Freda Player graduated magna cum laude in political science from Fisk University, where she was also Student Government President. In 2003, she graduated from George Washington University with a Master’s of Arts degree in Political Management.
She began her professional political career with the Al Gore 2000 Presidential campaign. Freda continued her political career first as the Voter Outreach Coordinator and then as the Political Director at the Tennessee Democratic Party until 2008. In 2007, she ran for a seat on the Metro Council.
In 2008, she was State Director of the Tennessee Change That Works campaign. Freda led a grassroots campaign to persuade the Tennessee Congressional Delegation to vote for the Affordable Care Act.
Freda with her parents after she received the Equity Alliance’s
Unsung SHEro Award.
Freda was sworn in as a School Board Member by
Judge Allegra Walker-Birdine.
Freda has attended four DNC Conventions. In 2012, she was elected as a Barack Obama Delegate for 5th Congressional District and in 2016 she was elected as a Hillary Clinton Delegate.
From 2010 to 2018, Freda was the Political Director of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 205. She was responsible for all lobbying, advocacy and electoral efforts for Local 205 in the state of Tennessee and served on the International Public Division Leadership Board.
In April 2018, Freda joined Mayor David Briley’s administration as his Senior Legislative Advisor and continued for the transition to Mayor Cooper’s administration. She was the second woman and first African-American to hold this position.
Freda Player has also served as the Chair of the Tennessee Health Care Campaign, co-founder of Fisk University Young Alumni Association, former co-founder and co-chair Nashville New Leaders Council, former Membership Chair of Nashville League of Women Voters, former Board Member of the Tennessee League of Women Voters and a former Steering Committee Member of A.W.A.K.E, former Treasurer of Tennessee Citizen Action and co-founder and Vice Chair of Emerge Tennessee.
Currently, Freda Player serves on the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools Board of Education representing District 7.
Freda Player with Cong. Jim Cooper and Fran Bush during a recent tornado clean-up effort. Thanks to all who pitched in!
“I am so excited to have such a great advocate on the school board. My kid’s future is in such great hands. ”
>> Jennifer Watson, mother, District 7 voter
Learn more about Freda’s background:
Tell us about growing up.
I was born and raised in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with my older sister, Veronica and my parents. My parents are from Talladega, Alabama and both are retired. My father was a civilian employee for the Department of Defense and my mother worked in banking and retail.
In high school, I discovered my passion for civics. I was very active in YMCA Youth and Government. It is a program which high school students model their state government. I co-founded my high school’s delegation and was elected Youth Governor of the program. In 1996, I came to Nashville to study political science at Fisk University.
What are the three issues you care about most?
First, running an efficient school system that prepares students to pursue their passions and be future leaders. Second, preparing students to take full advantage of the opportunities in the 21st century workforce. Third, making sure we treat our school employees with dignity and respect through pay increases, providing the supplies they need to do their jobs well and providing safe, well-equipped work environments.
RUNNING FOR OFFICE
Why are you running for office?
I know a quality education can be the great equalizer for a child. In fact, it is the only way many children will rise up out of tough situations at home and in their neighborhoods and change the narrative of their lives. An effective and thoughtful School Board can have profound, lasting and positive effects on the entire generation we serve.
If you could makes one major change in the system when elected, what would it be?
I want to address textbook, technology and school maintenance needs. Metro Schools is currently behind on repairing buildings, providing updated textbooks and materials, and adding and improving technology infrastructure. These are equity issues for our kids and our teachers and staff. I want to create a fund that is solely dedicated to these needs and that is a top priority year to year, regardless of politics.
What five words best describe you?
Patient, Kind, Diplomatic, Practical, Industrious
Have you received any awards?
I received The Equality Alliance “Unsung SHEro Award” in 2019 and the New Leaders Council “Founder’s Award” in 2020.The first award is for honoring African-American women for their behind the scenes work in the Nashville community.
The second award was to recognize my work with co-founding the Nashville New Leaders Council which is an organization that educates a new generation of leaders and to provide tools they need to succeed. Over 115 young leaders in Tennessee have been trained through this program.
Tell us about your volunteer background.
I have helped to create several community organizations such as Emerge Tennessee which democratic women to run for office, Fisk Young Alumni Association, and New Leader Council trains young progressive leaders to serve their communities.
I have served on organization boards such as Nashville League Women of Voters, Tennessee League of Women Voters, A.W.A.K.E. Steering Committee, Tennessee Citizens Action, and Tennessee Health Care Campaign.