Building Our Future & Going for the Gold

27 Years in the Making


TJC has found a new home, and we need your help to build our future! We recently closed on a property at 155 Lafayette Street, in South Nashville, after many years of moving from place to place. During its 25-year history, TJC has been forced by development or rising rents to repeatedly move its offices around downtown Nashville, including stays in a condemned building and the basement of a parking garage. TJC was dislocated again when Atlanta developers bought their most recent office on Seventh Avenue and started demolition in preparation for the building’s conversion into a luxury boutique hotel. Even a historic pandemic and recession could neither slow the developers’ plans nor dampen Nashville’s raging real estate boom.

With the help of experts, TJC’s Board and management undertook an exhaustive yearlong search for rental space or property available for purchase. They concluded that TJC’s long-term stability would be best served by the purchase of its own building. More careful planning and assessment went into determining the financial feasibility of that option. Meanwhile, TJC staff have worked remotely and recently moved the office to temporary quarters. 

What Owning a Building Means to TJC

  • Provides a stable home for TJC, a long-term location with permanency.
  • Affords TJC insights and inspiration through the “Power of Proximity.”
  • Creates a visible presence that will promote TJC’s mission to volunteers, donors and the public.
  • Provides space at a cost of substantially less than the forecast cost for the 2022 leasing option.
  • Caps/avoids rental rate increase risk.
  • Result in significantly more money for direct program delivery.
  • Provides flexibility for headcount fluctuations (could accommodate growth or sublease more space for income if space needs).
  • Frees management from the administrative burden of multiple moves and managing changing occupancy costs.
  • Establishes a location that a) provides more visibility to the community and particularly to clients eligible to be served by the organization; b) is close to downtown and volunteer lawyers/legislature; and c) is close to Vanderbilt, Belmont, Fisk, TSU, Trevecca which are all sources of our intern pool and volunteers.

Thank you Capital Campaign Donors!

The Frist Foundation

Hays Foundation

Frank and Amy Garrison

Bill and Robin King

Ken and Lynn Melkus

Matt Wiltshire & Crissy Wieck

Ascension St. Thomas

HCA Healthcare Foundation

James R. Meadows, Jr. Foundation

Judy Johnson

The Kharis Foundation Advised Fund



Kevin and Katie Crumbo


Harris A. Gilbert

Drs. Bob and Bonnie Miller

Shirley and Stuart Speyer

Charles W. Bone

Mary Bell Crossman

James and Emily Flautt

Riney and Lynn Green

Victor S. Johnson III

Matt and Judy Sweeney

West End Home Foundation

Edgar and Kathi Allen

Margaret Behm and Harlan Dodson, III

Frank and Melissa Bloch

Ellen B. Corenswet

John and Natasha Deane

Sherie L. Edwards

Deborah and John Farringer

Butler Snow Foundation

Sara Finley

Sarah Fisher Gardial

Jeff and Allyn Gibson

Nate and Lillian Gilmer

Josh and Ellie Hedrick

Michele Johnson and Jeffrey Hill


Dana Migliaccio

Susan Emery McGannon

Christine Modisher and Marsha Williams

Karen Neal and John Berggren

J. Edward & Kathleen S. Pearson

Ralph and Jane Roach

Joan B. Shayne

Dr. Buzz Sienknecht and Ms. Sharon Bandy

Joe and Joanne Sowell

David Stern

Steve and Jeanne Thomas

John and Sandee Tishler

John Vail

Alex and Mary Wade

Dranda Whaley


Our New Home

We are moving to 155 Lafayette Street in South Nashville! The building, site of a long-abandoned liquor store, is located in Nashville’s Cameron-Trimble neighborhood. The neighborhood has a proud 150-year history of struggle for racial and economic justice, but is also burdened by some of the most concentrated poverty in the city. The location will enable TJC to draw on the “power of proximity” to those we serve. As Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, has said, “Proximity is a pathway through which we learn the kind of things we need to know to make healthier communities.” Working in proximity to people and communities at risk “is where we are informed, energized, and feel the empathy that drives us to change the world.”

A New Resource for the Neighborhood

The renovation of the building on Lafayette will enhance TJC’s advocacy while making a positive contribution to the neighborhood. The new building will also create a striking physical landmark that celebrates and promotes justice and signals that TJC will be here for the long haul. That message is important at a time when Tennessee ranks at or near the bottom of numerous measures of social equity and family well-being, and there is so much work to be done. The Pew Trust reports that income inequality is greater in Tennessee than in any other place in America.
The percentage of our young children who are growing up in extreme poverty ranks Tennessee among the worst in the nation. Our new home will be situated in a neighborhood that experienced the highest rate of poverty in the Nashville area in 2016—with families in the 37210 zip code confronting a rate of child poverty more than twice the national average. Millions of Tennesseans, in urban and rural communities alike, are living on the margins and see their children’s opportunities for a better life shrinking. Becoming a permanent member of this community will materially improve TJC’s ability to shape a better future for the people living there, and for our state as a whole.


Our Silver Anniversary

Going for the Gold

Since the Tennessee Justice Center was founded 25 years ago, generous donors and foundations have contributed $20 million to support TJC’s advocacy for social and economic justice. TJC has used that support to individually represent nearly 15,000 children and adults, then worked with those clients and other allies to advocate for policy reforms that benefit low-income Tennesseans statewide. TJC has enabled its donors’ investment to generate billions of dollars of benefits for millions of Tennessee families in need.

According to court records and state reports, benefits won by TJC include $2.5 billion in medical care and over $300 million in nutrition benefits for children and adults across Tennessee. On an investment of $20 million in donations and grants, that represents a rate of return of $140 of benefits for every dollar invested in TJC’s work.

But wait, there’s more! That calculation doesn’t take into account:

  • TJC’s success, achieved through 15 years of litigation, in requiring TennCare and its managed care contractors to meet federal health standards for the 914,000 children and youth – fully half of all Tennesseans ages 0-21 – who are enrolled in TennCare.
  • TJC’s negotiation of reforms to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program that enabled 13,000 single mothers to transition successfully into jobs.
  • TJC’s leadership role in the establishment of Tennessee’s Children’s Health Insurance Program, known as CoverKids, which currently provides health coverage to 33,000 children and 12,000 pregnant mothers who would otherwise be uninsured.
  • TJC’s landmark victory establishing the right of Medicare beneficiaries to enforce federal patient care standards against Medicare contractors.
  • TJC’s court settlement that reallocated $250 million in TennCare funding from nursing homes to programs serving frail adults in home and community-based settings, enabling 15,000 individuals a year to retain their independence and dignity.
  • TJC’s negotiation of improved educational and mental health services for children in state juvenile justice facilities.
  • TJC’s reversal of state policies that denied nutrition assistance to children in immigrant families.
  • And much, much more…

Most importantly, by making TJC’s work possible, supporters have insisted that every child is precious, every person matters, and that Justice belongs to ALL of us!

Visit our History & Impact Page to learn more about how TJC has served Tennesseans for the last 25 years!

TJC in the News

Special Thanks to Our Capital Campaign Committee

Co-Chairs: Amy and Frank Garrison

Cabinet Members:

  • Mike Abelow 
  • Ronette Adams-Taylor 
  • Jim Barry 
  • Margaret Behm 
  • Rebecca McKelvey Castañeda 
  • Shannon Coleman Egle 
  • David Esquivel 
  • Deborah Farringer 
  • Sarah Fisher Gardial 
  • Jeff Gibson 
  • Nate Gilmer 
  • Riney Green 
  • La’Kishia Harris 
  • Josh Hedrick 
  • Jennifer Lankford 
  • Alex MacKay
  • Neil McBride 
  • Nancy Fraas MacLean 
  • Dana Migliaccio 
  • Dr. Bob Miller 
  • Jerry Taylor 
  • John Tishler

Get to Know Us  |  Stay in Touch