The Look in Brief

Equity Alliances staffs up

By: - June 29, 2020 12:55 pm

The Equity Alliance, a statewide non-profit focused on the civic and economic empowerment of the Black community, announced today the addition of seven new staff members to assist the organization as it expands its operations.

The staff additions will add capacity to The Equity Alliance’s community organizing, voter outreach and Covid-19 response efforts. Charlane Oliver, co-founder and co-executive director, said the non-profit’s growth is in response to a greater need than ever before in Tennessee for organizing to address social, civic and economic inequity.

“Americans are currently engaged in the deepest national discussion about race and white supremacy in our lifetime,” said Oliver. “We’re at a critical juncture where we can’t let up on our quest for lasting policy change and liberation.”

Charlane Oliver, executive director of The Equity Alliance.
Charlane Oliver, executive director of The Equity Alliance.

“In addition, the Covid-19 pandemic presents unique challenges to the Black community nationally and in Tennessee. The fight for equity has never been more important, and we are laser focused on making sure civic and economic opportunities for Black Tennesseans make way for a fair and just America,” Oliver said. “The Equity Alliance is thrilled to have an incredible team to help us navigate the current crisis while showing up for everyday people.”

Co-Founder Tequila Johnson officially joins the staff as Co-Executive Director with Oliver. Johnson, who has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Tennessee State University, led the 2018 Tennessee Black Voter Project. She has also received the 2019 Human Rights Coalition Rising Advocate Award, the 2019 NAACP Ella Baker Power Award and served as Tennessee state director for the Tom Steyer presidential campaign. 

Other staff additions are: 

  • Tori Griffin, Organizing Director. Griffin interned in President Bill Clinton’s administration and has since worked on the presidential campaigns of Al Gore, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton. A native of Knoxville, he is a graduate of Morehouse College.
    Tori Griffin (Photo: Submitted)
    Tori Griffin (Photo: Submitted)

  • Tamika White, Statewide Organizer. A native of Nashville, White has volunteered with the Equity Alliance for several years prior to assuming her full-time role. She assisted the organization with the Tennessee Black Voter Project and the #CountMeInTN census awareness project, among other issues. 
  • RaCarol Woodard, Community Organizer. Woodard joined the Equity Alliance in March to lead both tornado and COVID-19 recovery responses as well as the statewide rural Health Equity organizing project. Woodard previously worked as the campaign manager for District 21 Councilman Brandon Taylor and with the Tennessee Democratic Party. 
  • Tiffany Provenzano, Operations Manager. An experienced volunteer for political and social justice campaigns, Provenzano will provide administrative support for the organization.
  • Tereva Parham, Communications Consultant. Since 2017, Tereva has held roles as a volunteer, event logistics liaison, and team lead for The Equity Alliance. In serving as the consultant Communications Manager, she will strengthen the organization’s voice and manage streamlined integrated communications. 
  • Henry Hicks, Civic Engagement Intern. A 2020 Harry S. Truman Scholar and Nashville native, Henry will provide support for the organization’s civic engagement programs. He is a former intern for U.S. Congressman Jim Cooper and previously worked as a field organizer for the Kamala Harris For the People presidential campaign.

Founded in 2016 by six Black women, the mission of The Equity Alliance is to equip Black citizens with tools and strategies to engage in the civic process and empower them to take action on issues affecting their daily lives.

In the last few months, the organization has served as the lead organizer for the peaceful “I Will Breath” rally at the Tennessee State Capitol to protest the killing of Minneapolis resident George Floyd and delivered an extensive set of recommendations to Mayor John Cooper for prioritizing $121 million in federal CARES Act funding to assist COVID-19 economic recovery in the Black community. For more information, contact

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J. Holly McCall
J. Holly McCall

Holly McCall has been a fixture in Tennessee media and politics for decades. She covered city hall for papers in Columbus, Ohio and Joplin, Missouri before returning to Tennessee with the Nashville Business Journal. Holly brings a deep wealth of knowledge about Tennessee’s political processes and players and likes nothing better than getting into the weeds of how political deals are made.