Memphis Leaders of Color Election Winners - October 2023

October 5, 2023

We are thrilled to announce that Leaders of Color Alum Janika White has unofficially WON her campaign for Memphis-Shelby County D8-2! Leaders of Color is also proud to have supported the race of Paul Young who has also unofficially won his political campaign for Mayor of Memphis, TN.  

Join us in congratulating Leaders of Color Alum Pearl Eva Walker and Michalyn Easter-Thomas  on securing their spot in a run-off election for their Memphis-Shelby County City Council seat in November 2023 and Brian Harris on a well run race for City Council.  

‍Meet the Leaders of Color Memphis-Shelby County 2023 Candidates:

Paul Young, Mayor - Memphis

Paul and his wife Dr. Jamila Smith-Young were born and raised in Memphis, and today they are proud to raise their two kids here. Paul is running for mayor to build a Memphis that every child can one day be proud of and feel welcomed. By investing in the potential of our residents and embracing the city’s rich culture, Memphis can be a top destination for tourists, growing families, creatives, and aspiring entrepreneurs. We have what it takes to elevate Memphis to the next level, and with your support we will. Growing up in the Oakhaven neighborhood, Paul learned at an early age that there were two Memphises – one ripe with opportunity and prosperity, and another lacking resources and safe neighborhoods. Determined to bridge this divide, Paul pursued a career focused on building a Memphis that works for every resident. Leading the Downtown Memphis Commission and the City of Memphis Division of Housing and Community Development, Paul applied a holistic approach to unifying the city through public and private partnerships and targeted investments in our future.

Janika White, 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. Affectionately referred to as “Uncle Pokey,” Reverend White mentored Janika 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. Janika’s campaign platform and priorities focus on her passion for service, honesty, and leadership. She 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.

Michalyn Easter-Thomas, 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.

Pearl Eva Walker, 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.

Brian Harris, 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.

More You might like

Alumni in Action: Terrance Brown Jr. Brings Community Together to Solve Problems

Terrance Brown Jr., a Leaders of Color alum in Washington D.C., shares his motivation and drive to bring people together to solve systemic challenges in education and beyond.

January 21, 2022
2024 Mid-Year Impact Reflection

At the mid-way point of 2024, we are taking stock of the incredible progress our alumni have made across our sites in education policy, political and civic leadership, and community engagement. 

January 21, 2022

Stay connected with our work!

Our monthly newsletter provides a snapshot of our work to build Black and Latino civic engagement and political power in our communities.