The Tennessee Titans today announced its inaugural ONE Community Advisory Committee, which will consult and advise on the platform’s sixteen programs over the course of a one-year term. The committee features leaders in the fields of community and education who will strengthen and grow ONE Community across Middle Tennessee, as well as assist with reporting and accountability measures.
The 2023 committee members include:
· Brenda Gilmore, Tennessee State Senator (2018-2022)
· Freda Player, Executive Director, Emerge Tennessee
· Dr. Candice McQueen, President, Lipscomb University
· Dr. Ricki Gibbs, Principal, Warner Elementary
· Johari Matthews, Vice President and Executive Director, Titans Foundation
· Gil Beverly, Sr. Vice President, Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer, Tennessee Titans
Gilmore and Player serve as the committee’s Community Partners, with extensive experience advocating for underrepresented and marginalized communities. Gilmore served as State Senator from 2018-2022 representing the 19th District. She began her career in public service as a member of Metro Nashville Council and 12 years in the Tennessee House of Representatives. She is an alumnus of Tennessee State University. Gilmore is highly regarded for her service and is an advocate for community partnerships to support nonprofits and BIPOC communities.
“After serving the Nashville people for nearly three decades, I watched ‘Music City’ grow from a place of great potential into the thriving and vibrant community it is now,” Gilmore said. “With city growth, also comes a responsibility to foster expanded efforts in community impact. The Titans ONE Community platform addresses many of Nashville’s greatest needs, especially in focus areas I feel most passionately about. I look forward to working with my esteemed colleagues on the ONE Community Advisory Committee in support of these diligently crafted community programs to ensure that they benefit all of Davidson County and Tennessee.”
Player is a graduate of Fisk University with an extensive background and career in political science. She serves as Executive Director of Emerge Tennessee, and currently serves as a school board member for Metro Nashville Public Schools, representing District 7 which encompasses South Nashville’s Glencliff area. Player is also the former political director of Service Employer International Union (SEIU).
McQueen and Gibbs serve as the committee’s Education Partners, highlighting the importance of Education as one of three pillars for the ONE Community platform. McQueen currently serves as the 18th President of Lipscomb University. In her role as education commissioner under former governor Bill Haslam, she collaborated with and monitored 147 school districts and hundreds of nonpublic and charter schools to serve the one million students across TN. She created and led the strategic plan for Tennessee Succeeds, which aimed to increase college and career readiness for students.
Gibbs currently serves as the Principal of Warner Elementary School, located in East Nashville. Gibbs’ service to grow access and resources at his school became nationally recognized through NPR’s highly acclaimed podcast, The Promise, and was recognized as Principal of the Year by his peers and MNPS in 2020. Gibbs is respected throughout the Nashville community for his commitment to education, development, and support for educators and his involvement in the East Nashville community.
“Ensuring all of our children in our city receive a world class education has to be a priority for everyone,” Dr. Gibbs sad. “I am thankful for the Titans leadership in bringing our city together to ensure we are tackling issues of community building together.”
Matthews and Beverly will serve as the Titans’ representatives on the committee, with Matthews serving as committee lead. She joined the Titans in 2022 as Program Director and was promoted to Vice President and Executive Director of the Titans Foundation in 2023. She is a North Nashville native and graduate of TSU. Beverly joined the Titans in 2019 and serves as Sr. Vice President, Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer. With Matthews, he will work with committee members to strengthen external partnerships and provide strategic direction.
“We are honored and so thankful to our first-year committee members for their willingness to help us make ONE Community the most impactful initiative it can possibly be,” Matthews said. “They each share our passion to create generational change for one person, one family, and one community at a time, and we are confident that their experience and expertise in their fields will help us accomplish that goal.”
Since the announcement of ONE Community back in October, initial letters of intent with each organization have been finalized into binding community partnership agreements. Several programs have launched their initial plans, including:
· Project Destined: Project Destined recently completed its first cohort with the ONE Community platform. Students had the opportunity to learn from industry leaders through a virtual internship program/adult professional program focused on real estate and stadium development.
· MNPS Girls Flag: MNPS’ inaugural girls flag football season began in late March, with 15 high schools participating. The Titans hosted a launch event for athletes from all schools where they heard from female leaders of the team about career opportunities in sports and received a tour of the stadium with the surprise of their uniform reveals waiting in the team’s locker room.
· Cheatcode Foundation: The Titans and Cheatcode Foundation recently hosted ‘Relate to Athletes’ at Nissan Stadium, a mental health conference for young athletes. Cheatcode offers mental health support services to at-risk and underserved areas, especially within Black and Brown communities.
· Tennessee State University: One of the Titans’ longest community partners, Tennessee State’s ONE Community program has recently hosted a professional development panel with Titans leadership and support during auditions for the renowned TSU Sophisticated Ladies.
· Bud Adams Fellowship Program: Recently opened for applicants on April 24, the Bud Adams Fellowship Program is a paid opportunity designed for highly motivated individuals looking to be sports and entertainment industry leaders. Up to 15 fellows will be selected in a competitive application and interview process. Interested applicants can apply here.
ONE Community is the Tennessee Titans’ multi-faceted philanthropic platform that reaches many of Nashville’s most underrepresented and marginalized communities with a focus on three areas – Opportunity, Neighborhoods and Education. The Titans have binding partnership agreements with each ONE Community organization supported, and a six-member advisory committee to help foster growth and provide accountability, oversight, and reporting measures. Powered by the Titans Foundation, ONE Community strives to create generational change one person, one family, and one community at a time.