Team Member

Meili Powell, MPP

Message Meili Powell, MPP

Meili Powell, MPP

Assistant Director, Advocacy & Engagement

Meili Powell is the assistant director of advocacy & engagement for Ed Trust – Tennessee, where she leads a team who builds strategic partnerships, supports advocacy actions through our statewide alliance, and oversees youth and government affairs initiatives. Meili strengthens relationships with stakeholders across Tennessee by equipping advocates and elected officials with the resources and knowledge of key educational equity considerations that advance our policy agenda.

Previously, Meili was the advocacy & partnerships manager and a Public Policy Fellow at Ed Trust – TN. Through these roles, she grew and deepened membership engagement in the TN Alliance for Equity in Education. What’s more, Meili created and led new advocacy initiatives including the Tennessee Coalition for Truth in Our Classrooms and Ten for Tennessee. 

Prior to Ed Trust, Meili worked as a program specialist at ALLMemphis (Access Language & Literacy), where she coached teachers and helped schools with building their literacy capacity. As a member of Teach for America – Memphis, Meili taught first grade at KIPP and third grade in Shelby County Schools. Additionally, Meili also worked with Stand for Children – Tennessee and with Momentum Memphis Task Forces, a community coalition focused on education justice.

Originally from Seattle, Meili earned a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood & Family Studies and History from the University of Washington. She also holds a master’s in Public Policy from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College.

Superpower/Secret Talent

Creating the best Spotify playlists for any occasion

What’s your favorite thing to do outside of work? 

Getting outdoors – love hiking and rock climbing!

Why are you passionate about working at Ed Trust? 

Education policy and advocacy is personal work to me. After working at the school-level in Memphis, I’ve realized how challenges in the classroom connect to inequitable policies developed by leaders without the experience of working or living in the communities they impact. It is overwhelmingly clear that there are not enough policymakers who have taught, so each day I show up to work thinking about how I can center the stories of my past students and families to ultimately, create a more equitable school system for all in Tennessee.