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Meet the Team

The Faces of Our Organization

Erica Davis

President of the Board

As a student, Erica came on board as an intern for SOCM where she pioneered a bill to revitalize coal communities by changing the severance tax on coal companies to one on oil and gas.

She has since graduated from Law School and passed the bar.

In 2018, Erica was one of only 18 young people across the country to be awarded the Sargent Shriver Youth Warriors Against Poverty Award by Marguerite Casey Foundation.

“I had the honor of representing SOCM as a 2018 Sargent Shriver Youth Warriors Against Poverty … I joined 17 other youth activists and the Marguerite Casey Foundation board of directors in Seattle, Washington for a weekend of celebrating the incredible social justice work going on across the country. … [SOCM] is doing challenging and pressing work at the intersection of poverty, racism, and systemic oppression. I am thrilled to be a part of a motivating and ever-growing network of youth activists … I truly believe that young people have the ability to make the world a better place, and I am thankful for those who support us in that pursuit.”

At the 2019 Annual Meeting, Erica Davis was elected unanimously as the youngest President of the Board in SOCM’s 47 year history.

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April Jarocki

Vice President

April lives in Clairfield, TN and has been an active member of SOCM for several years. She currently works with Southern Connected Communities Project to help increase broadband access in rural communities in the Clearfork Valley in East, TN. She has served on the SOCM board for two years as an At-large Delegate.


Patricia Hawkins


Originally from Alabama, Patricia settled in Maury County and began teaching in the local public school system.

Throughout her career she has championed the rights of children, parents, and teachers and continuously pushed to improve public education.  After voicing her concern about a lack of racially diverse teachers in the district, the district retaliated by transferring and eventually firing her, with their email exchanges stating that the transfer was because of her race.  This began a discrimination suit that lasted several years.

After she left Maury County Schools, Patricia Hawkins served as a County Commissioner, where she continued to champion public education, transparency, and racial justice.

“We have to move forward.  Never look back unless there is something there to push it forward.”


Leith Patton


Leith is a long-time, active member in SOCM, as well as numerous civic and grassroots organizations.  As a member of the Roaring River Chapter, she participates in their annual fundraisers, including the Walk for Justice.  Outside of SOCM, Leith makes educational materials for Montessori schools.

Meet the Team: Meet the Team
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John Massey

Cumberland County
Chapter Representative

Toni Clifford

Jackson Chapter Representative

Allie Cohn

Knoxville Chapter Representative


Joycelene Johns

Maury County
Chapter Representative

Ellen Kimball

McMinn Neighbors SOCM Representative

Candida Layne

Rutherford County Chapter

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Chauncey Arnold O'Dell

At-Large Delegate

Linda Brookhart

At-Large Delegate

Sabina Coronado

At-Large Delegate

Meet the Team: Meet the Team

Our Staff

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Austin Sauerbrei

Executive Director


Linda Cowan

Director of Finance, Development and Operations


Adam Hughes

East Tennessee
Community Organizer


Liv Cook

Public Education Campaign Organizer

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Casey Self



Brandee Dillingham

SOCM Legal Intern

Meet the Team: Meet the Team
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