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People First Tennessee

Recognizing each person as an individual

People First Tennessee is a statewide disability rights organization with the goal of empowering people with disabilities to have voices in addressing issues of equality that affect them.

How to become a People First Member

Joining People First Tennessee is simple. Click on the link below to fill out a membership form then pay your dues. Membership dues are $5 for self-advocates, $20 for supporters and $100 for business supporters. 

Self-advocates are eligible to earn a scholarship to cover membership dues. By participating in two People First events, self-advocates can earn a free membership for one year. Please contact the People First Coordinator by calling 615-248-5878 ext. 305 or send an e-mail to

Become a member
People First

Local Chapters

People First is looking to establish more local chapters throughout Tennessee. The Arc Tennessee and other organizations provide support and guidance with each chapter launch.

List of People First Chapters in Tennessee

  • People First Tennessee
  • Blount County
  • Coffee County
  • Davidson County
  • Dickson County
  • Hamilton County
  • Madison County
  • McNairy County
  • Rutherford County
  • Shelby County
  • Williamson County

Information about how to Start a Local Chapter

It is very important to take the time to think about what Self-Advocacy means to you and why it is important to you as an individual. Completing the activities and questions starting on page 12 of the Self-Advocacy Manual.

  • Andrew

    People First has been a great thing for me during COVID. Using zoom, I have been able to make new friends, see old friends, and even play music. I also learn about speaking up for myself.

    – Andrew
  • Scott

    People First Tennessee is a vast group of individuals. We advocate for so many important things and have become recognized as spokespersons for ourselves.

    – Scott
  • Lauren

    People First is special to me because it’s the only organization led by and created for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. I get more than I give in my role as a mentor.

    – Lauren
  • Peach

    People First has helped me grow as a self-advocate and person in ways that I could have never even thought. If It wasn’t for a friend introducing me to People First, I would not be the person I am today.

    – Peach
  • Dara

    People First is often the highlight of my month. Spending time with self-advocates and other supporters is so encouraging. My all-time favorite event has been virtual bingo with the Nashville Predators!

    – Dara
  • Diamond

    People First helped me become a better advocate for myself.

    – Diamond

Project Staff Members

  • Frank Meeuwis People First Coordinator
  • Lorri Mabry Online Communication Specialist
  • Angela Braach Database Specialist

People First Advisory Council

  • Mary Dale Greene Chair
  • Diamond Grigsby Vice Chair
  • Joseph Johnson-Watterson East TN Regional Representative
  • Jimmy Parnell Middle Tennessee Regional Representative
  • Garrett Jones West Tennessee Regional Representative
  • Peach Chinratanalab Nashville in Davidson County
  • Joey Williams Lebanon in Wilson County
  • Bill Gage Selmer in McNairy County
  • Sam Gage Selmer in McNairy County
  • Marcellous Brazley Memphis in Shelby County

Want to start a new chapter?

The Arc Tennessee supports the development of People First local chapters in the west, middle and east regions of Tennessee.  To start a chapter in your area, please call 615-248-5878, extension 305 to speak with the People First Coordinator or an e-mail

Start a new chapter today