About Tennessee Alliance for Progress

TAP was created in October 2001. Our mission is to build a prosperous, sustainable economy that benefits all Tennesseans. We contribute to this effort by supporting and developing a new generation of grassroots leadership across Tennessee. Through community-based education, critical analysis and fostering solidarity among working people, we strive to support a growing movement that will transform our communities from the ground up. We also believe that climate change is a defining issue of our generation and place a particular emphasis on the work of climate justice.


TAP operates from the Grassroots Policy Project's Three Faces of Power Model


First Face of Power -Direct Political Involvement
The first face of power is where we typically focus much of our energies –– to change laws and policies, to impact elections, and to affect political and economic decisions. We often measure our success by how well we impact elections, and how well we influence decision-makers in legislatures, courts, corporate boardrooms, etc.

Second Face - Building Infrastructure to Shape Political Agendas
The second face is about building deeper infrastructure among organizations and their grassroots members, and creating ties with other kinds of organizations, such as think tanks, advocacy groups, etc. On the Right, both corporations and social conservatives have active networks and organizations that can unite around a shared agenda. This often takes place ‘behind the scenes,’ and it enables their organized forces to shape and constrain political agendas. Our groups engage in many of these activities, but often in more ad-hoc and short-term ways. 

Third Face - Shifting Worldview
The third face is about using cultural beliefs, norms, traditions, histories and practices to shape political meaning. We do this by connecting issues to the larger context of worldview, or the ways that people understand the world around them, their roles in the world, and what they see as possible. The current worldview reinforces a kind of rugged individualism –– a go-it-alone, bootstraps approach –– that discourages involvement in collective action. 


TAP has assembled a wealth of information about social change over the years and offers workshops on issues like Climate Change, Vision and Values and Movement Building.  Please contact us at taptenn@gmail.com for more info.  We would love to come to your organization and lead a lively interactive workshop designed to get people moving!