The ballots cast at the special meeting held on Thursday, December 7, 2023 have been tallied.
The following 17 board members have been reelected:
- David Taylor, President
- Amy Seigenthaler
- Buzz Sienknecht
- Annie B. Williams
- Rosevelt Noble
- Bruce Barry
- Chandra Flint
- Mona Frederick
- Charles Grant
- Katie Hannah
- Susan Kay
- Berthena Naaba-McKinney
- Erika Wollam Nichols
- Melody Shekari
- Elaine Sheng
- Brandon Tucker
- Hershell Warren
The proposal to amend and restate the Charter of ACLU of Tennessee, Inc. was approved.
The proposal to amend the By-Laws of ACLU of Tennessee, Inc. was approved.
We will be holding a special meeting on Thursday, December 7 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in Nashville for active members to vote on the proposed charter and bylaws and to vote to reelect our current board members.
Members can participate in the meeting and vote in-person or virtually. RSVP to receive additional logistical information.
- Call to Order and Introductions—David Taylor, President, Board of Directors
- Confirmation of Quorum—Dr. Buzz Sienknecht, Secretary, Board of Directors
- Presentation of Ballots—David Taylor
- Introduction of Current Directors—Annie B. Williams, National Board Representative
- Vote on Reelection of Current Directors—David Taylor
- Discussion of Proposed Charter and Bylaws Amendments—Dr. Bruce Barry, Director
- Vote on Proposed Charter Amendment—David Taylor
- Vote on Proposed Bylaws Amendment—David Taylor
- Program Update--Kathy Sinback, Executive Director, and Staff of ACLU-Tennessee
- Meeting Adjourned
Proposed Charter & Bylaws
Board Member Reelection
Chandra Flint (Nashville) after earning a B.A. in South Asian studies and art history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Chandra first worked at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian, then worked in the nonprofit field in central Florida for a number of years. She obtained her law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School in 2004 and practiced at Neal & Harwell until 2019, focusing on family law and assisting with panel federal criminal defense cases. In 2019, Chandra moved to Vanderkooi Law, where she specializes in adoption and family law. Her issues of special interest include LGBTQ equality, criminal justice reform/equality in the justice system (particularly death penalty issues and sentencing reform) and reproductive rights.
Mona Frederick (Nashville) recently retired from the position of executive director of the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities at Vanderbilt University after 31 years. Recently she completed projects that included a digital archive of oral interviews and other materials related to civil rights leaders from research conducted by Robert Penn Warren in 1964 (http://whospeaks.library.vanderbilt.edu/). In 2015, she received a Distinguished Alumna Award from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her areas of interest include racial justice, criminal justice and privacy.
Charles K. Grant (Nashville) is a shareholder at Baker Donelson, where he is a past member of the board of directors. An expert in complex employment litigation, Charles has defended clients in class actions, collective actions, and whistleblower actions under state and federal law. He currently represents Shelby County Public Schools and Metro Nashville Public Schools in their funding lawsuit against the state of Tennessee. He also represents the NAACP in its class action lawsuit to ensure voting rights to individuals with felony convictions. Charles served three years in in the United States Air Force. He received his undergraduate degree from the Citadel and his law degree from Washington and Lee University School of Law. He has served on a number of boards, including as the first African American president of the Nashville Bar Association and as president of the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands. His areas of interest include voting rights, First Amendment issues and equal educational opportunity.
Katie Hannah (Knoxville) is the Director of Custom Strategy at W. W. Norton & Co. She holds a master’s in English from Western Kentucky University (WKU) and a bachelor’s from the University of Mississippi. Katie has taught at WKU, the University of Southern Mississippi, and the University of Alabama. She serves as president of the board of Tennessee Stage Company and as a member of the board of ACLU-TN and her local neighborhood association. Katie lives in Knoxville with her musician husband and enjoys hiking, kayaking and cycling. She is especially interested in education equity, capital punishment and climate change issues.
Susan L. Kay (Nashville) has held leadership roles with ACLU-TN as president, vice-president and affiliate board representative to the national ACLU. In her non-ACLU life, Susan serves as the associate dean for experiential education and a clinical professor of law at Vanderbilt Law School. At Vanderbilt Law, she teaches a criminal practice clinic as well as courses in criminal law and evidence. She also serves on the board of the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands and the Council of the ABA Section on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar, and is a past-president of the Clinical Legal Education Association. Her civil rights and civil liberties priorities include criminal justice reform, eliminating the school-to-prison pipeline and reproductive freedom.
Berthena Nabaa-McKinney, Ed.D. (Nashville) is the CEO of Nabaa Consulting, LLC, an educational consulting firm specializing in school improvement and turnaround work for schools and districts across the nation. She served as a former board member of the Metro Nashville School Board. Berthena has over 25 years of experience in K-12 education, including serving as a teacher and school principal. In addition, she has led school and district accreditation teams across Tennessee. She received her doctorate in education from Trevecca Nazarene University, and Master of Education in administration & supervision from Tennessee State University. She serves on the boards of MNPS Steam Advisory Council, MNPS Parent Advisory Council (PAC), PENCIL, L’Evate (formerly Leadership Donelson-Hermitage), and the MuslimARC (Anti-Racism Collaborative). Berthena is very involved in interfaith collaborations that bring communities of faith together and work to dispel negative rhetoric about Islam and Muslims. Her interests include educational equity, religious freedom, and racial and social justice reform.
Rosevelt L. Noble (Nashville) is the associate dean of students for equity, diversity, and inclusion at Vanderbilt University. Prior to this, he was the director of training providers for the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the director of the Workforce Investment Act with the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. Rosevelt has an extensive background in statistical data analysis and has worked as a research consultant on numerous projects in the public, private and legal sectors concerning prison violence, the death penalty and other areas of social justice. He received his B.A. and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt and resides in Nashville with his wife and two children. His areas of interest include policing, prison re-entry, privacy and racial profiling.
Melody Shekari (Chattanooga) is a lawyer, community advocate and proud daughter of immigrants. She earned a Bachelor of Science in economics from Bentley University, a master’s in public administration from the University of Washington and a J.D. from the University of Southern California. She has also traveled to over 45 countries and received fellowships to work in local government and study international genocide and legal institutions. After completing her education, Melody returned home to Chattanooga to serve her community. She has run for political office and is active in a number of local initiatives because she believes in helping others, supporting the community and solving problems. Her background and experience include positions in the business, government and non-profit sectors. Melody’s current work and volunteer priorities include criminal justice reform, support for public education, job creation and workforce development, and immigrants’ rights.
Elaine Sheng (Memphis) began interning at ACLU-MS in Jackson, Mississippi while in law school. Reviewing potential cases and working closely with the local Planned Parenthood affiliate led to her interest in reproductive rights and healthcare. It was also during this time that she worked with the Mississippi Capital Defense Resource Center representing inmates on death row with their appeals. Elaine is an attorney at Morgan & Morgan PLC in Memphis. Her practice includes representing victims of profiling based on race and religion and she has handled 42 USC 1983 cases representing families of victims whose civil rights were violated by law enforcement. This time of change in the nation has led Elaine back to ACLU-TN, where she hopes to contribute to the areas of reproductive rights, religious freedom and LGBTQ rights.
Hershell Warren (Nashville) is a consultant for community-based organizations after serving twelve years in the administrations of three Metro Nashville mayors. Hershell was senior advisor to Mayor Karl Dean and Mayor Megan Barry, and then worked with Mayor David Briley’s Office of Neighborhoods and Community Engagement to empower neighborhoods and communities. He also served as the director of public policy and governmental affairs for Meharry Medical College. Hershell is a past president of the Tennessee Association of Community Health Centers, and a former board member and chair of the Nashville Prevention Partnership. He served on the Health Care Task Force of the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators and worked on health care initiatives for the Office of Minority Health and the Black Health Care Commission. Hershell graduated from Fisk University with a Bachelor of Health Care Administration and received his MBA and J.D. from Vanderbilt University. He is interested in education equity, criminal justice reform and freedom of speech.
Annie B. Williams (Nashville) is the Director of Civic and Global Education at Montgomery Bell Academy, where she coordinates student community engagement around the city and the world and works on other student leadership programming. She is also a member of the guidance counseling team and has taught government and economics. Prior to joining the faculty at MBA, she was a trial lawyer focused on catastrophic injury cases. Annie B. earned a bachelor’s from Rhodes College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and a J.D. from Columbia University, where she was a Stone Scholar. She has served on the boards of Susan G. Komen (Nashville chapter), the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association and Oasis Center, among others. Her number one job is raising her daughter, who is a student at the University of Oregon. Her interests include racial justice, voting rights, LGBTQ equality and criminal justice issues.
Erika Wollam-Nichols (Nashville) is chief operations officer of The Bluebird Cafe. Previously she was director of development for the Nashville Songwriters Association International and co-director of the Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival. Prior to that, she was vice president of marketing at the Country Music Hall of Fame and traveled with the First Amendment Center’s Freedom Sings program. She has an undergraduate degree in philosophy from Belmont and an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her interests include freedom of expression, privacy and equal treatment under the law.
Bruce Barry (Nashville) is an authority on negotiation, ethics, and workplace rights, Bruce Barry’s multidisciplinary approach to research and teaching brings together insights from psychology, sociology, management, philosophy, and public policy. Professor Barry’s expertise lie in two areas: (1) social issues in management, including ethics, public policy, and workplace rights; and (2) the psychology of interpersonal and group behavior in organizations, including power, influence, negotiation, conflict and justice. Professor Barry serves on the editorial boards of Business Ethics Quarterly (where he was editor in chief 2016-2021), Work and Occupations, and Negotiation and Conflict Management Research. He is a past president of the International Association for Conflict Management and sits on its Advisory Board. He is a past chair of the Academy of Management’s Conflict Management Division. Professor Barry’s research has been widely published in numerous academic journals and volumes. His books include Speechless: The Erosion of Free Expression in the American Workplace (Barrett-Koehler). His co-authored books on negotiation (McGraw-Hill), in their eighth edition, are the most widely used books on the subject in colleges and universities worldwide and have been translated into several languages. Professor Barry teaches Ethics in Business, Negotiation, and a course on argument and public policy. Professor Barry is a member of the national board of directors of the American Civil Liberties Union. He is a contributing writer of commentary on politics and public policy for the Tennessee Lookout, a nonprofit news site based in Nashville. Professor Barry's current and recent research explores the social context of ethical decision making, the effects of incentives on unethical behavior, communication attributes of organizational relationships, and resilience in teams.
Brandon Tucker (Jackson) is the Sr. Director of Policy & Government Affairs, Color of Change. He is a Fisk University graduate, and was the Policy Director for the ACLU-TN from 2020-2022. Prior to joining the ACLU-TN team, Tucker worked as a state advocacy strategist with the national ACLU, developing and implementing legislative and advocacy campaigns, in collaboration with state affiliates across the country. Previously, Tucker served as political coordinator for the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union in Washington, D.C., managing issue, organizing and electoral campaigns in multiple states and lobbying on behalf of members’ interests. Tucker has also worked as an organizer for the Service Employees International Union and held political and field leadership roles for several political campaigns.
Amy Seigenthaler (Nashville) is based in Nashville, Tennessee, Amy Seigenthaler is a Managing Partner at Finn Partners, a national, global marketing company. Amy leads the client service team for FINN Partners Southeast and brings extensive experience in national and international strategic communications, crisis communications, media relations, grassroots campaigns, and the healthcare and technology verticals to the firm’s clients. Graduating from Boston College with an English degree, she first worked as a newspaper beat reporter in Boston. In the 1990’s she served as an aide and speechwriter to Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith in the U.S. Embassy in Dublin during the Northern Ireland peace process. After that, as a Senior Vice President at Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications of Boston, Amy ran the firm’s Washington, D.C. office and Science, Healthcare and Technology Practice. After her father's death in 2004, Amy returned to Nashville to help run the company he founded. In 2015, DVL Public Relations & Advertising and Seigenthaler Public Relations, Inc. merged into Finn Partners. Amy is also on the Boards of American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee, the Nashville Downtown Partnership, Friends of Metro Dance, and Camp Marymount. She has served as an executive-in-residence teaching public relations at Lipscomb University in Nashville.
Buzz Sienknecht (Chattanooga/Signal Mountain) has practiced in Chattanooga since 1975 and is proud to be a fifth generation Tennessee physician. His great-great grandfather emigrated from Denmark in 1849 and practiced in Wartburg in Morgan County, Tennessee. Dr. Sienknecht's parents were both physicians in Knoxville, Tennessee. Dr. Sienknecht received his medical degree from the University of Memphis and he completed his internship at Philadelphia General Hospital, his internal medicine residence at UT Memphis and his rheumatology fellowships at UT Memphis and the University of Toronto, Canada. He was a Major in the U.S. Army and served as a battalion surgeon with the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Vietnam. Dr. Sienknecht has served as Past-President of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society and presently serves on the board of the Tennessee Justice Center whose mission is to gain access to medical care for disadvantaged Tennesseans and the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee. He is board certified in rheumatology and is a Fellow in the American College of Rheumatology and the American College of Physicians as well as a member of the Tennessee Medical Association, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society, Tennessee Rheumatology Society and United Rheumatology. Dr. Sienknecht has three children, enjoys writing and is married to a local playwright, Sharon Louise Bandy.