Local activist, poet and performer Tierra Williams announced she will seek election to the Ferguson Township Board of Supervisors this year.
“No matter where we come from, or how much money is in our wallets, we all work hard for our families,” Williams said in a statement. “I am running for Ferguson Township Supervisor, for future generations, and the advancement of the State College area.”
Williams moved from Mississippi to Centre County with her son three years ago and has been involved in multiple community organizations, including the 3/20 Coalition. Since last summer Williams has been co-leader of the advocacy group formed following the fatal police shooting of Osaze Osagie.
She has been involved in local plays, including “Osaze Remembering,” and has been a Poetry Out Loud judge for two years.
For the second consecutive year, Williams will be resident poet at the Central PA Theatre and Dance Fest this summer.
Williams recently co-created “Black Tea” an online community engagement show focused on having uncomfortable conversations about racial disparities with the aim of creating change.
She said she is running to ensure progress, transparency and accountability are at the forefront of decisions made in Ferguson Township.
Her priorities include examining police reform, advocating for affordable housing, reevaluating mental health policies and creating community relationships.
“Like many of us, the events of 2020 have made me ask, ‘What I can contribute to my community?'” she said. “There is a great deal that needs to be done between the global pandemic, community relations and police reform. I am determined to see that ‘Happy Valley’ is indeed happy for all; Ferguson Township will be a better place.”
If elected, Williams would be the first Black woman to serve on the Ferguson Township Board of Supervisors.
Along with State College Borough Council candidates Richard Biever and Divine Lipscomb, Williams is one of three Centre County candidates running PAUnited PAC’s Our Communities Can’t Wait slate, described as “people-powered, people-funded campaigns that will not take any funding from corporate PACs, corporations, or landlords who profit off exploitation.” The initiative is “less focused on traditionally ‘electable’ candidates and more focused on people with the diverse life experiences it takes to form a government that works for everyone.”
Two at-large supervisor positions are up for election in Ferguson Township this year. They are currently held by Steve Miller and Lisa Strickland.
Pennsylvania’s primary election is May 18.