Dear Alliance Family, 

We'd like to thank all of you-our members-for encouraging your staff, board members, constituents and other stakeholders to vote in Tuesday's election.  Voter engagement is a critical part of the work we do as nonprofits, not only because it empowers the people and the communities that we serve, but also helps to further our missions, makes us part of critical public policy discussions, and enhances our ongoing advocacy efforts.  We've just concluded a very divisive national election focused on some polarizing issues.  Some of you may be feeling discouraged, fearful and anxious about what the future has in store for our country and our communities.  As nonprofits, our work becomes more important than ever.  We provide safe spaces for people to begin to improve their lives, to heal and move forward, and to connect with the community. 

In an article in yesterday's Nonprofit Quarterly, nonprofits were encouraged to:

  • Work on advocacy strategies to build the capacity of our organizations to protect marginalized people and communities and participate in campaigns to advance ideas and initiatives.
  • Be ready to engage in active collaborations across identity groups, causes and fields to protect and advance the health and voice of the communities we serve.
  • Engage more with our constituents to keep them informed and ready to mobilize.
  • Maintain a vision of the communities, nation and world we all want to see.

At the Alliance, our work around building a collective voice for the local nonprofit sector also becomes even more important.  We are here to help shed a light on those sector-wide issues that impact all of us.  In January, we'll be convening field of service committees to engage the sector in determining public policy priorities.  We plan to share the information and recommendations we receive from these committees with the City's 3.0 comprehensive plan. 

Here are the committees:

Arts & Culture

Chair: Elizabeth Rouse, ArtsMemphis

Includes: Visual and performing arts, museums and music

Children, Youth, & Education

Co-Chairs: Marlon Foster, Knowledge Quest, Richard Graham, JIFF

Includes: Early childhood, extended learning and out of school programs, pre-K through 16

Community and Economic Development

Co-Chairs: Tim Bolding, United Housing, David Jordan, Agape Child and Family Services

Includes: Includes, housing, blight removal, neighborhood improvement, economic development, and poverty reduction

Employment, Workforce Development & Adult Education

Chair: TBA

Includes: Job training, women and minority business development, personal and career development

Environment, Conservation, Parks and Animal Welfare

Chair: Tina Sullivan, Overton Park Conservancy

Includes: Clean water, air and city, recycling, greenways, biking, parks, community gardens, agriculture, and well-being of animals

Health & Wellness

Co-Chairs: Pete Conerly, Synergy Treatment Centers, Dr. Barry-Lewis Harris, Common Table Health Alliance

Includes: Includes medical care, mental health, substance abuse treatment, research, and biomedical

Human Services, Public Safety, and Legal Assistance

Co-Chairs:Sally Heinz, MIFA

Harrison McIver, Memphis Area Legal Services

Includes:Basic needs such as food, shelter, and clothing, transportation, disaster preparedness, and accessibility

Diversity, Inclusion & Equity

Chair: Mauricio Calvo

Includes: Civil and human rights, social justice and equity

If you'd like to serve on a committee, please email me and let me know.

The Alliance will also host its second Nonprofit Day on the Hill to continue educating our state legislators about the impact of the sector and the importance of the work we are doing across the state of Tennessee.  February 15th is the date for this, and we hope that many of you will want to participate again once we open registration. This past February, over 50 nonprofits joined us, and this year we hope even more will join.

There's no doubt we will have more work to do over the next few years as we fulfill our missions to address the needs of marginalized communities and people living in poverty. Whatever challenges we might face, we will face them together. Please know that the Alliance is here to support your efforts and to help project that voice for the sector that is so important for creating strong and healthy communities. 

All the best, 

Nancy McGee

Chief Administrative Officer