Team Member

Meili Powell

Message Meili Powell

Meili Powell

Advocacy & Partnerships Manager

Meili Powell is the Advocacy and Partnerships Manager for The Education Trust in Tennessee, where she supports partners in the TN Alliance for Equity in Education, coordinates statewide campaigns, and leads advocacy initiatives.

Previously, Meili was a LEE Public Policy Fellow at Ed Trust in Tennessee, where she supported projects related to policy, advocacy, and stakeholder engagement, including the TN Coalition for Truth in Our Classrooms and Ten for Tennessee. Prior to joining 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. Previously, Meili was a 2017 Teach for America corps member in Memphis, where she taught first and third grade at KIPP and Dunbar Elementary School. Meili also worked as a Policy & Advocacy Fellow with Stand for Children – Tennessee, where she analyzed effective literacy initiatives, researched trauma-informed practices, and contributed to organizing a “Fund Students First” campaign. Meili was also a volunteer for Momentum Memphis Task Forces, a community coalition focused on educational justice in Shelby County Schools, where she collaborated with local organizations and elected officials to try and establish a “Youth Education Success” fund.

A native of Seattle, Meili holds a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood & Family Studies and History from the University of Washington. Currently, Meili is also a graduate student at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, where she is a candidate for the Master’s in Public Policy degree in education policy.

Superpower/Secret Talent

Creating the best Spotify playlists for any occasion

Favorite Sports Team

Memphis Grizzlies

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.