During the Fall of 2016, Diarese George, a former classroom teacher in the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System, formed a new organization, the Tennessee Educators of Color Alliance (TECA) to provide a platform to amplify the voice and presence of educators of color. Diarese saw a lack of people of color involved in education policy at all levels, as well as a lack of convening space and resources in Tennessee for the recruitment and retention of educators of color. Diarese engaged colleagues from across Tennessee to form a Steering Committee that discussed the landscape of what’s trending in teacher diversity, and began to develop an identity of the unique strengths such an organization could bring to the table.
TECA submitted its 501(c)3 paperwork in early fall of 2017 to formalize its status as a new non-profit in Tennessee, and has since been approved by the federal government. Around the same time, TECA was selected by Conexion Americas as a sub-grantee for its educational equity grants. These grants are designed to advance the capacity of Conexion America’s partner organizations across Tennessee to become leading voices in education advocacy efforts, especially on behalf of communities and students of color.
Since then, TECA has formed a full Board of Directors, intentionally targeting a diverse community of educators coming to the table with experience at a variety of levels of the education system. Our mission is to amplify the voice, presence, and support for educators of color while remaining teacher-led, student-centered and solutions-oriented. We aim to provide mentorship, fellowship, and leadership for educators of color in Nashville in our first year, with a five year plan to expand offerings across the state.