One WillCo
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PO Box 88
Thompsons Station, TN 37179
Organization Details



At One WillCo, we believe that school should be a welcoming place for every child, regardless of their race or ethnicity. That's why we educate our community about the challenges underrepresented populations face, advocate for actionable solutions, and unite community members who align with our mission.


In 2018, a group of families of color in Williamson County approached the district leadership with positive ways the district could make our local schools more affirming, honoring, and understanding for Black students. The district leadership saw the value in that and began a positive, collaborative effort with those families to make measurable, reasonable changes that would help make our excellent public schools even better. Families from other underrepresented racial and ethnic groups welcomed the opportunity to have their voices heard, too, at the newly formed Cultural Competency Council (CCC) at Williamson County Schools (WCS).

There were serious issues that required the urgent attention of district leadership:

Disproportional discipline for Black students (especially Black boys with special needs)
Too few Black students being accurately identified as gifted or assigned to AP classes
Harmful assignments, e.g., asking students to imagine themselves as slave owners and come up with a list of jobs for slaves to do
Field trips to plantations, with sorrow expressed for confederate soldiers who died but no mention of the evils of slavery or respect shown for what the people of color there endured
Racial slurs that are disregarded and hate speech that was normalized.

A few vocal but organized community members opposed the CCC, calling it "reverse racism," and worked hard to neutralize or dismantle it.

But at the heart of the CCC was this: parents of color, and of other marginalized communities, wanted their kids to receive the same respect and safety their classmates received. Nothing more, Nothing less.

It became clear that without an advocacy group to represent racial and ethnic minorities, the angriest, loudest voices would always prevail.

That's why in early 2020, Jennifer Cortez and Revida Rahman decided to bring their communities and networks together to meet that advocacy need. Many community members wanted to act but didn't know where to begin. Our group has already quadrupled in size and continues to grow.

One WillCo wants safety and equal opportunities for all of our children, and we're willing to do the hard and often uncomfortable work to make that possible.


In 2020, we advocated for the hiring of a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) consultant to assess the school district and help develop an informed cultural strategic plan. We organized community members to share their stories and to express their support of creating a safer and fairer environment for students of color and ethnic groups. One WillCo provided an on-ramp for those who supported these efforts but didn't know how to make their voices heard.

The WCS board voted unanimously to hire a consulting firm with expertise in this area. In February 2021, WCS hired Fostering Healthy Solutions to conduct an equity audit. Over four months, FHS provided workshops for school administrators and district leaders, document and handbook reviews, listen and learn sessions for the community, surveys, a SWOT analysis, and school visits. They provided a detailed list of recommendations for the district.

As had been the case before, an organized, partisan group rose up to press against these efforts, this time with the political drumbeat of anti-CRT to fuel their efforts. This time, however, One WillCo had already successfully created a place for community members who believe in the value of DEI efforts to connect and show their support for the efforts and for one another.

We have partnered with other local organizations to expand our collective impact: The Public, Franklin Justice and Equity Coalition, Be The Bridge, and others. We have been repeatedly featured in local, national and international news for both for our DEI efforts and our fight against book bans (Reuters, CNN, Washington Post, National Geographic, MSNBC, NPR, Christian Science Monitor, EdWeek, L'Obs, etc.)

We have built a network of leaders from several states to share resources and ideas in advocating for students of color in our schools.

We have partnered with Red Wine and Blue to resist book banning efforts and to help guide and encourage others who are hoping to build similar grassroots efforts in their own communities.

We received 501 C3 status from the IRS in February, 2022, and built our volunteer team and our board.

Our goals have included:

* to identify and apply for grants
* to supply 400 volunteers for Williamson County's Juneteenth festival in partnership with the FJEC
* to shine a light on local school board elections through candidate questionnaires and showcasing those in a nonpartisan manner
* to have attendees and/or speakers represent One WillCo at every school board meeting for the rest of 2022 to continue advocating for the implementation of the recommendations of Fostering Healthy Solutions.
* to increase student advocacy.
* to meet with staff at each public school to make them aware of who we are and what we do.
* to incorporate a training program for volunteers.


Our most pressing needs are:

* funding to hire an executive director who can grow our impact
* secure grant to assist with mini-grants for staff
* a social media expert willing to manage and grow our social media presence to 5,000 followers
* volunteers to be Captains for their school cluster
* a public relations firm to assist us with our visibility
* team leads for activities to increase community engagement.

CEO Statement

It's a high privilege to serve and build an organization like One WillCo. Our small nonprofit is doing groundbreaking work by bringing networks of all races and ethnicities in our community together for the collective good of our high-achieving schools and students. Our work springs out of relationships, not ideology, and that's what makes us effective in the work we do. We take the time to build relationships, learn the real needs of our students and families, and work to meet those needs in collaboration with our local leaders. Real problems have real solutions, and we're willing to show up and work for those solutions. We hope you'll join us and support our efforts.

Jennifer Cortez, Co-Founder

Board Chair Statement

We saw a need for students and families of color in Williamson County, that went beyond witnessing and addressing my own children's personal experiences.

With the support of this community, One WillCo has been able to support and suggest some great changes to make our schools a better place for all students. During a time when students are experiencing racial slurs and racial insensitivities at a high rate, we have stood in the gap to provide students, families, and staff the tools needed to create the change they want to see during a time that can be lonely and isolating for the students experiencing those traumas.

The One WillCo support system has been extremely valuable when the noise of those trying to silence voices of color can be deafening. We are grateful to help those in our community who are seeking solace and equitable solutions. One WillCo will continue our efforts to make walking the school halls in Williamson County a better place for all.

Revida Rahman, Co-Founder and Board Chair

Service Categories

Primary Category: Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy  - Children's Rights 
Secondary Category: Education  - Elementary & Secondary Schools 
Tertiary Category: Community Improvement, Capacity Building  - Community Coalitions 

Areas Served

TN - Williamson