Celebrating 100 Years Of Women’s Suffrage

In celebration of 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage join WTF’s Honor Roll!

Women for Tennessee’s Future (WTF) is celebrating 100 years of Women’s Suffrage and we hope you will join us by honoring women in your life who embody the courage, fight and grit of our suffragists!

WTF is committed to advancing women’s equality by electing Democratic, pro-choice women to office. We accomplish that by ensuring our endorsed candidates have the necessary resources to run winning campaigns. This is where you come in!

This historic month, you can help WTF meet its August fundraising goal of $2,020!

Can you chip in $20.20 and join our Honor Roll?  (Click here to join)

In recognition of your generous contribution we hope you will honor a woman (or women) in your life who is an advocate, champion, inspiration, fighter, trailblazer, history maker!

Here’s how it works:

  1. Chip-In $20.20 and we will add you to our Honor Roll on our website
  2. Honor a woman in your life by completing one of the statements below
  3. Send us your statement and a photo of your honoree or both of you together
  4. We will send you social media graphics for the both of you to share to celebrate 100 years of women’s suffrage in August
  • [Your Name] honors her/his [Their Name] for their commitment to….
  • [Your Name] honors her/his [Their Name] for their courage to….
  • [Your Name] honors her/his [Their Name] for their leadership on….
  • Or modify and create your own!

WTF would love to share your statements and graphics on our social media channels, but you may also request to keep them private for your own personal use – no problem! 

WTF recognizes that when the 19th Amendment was ratified in August 1920, it was primarily a victory for white women. In the years leading up to and for decades after that passage, women of color tirelessly fought to ensure ALL women could exercise their right to vote. We hope that our honor roll will recognize this reality by sharing and celebrating stories about the broad diversity of inspirational women.

WTF’s Honor Roll (alphabetical by last name):

Krissa Barclay honors County Clerk Brenda Wynn for being a mentor to young women through her example, sharing her story and walking in her faith.

Krissa Barclay honors Phyllis Williams and her ability to never let life or politics make her cynical.

Aftyn Behn honorher mother, Julianne Behn, for raising her to know her power to fight the powerful.

Karen Cochran honors her mother Shirley Crawford Dunn for her lifelong commitment to women’s issues and her commitment to racial equity.

Lori Jarvis Stephens honors her sister, Anna Jarvis, for her courage in facing challenges with tenacity and sparkle! 

Mina Johnson honors her mother Shizuka Suzuki for her strength for raising her as a single mother.

Sarah McCall honors her Momma, Lynn McCall, for her commitment to equality, always.

Jessica McDuffie-Massey honors her college roommates, Amanda Bihun, Quin Segall Evans, Katie Terry, and Kelly Cutcheon Talley, for their unwavering love, support and commitment to the fight for women’s equality.

Sandra McMullin Bennett honors Keri Adams, Past CEO of Planned Parenthood of Middle & East Tennessee, for her long-time work as an advocate for women’s reproductive rights and for her unwavering support of moving women forward. She and her husband are raising three amazing daughters who will, undoubtedly, follow in her footsteps so the work will go on.   

Sandra McMullin Bennett honors Cynthia Bennett, a fierce warrior for women’s equality through her work with the National Organization for Women and the Davidson County Democratic Women.  She sets an example through her work and her voice and she’s more than exceeded what any of the Tennessee Suffragist would have ever thought possible. 

Sandra McMullin Bennett honors Mary Frances Lyle, an attorney who served as the lobbyist for the Nashville and Tennessee Women’s Political Caucus for over twenty-six years.  She was a tireless advocate for women and mentor to so many.  She left big shoes to be filled and those of us who knew her and worked with her are still trying our best to fill them. 

Tina Mercer honors Shirlene Mercer for her commitment to Civil Rights. She was one of the Four Freshman at Lane College that fought during Civil Rights.

Rebecca Pearce honors her mother, Linda Pearce, for her commitment to health care access and women’s health.

Danielle Schonbaum honors Tracy O’Connor for always working for the women she wants to see in office and fighting to eliminate voter suppression.

Jackie Shrago honors Pat Burton (my oldest who recently past at 93) & Leah (my youngest age 9) who have always believed women should be elected and encouraged me to participate in campaigns.

Kim Troup honors her amazing friend Clarice Rankins for her commitment to registering people to vote.

One Week Until August 6th Election Day

Today we are one week from the statewide primary and municipal election on August 6th. If you have not cast your ballot yet, WTF encourages you to vote early to avoid long lines on Election Day. Early voting ends on Saturday and you can find polling times and locations through your County Election Commission.

WTF has 15 endorsed candidates on the ballot across the state, but we wanted to take a moment to highlight our candidates in competitive primaries or races which they must win on August 6th.

You can click the names below to read each candidate’s profile on our website. If you are able, we encourage you to pick one or two candidates and chip-in a final contribution before Election Day.

There is a link to donate directly to their campaigns in each of their profiles on our website. 100% of your contribution goes directly to the candidate.

Our candidates are still running digital ads and paying for the last of their mail to ensure they Get Out The Vote

Candidates in Democratic Primaries for the State Legislature
These three candidates must win their Democratic Primary to continue on to the General Election in November.

Re-Elect State Senator Sara Kyle  (Memphis)

Jane George for Senate District 6 (Knoxville)

Dominique Primer for House District 84 (Memphis)

Candidates for Local Office
August 6th is the final Election Day for Alderman Dunn and Ashli Shockley. There are 2 open seats and 3 candidates in the race. Join us in helping elect both women Alderman in Tullahoma!

Re-Elect Robin Dunn Tullahoma Alderman

Ashli Shockley for Tullahoma Alderman

Thank you for stepping up to support our endorsed candidates in the final week before Election Day. Together, with your help, we will #ElectWTFWomen on August 6th.

It’s Pride Month! Let’s Keep Making History

JUNE IS PRIDE MONTH!

I join WTF in celebrating Pride during the month of June. In 2015, I earned one of WTF’s earliest endorsements when I ran for Nashville Metro Council.

With your help, I made history as the first openly LGBTQ woman elected to a legislative body in the state of Tennessee when I won that race!

As any candidate knows, it takes bravery to put your name on the ballot and run for office. Having an organization like WTF support and invest in my candidacy gave me additional courage and strength to run as my authentic self and win.

Last year, I ran for re-election and earned WTF’s support again. During that campaign, I pledged that if 4 or more LGBTQ people were elected to Nashville Metro Council, I would form an LGBTQ Caucus to advocate for all LGBTQ Nashvillians.

With the help of WTF, we did just that: I won my race again and Nashville made history by electing 5 openly LGBTQ Councilmembers in one year. I am proud to Chair the first-ever Nashville Metro Council LGBTQ Caucus, which became a reality in October 2019.

WTF is changing the face of TN politics and I am grateful for the organization’s many years of support.

Will you help us continue the mission by joining WTF’s Monthly Giving Team? Please make a monthly sustaining contribution of $5 or more and WTF will send you their signature wine glass!

SIGN ME UP >>> https://bit.ly/WTFgivemonthly

I made my contribution and have been using my WTF wine glass throughout the quarantine. We can’t be together in person to celebrate Pride month, but we can raise a glass together and celebrate the strides we have made and will continue to make in the future.

Your support means so much to endorsed candidates like myself. Let’s continue to make history together and #ElectWTFWomen this year! 

In Solidarity,

Councilmember Nancy VanReece
Nashville Metro Councilmember, District 8

WTF Stands in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter.

WTF is inspired by the thousands of people in Tennessee and across the nation that are rising up in peaceful protests and demonstrations to demand justice in the murder of George Floyd.  Black Lives Matter and we stand in solidarity with the organizations, activists, and organizers leading this movement to demand reform to our criminal justice system including police practices, the use of force and aggressive policing.

But we need protest AND politics, as President Barack Obama noted earlier this week:


WTF is laser focused on electoral politics and supporting diverse women who will advocate change that represents our values.

On Tuesday, WTF participated in the #BlackOutTuesday movement on Instagram to make space for Black voices and leaders. Today, we ask that you invest in making sure Black women are heard now, on Election Day, and at the State Capitol in Nashville.

You can help WTF elect more Black women to office at the local and state level in Tennessee. WTF has endorsed three Black women who are running strong campaigns for the State Legislature.

Please chip in $25, $35, $50 or more to each of their campaigns right now:

100% of your contribution goes directly to their campaigns.

Thank you in advance for generously supporting our endorsed candidates. Together we will #ElectWTFWomen.

In Solidarity,

Women for Tennessee’s Future

Host A Virtual House Party For WTF!

As candidates adjust the way they campaign in the new era of COVID-19 and #StayHome, WTF must adjust our model as well. Our mission isn’t changing. In fact, leveling the financial playing field for female candidates is even more important as fundraising becomes more and more challenging.

For that reason, it is critical that WTF keep growing our movement. We must inspire more folks to join our 2020 Team!

Here is one way you can help WTF: 
Can you host a 1-hour virtual “house party” or “social hour” with us for your friends?


To host, you provide the invite list, and gather 15-25 of your friends, book club members, neighbors, and/or colleagues to join a Zoom conference call.

To be clear, this is not WTF spreading the word to our list, because those folks are already with us and on our team! We need your help if you think you have 15-25 people who are not aware about WTF, but you think they will be supportive of our mission and should be aware of us!

WTF will provide an invitation for you to send to your invitees, Zoom conferencing software, a presentation, and a couple speakers to talk about WTF’s mission.

If you’d like to see an invitation example, please CLICK HERE for the invite to the first Virtual House Party we hosted in March.

Interested? Email our Executive Director, Sarah McCall, to get started:
sarah@womenfortnfuture.org

Thank you for considering this request! This is an important way you can support WTF right now! With your help, we will #ElectWTFWomen in 2020.

Endorsed Candidate Spotlight: Tami Sawyer

LET’S HELP ELECT TAMI SAWYER

We have an opportunity to make history and elect the first female Mayor of Memphis. County Commissioner Tami Sawyer is a dynamic leader and social justice activist committed to building coalitions across communities to make Memphis fairer and more equitable for all because “Memphis Can’t Wait”!

As the race for Mayor becomes increasingly vitriolic, WTF is proud to endorse and stand with Commissioner Sawyer. Just a few days ago, Memphis Magazine pulled its September issue and offered an apology for cover art that displayed racist and sexist caricatures of Commissioner Sawyer.

As a Shelby County elected official, Commissioner Sawyer deserves respect. Chip in $100, $50 or $25 to let Tami know that you stand with her.

Tami’s opponents, incumbent Mayor Jim Strickland and former Mayor Willie Herenton, refuse to attend a public debate with her, denying Memphis voters an opportunity to hear from all of the candidates. Furthermore, both Strickland and Herenton refuse to say Commissioner Sawyer’s name at public events. Herenton instead refers to her as the “young lady”.

Women deserve better. And Memphis deserves leaders who will lead with courage and offer their vision for the city in a public debate.

This race is historic. Can you make a contribution to Tami right now to help WTF make history?

Election Day is October 3rd. If you live in Memphis, please cast your ballot for Tami Sawyer.

Together, we can and we will #ElectWTFWomen

Endorsed Candidate Spotlight: Indya Kincannon

LET’S HELP ELECT INDYA KINCANNON

WTF-endorsed candidate Indya Kincannon is in a very competitive race to become Knoxville’s next Mayor. Current Mayor Madeline Rogero is term-limited, so this is an open-seat. In August, Indya and a Conservative businessman advanced to the General run-off. Election Day is November 5th.

Indya is a long-time community leader, teacher, mom, and former special program manager in Mayor Madeline Rogero’s administration. She was elected to the Knox County Board of Education in 2004, serving 10 years and chairing the Board for three of those years.

Early in the campaign, the Knoxville News Sentinel pointed out that

“Indya Kincannon may have the smallest campaign war chest among the three major candidates for mayor, but she is clearly competitive, and there’s a feeling among close local political watchers that she will make it through the Aug. 27 primary to a likely runoff election in November.”

Can you chip in $25 to Indya’s campaign right now? 

WTF was founded for exactly this reason – to help level the financial playing field for female candidates who historically have a harder time raising the needed resources to run for office.

Furthermore, growing the number of female executive office holders is challenging, making this race a priority for WTF. Historically, voters are much more accustomed to seeing and supporting women public officials as members of a deliberative body like School Board, City Council or the State Legislature.

With your help, we can change historical trends like thisChip in $25 right now.

At our peak, Tennessee has had three Democratic women Mayors of our top five largest cities. With Mayor Rogero being term-limited this year, Tennessee is in jeopardy of having ZERO Democratic women Mayors of our top five largest cities after 2019. 

We can’t let that happen.

And, of course, if you live in Knoxville, please cast your vote for Indya Kincannon!

Thanks for stepping up to support an impressive WTF-endorsed candidate! Let’s #ElectWTFWomen Mayor! 

WTF Celebrates Black History Month

In 2017 and 2018 a record number of African-American women ran for office and won their elections in Tennessee. During Black History Month, WTF shared the impressive stories of 24 trailblazing elected officials who broke barriers. This list is not exhaustive as many more black women serve in office than we could feature in one month.

If you haven’t been following along on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, please click on our social media links and search the hashtag #WTFCelebratesBlackHistoryMonth. You can go back and read through their inspiring profiles and #BlackGirlMagic facts. 

From their stories we see different pathways to office and a diversity of backgrounds, ages and life experiences, but what is most important is that these women are reshaping what it means to be an elected official. They are leading in their own authentic ways and using their voices to change their communities for the better. Many of these electeds are the first or the only African-American woman to serve on their respective governing body and WTF is committed to ensuring they are not the last.

Let’s keep the #BlackGirlMagic going!

WTF has endorsed Juanita Charles in the Special Election for Senate District 22, in Houston, Montgomery, and Stewart counties. Juanita is unopposed in the March 7th Democratic Primary. General Election Day is Tuesday, April 23rd, so WTF is asking our members to step up right now and join us in supporting her.

In 2018, Tennessee elected three black women in the same year to the State Senate for the first time in our state’s history. Let’s make history one more time and send Juanita Charles to join them in the Senate!

In honor of the 24 women leaders we featured during Black History Month, can you make a $24 contribution to Juanita’s campaign for State Senate?

Give Online: http://bit.ly/WTFforJuanita

(100% of your contribution that you give online, goes directly to Juanita’s campaign.)

Thank you for stepping up to help us #ElectWTFWomen!

Tennessee women talk about need for political participation, more female representation

Chattanooga Times Free Press, February 9, 2019

The 2018 midterm elections were dubbed by some “The Second Year of the Woman” as elected offices across the country saw an increase in women in their seats.

On the federal level, there was a 4 percent increase in female representation, but despite electing its first female senator, Tennessee still lags behind other states.

Women here remain vastly underrepresented in political offices.

Read moreTennessee women talk about need for political participation, more female representation

Endorsed Candidate Spotlight: Danielle Schonbaum

MEET DANIELLE SCHONBAUM

WTF-endorsed candidate Danielle Schonbaum is running for House District 83, a competitive district in Shelby County, where Hillary Clinton only garnered 45% of the vote in 2016.  But a blue wave rolled through Shelby County during the August elections–and we need your help to continue that wave in November.

Danielle has worked in the financial industry for more than twenty years and wants to keep state government accountable to all Tennesseans. As the Director of Research at the Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce, Danielle works every day to strengthen Shelby County’s workforce, giving employees the skills they need to thrive, and providing employers with a say in how training programs are structured.

Danielle’s strategy for strengthening Shelby County includes access to pre-k regardless of zip code, expanding access to affordable healthcare, including Medicaid expansion, and common sense gun legislation that is long overdue in Tennessee.

Her opponent, Rep. Mark White, has routinely voted against the interests of women. He was a supporter of Amendment One, voted in favor of defunding Planned Parenthood and opposed Medicaid expansion.

Can you chip in $10 today to Danielle’s campaign so that we help her across the finish line?

CONTRIBUTE: http://bit.ly/WTFforDanielle

(100% of your contribution goes directly to Danielle’s campaign)

Together, we will #ElectWTFWomen. Thanks for stepping up