Greetings District 6 and campaign supporters,
I feel like I have been in the good fight for equitable education for a good portion of my life as I grew up not only as a product of legacy Memphis City Schools, but my mother, Darryl Williams, served in the district for 35+ years and my father-in-law, Dr. JL Perry Jr. was the first Athletics Director for SCS and the SCIAA. A graduate of Double Tree Elementary and Whitehaven High School, I am proud to be from the Whitehaven Community and want to invest my time and focus to pouring into the students from the community that helped to shape who I am.
In 2018, my husband Jason, son Jaxson and I decided to relocate from Texas back home to Memphis because I wanted to make a difference in the community that made me who I am. After living in Dallas Texas for 10 years and working with the National Football League (NFL) and the American Heart Association to implement their NFL PLAY 60 program in K-12 schools across this country, I was able to connect with many educators, parents and students and see first-hand the challenges that many of our teachers, families and students are faced with in public education. During a time when physical education and athletics funding was being cut from school budgets nationwide, I had the opportunity to work with local and state legislators, advocating for more funding to support physical education resources in public education. I knew immediately that this was my life’s work and where I wanted to focus my time and energy to impacting change. What better community than Memphis, the city that made me who I am.
In December of 2018, my family and I sold our home in Texas, and relocated back to Memphis where I was offered the Public Information Officer position with Memphis – Shelby County Schools. During my time with the district, I worked as district spokesperson and alongside the Office of Academics and Dr. Antonio Burt to create and launch the 3rd Grade Commitment and the #Commit2Literacy campaign, I worked with local celebrities to create and launch the District’s Bedtime Story Video series giving parents “at-home” resources to help promote literacy, I collaborated with community partners to address barriers to literacy in Shelby County as a part of the District’s 3rd Grade Commitment and created several literacy events to include:
- 3rd Grade Commitment Community and Parent meetings
- District wide Read Around the Christmas Tree
- Boo For Books
My passion for serving in the Whitehaven, Westwood, South Memphis and Riverside communities were always a top priority even when having discussions with community partners. Working collaboratively with Crye Like and University of Memphis Athletics, I had the pleasure of organizing A Tiger Blue Holiday for the students at Gardenview Elementary, providing some holiday cheer to this school community during the holiday season.
I was fortunate, even before making the decision to move home to Memphis, to be co-founder of the Whitehaven Empowerment Expo (2016). The Expo was birthed in support of alignment of the Whitehaven Empowerment Zone initiative, and was designed to enlighten, empower, and expose students to the many career options they have beyond high school graduation. In year one, we galvanized more than 100 alumni to return to Whitehaven to participate in this initiative. Due to the pandemic, the last Expo we were able to host was in 2019 where we wanted to “DO MORE” with exposing the students in 38109 and 38116 zip codes to the many opportunities they have beyond high school. That year, we expanded the expo to all eight schools that made up the Whitehaven Empowerment Zone. With an intense focus around careers and activities related to social emotional learning, mental health, and wellness, the 2019 event was a 400-person volunteer effort that was extremely successful within the community and received quite a bit of media coverage for its lasting impact with students and parents. The Expo will return in the Fall of 2022, and we look forward to expanding these efforts to the entire District 6 Community. Here are a few news articles regarding the Whitehaven Empowerment Expo.
I am a proven servant leader who is a true believer in fostering a collaborative work environment as I am passionate about contributing to collaborative efforts that advance the educational opportunities for students in Memphis and the entire Delta region. I was recently selected by the eight governors that represent the states that make up the Delta Region, as a member of the Delta Regional Authority’s 2022 class of Leadership Institute Executive Academy Fellows.
In addition to being wife to my loving husband Jason, mom to my outgoing son Jaxson, and fur baby mom to my three English Bulldogs Ms. Peabody, Diesel and Joker, I am also a member of the Memphis Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated.
As the first Chief of Staff at Mississippi’s oldest most prestigious historically black college, the importance of education continues to be a passion and top priority of mine. I look forward to continuing to advocate for students and teachers and continuing in my quest to assure equitable educational opportunities for the students in the city of Memphis and within Memphis-Shelby County Schools.