Tennessee became Charlane’s home over 20 years ago when she moved to Nashville as a college student bound for Vanderbilt University. There, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Human & Organizational Development and later a Master of Public Administration from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
Charlane is the co-founder and co-executive director of The Equity Alliance, a statewide 501(c)(3) nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization whose mission is to unapologetically build independent Black political and economic power and keep the government in check. Under Charlane’s visionary leadership, she turned $250 of her own money into a $2.5 million-dollar powerhouse organization in just five years, growing currently with 12 employees and three chapters across the state. Her successes through TEA earned her the prestigious recognition of 2020 People of the Year by The Tennessean and numerous accolades.
Charlane brings an unmatched level of lived and work experience with a proven track record of results and impact. Throughout her professional career, she has served and amplified the voices of low-income earners, welfare recipients, pregnant mothers, children of incarcerated parents, foster children, Hurricane Katrina evacuees, and people impacted by tornadoes and predatory real estate developers.
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck Nashville, Charlane made sure Black and Brown communities got our fair share of federal C.A.R.E.S. Act resources to combat the pandemic. She led the Our Fair Share Community Needs Assessment where more than 8,500 Nashvillians were surveyed within 65 days, resulting in Metro Council approving a combined $22 million in relief for Black and Latino residents, people experiencing homelessness and food insecurity, and minority small businesses.
As founder and board president of the Power of 10 PAC, she helped to elect Black and Latino candidates for school board, municipal, judicial, and state legislature positions. As owner of OEM Consulting Group, LLC, she has provided community engagement, government affairs, and public relations strategies and solutions for political candidates, nonprofits, universities, and small businesses.
Charlane honed her policy expertise while serving as a congressional aide and communications strategist for U.S. Congressman Jim Cooper. She was tapped to lead Project Register, a bipartisan initiative by Rep. Cooper and former State Sen. Steve Dickerson in which she recruited more than 200 companies to encourage their employees to register to vote online.
Charlane is a graduate of Leadership Nashville and Young Leaders Council. She holds current membership with Nashville’s Agenda, Nashville CABLE, NAACP Nashville, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and served on the 2020 Metro C.A.R.E.S. Act Allocation Committee and the Mayor John Cooper C.A.R.E.S. Act Advisory Committee.
Among her board affiliations, she currently serves as board member for Stand Up Nashville and Nurture the Next. Previous board affiliations include Metro Nashville Emergency 911 Communications District Board, YWCA of Nashville and Middle Tennessee, and Purpose Preparatory Academy. She is a longtime member of Mount Zion Baptist Church and volunteers for her daughter’s Girl Scout Troop.
Now a resident of Bordeaux, Charlane is proud to be married to her partner of 17 years, Leshuan, with whom they have three children together.