Shawn Trivette, Ph.D.

Shawn Trivette, Ph.D.

Dr. Shawn Trivette has been a Tennessean most of his life, growing up outside of Knoxville, attending college in Cookeville, and now residing in the Chattanooga area. He earned his PhD in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst in 2012 and has previously held faculty appointments in Louisiana and at UTC. He currently works remotely as a data scientist for a non-profit based in Washington, DC. In his spare time, he has been analyzing Tennessee voting patterns from 2008-2020; more on this project can be found at

(Photo illustration by John Partipilo)

Commentary: We cannot address racism if we can’t talk about race

By: - March 3, 2022

Lawmakers in Tennessee are pushing some bills that would ease the removal of books from school libraries, limit diversity initiatives in higher education, and restrict the teaching of diversity and equity concepts at the college level (the so-called ban on Critical Race Theory).  These bills represent an effort to legislate away uncomfortable truths and bend […]

A vaccination clinic at Casa Azafran in Nashville, March 28, 2021. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Commentary: Ending the COVID Pandemic is Easy: Get Vaccinated, Get Boosted

By: - February 16, 2022

One of my favorite board games for many years now is Pandemic. In this game, players try to discover cures to four diseases while keeping those diseases from getting out of control. It requires a little luck and a lot of cooperation, as everyone wins or loses together. As we approach two years of living […]

On Wednesday, the legislative redistricting committee unveiled new congressional maps. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Commentary: Republican maps are undermining democracy

By: - January 18, 2022

The proposed electoral maps recently unveiled by Republicans represent not only a brazen partisan power move, but a party  disconnected from and disinterested in the voices of the people. Despite both the House and Senate Redistricting Committees holding public hearings in the last few months of 2021 and accepting submissions from both private citizens and […]


Commentary: Partisan gerrymandering must end

By: - November 22, 2021

In all that seems to divide us today, there are still a few core values Americans share across the political spectrum. Among those are democracy and fairness.  We believe strongly that the collective will of equal citizens should be reflected in public decisions, without unfair privileges or disadvantages. Whether our preferred candidate wins or loses, […]