to improve their lives. Corinne has been providing services at the Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health since 1988, and additionally serving as Co-Director at the center since 2000.
Pamela Weston, Sweetwater TN
After more than a decade teaching mathematics at the college level while volunteering for various arts and disability organizations, Pamela Weston took on the role of visual arts coordinator for a state-wide arts and disability organization, developing curriculum, arranging workshops, and providing support to visual artists. In 2014, she ran for State Representative. She holds an MS in Mathematics from East TN State University, graduated from the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities Partners in Policymaking and Leadership program in 2010, and received the VSA International Award for Excellence in Leadership 2011. She currently serves as a TN Promise mentor and is engaged in the pursuit of healthcare access in Tennessee and issues of importance to the health and well-being of women and children.
Briana Perry, State Co-Director
Briana is a native Memphian. She moved to Nashville in 2009 to attend college at Vanderbilt where she majored in Sociology and Women's and Gender Studies. She obtained her Master of Education in Learning, Diversity, and Urban Studies from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University in 2016. Before completing her master’s degree, Briana taught in Memphis for two years. It was during this time period that she began her work with HFTN around the Fetal Assault Law and the Vote No on 1 Campaign. Briana is able to bring her interest in Black feminism to the work, especially her salient interest in issues that affect Black mothers. Briana serves on the coordinating committee for the Official Black Lives Matter Memphis Chapter. Previously, Briana was a Program Coordinator at the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center at Vanderbilt. Contact: email@example.com.
Anna Carella, State Co-Director
Anna has been proud to call Tennessee home since 2009. She’s a Ph.D. candidate at Vanderbilt in Political Science with a Graduate Certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies. She became interested in community organizing while working overseas, inspired by international human rights activists who connect local advocacy to global justice and vice versa. She has lived and worked in France, Senegal, Bangladesh, Rwanda, and Afghanistan. She began working on reproductive freedom in Tennessee during the Vote No on 1 campaign in 2014 and has been involved with feminist organizing ever since, including the fight against the Fetal Assault law with HFTN. She led successful lobbying efforts for Advocates for Women's and Kids’ Equality (AWAKE) reducing sentences for HIV+ sex workers and strengthening legal protections for victims of domestic violence. She was a founding member of the Nashville chapter of Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ) and the Nashville Feminist Collective. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.