Leaders of Color Memphis Fellows Running for Public Office

September 6, 2023

We are excited to share that in 2023, several Leaders of Color Memphis alum are running for public office in the upcoming election on October 5, 2023!

These four leaders will bring extensive community and professional experience to the City Council in Memphis. As alumni of our program, each of these candidates has received 70 hours of training across all six dimensions of civic engagement as defined by the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U). While in the program, each fellow engages in issues that are impacting our communities right now - from legacy admissions, to book bans, to college credit pathways - while also diving deep into the historical issues that shape our systems and structures today. 

Meet our alumni leaders who are up for election:

Michalyn Easter-Thomas

Candidate for City Council D7

A lifetime of community involvement taught Michalyn that organizing with neighbors and community groups is about listening first, and must be followed up by passionate advocacy on their behalf. She is already well experienced in acquiring resources and community funding through grants and initiatives, and looks forward to using an elevated platform to amplify the voice of the community. As a former teacher, Easter-Thomas is passionate about education and leveraging community voice to empower students and families She recognizes a better future comes only through action in the present, and we can together build the communities our children deserve through action and advocacy. To donate visit

Brian Harris

Candidate for City Council D8-3

As a Memphis native, Harris cares deeply about the city. Harris is a product of the Memphis City School system, and he brings firsthand knowledge of the challenges in the education system to his passion for school improvement and ideas for change. A proud father of two, Kappa Alpha Psi life member, and board member of several organizations, he has the leadership, confidence, and heart to serve the people of Memphis with integrity. To donate visit.

Janika White

Candidate for City Council D8-2

Janika is no stranger to service. She was born into it. She’s the daughter of John and Anita White, who both worked at legacy Memphis City Schools as educators and administrators for nearly 40 years. Janika is also the niece of the late Reverend Ralph White of Bloomfield Baptist Church in the heart of South Memphis. Affectionately referred to as “Uncle Pokey,” Reverend White mentored Janika in civic and community service through his work with the Citizens for Community Values of Memphis, Shelby County Domestic Violence Task Force, the Civilian Law Enforcement Review Board, and the West Tennessee Field Representative for Promise Keepers International. Janika walked alongside Reverend White as he poured his heart for the people of Memphis, served with pride and dignity, and called for reform and justice time and time again in the courtroom. White's campaign platform and priorities focus on her passion for service, honesty, and leadership. Janika White sets herself apart from other candidates running for the Memphis City Council through her extensive experience as an attorney, her deep involvement in the Memphis community, and her strong campaign platform and priorities. To donate visit

Pearl Eva Walker

Candidate for City Council D3

Walker is deeply involved in the Memphis community, with a focus on energy and environmental justice. She has served as the Chair of the Environmental Justice Committee of the Memphis Branch of the NAACP. Her passion for helping her fellow Memphians led her to run for Memphis City Council in 2023 to help ensure Memphians have a just energy and environmental future. Walker works closely with local elected officials and organizations on various campaigns, such as the Memphis Has The Power campaign. To donate visit

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