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University of Tennessee

Gwen McKenzie

Gwen McKenzie

Gwen McKenzie was elected to the Knoxville City Council in 2017, becoming the first African American woman to serve. This also made her the first woman to represent the 6th District. In 2019, she became the first African American woman to serve as vice mayor (2019 – 2021). McKenzie co-hosts the “Faith Leaders Initiative,” a weekly call with faith leaders to ensure communities have accurate information on COVID 19, access to vaccines, and subject matter experts. She is also the new executive director for Legacy Housing Foundation, a non-profit that provides everyday essentials to seniors, persons with disabilities, and families living in affordable housing communities. She currently serves on numerous boards and advisory councils, including Knoxville Area Urban League, CAC, World United Ministries, Girl Talk, Inc., Next Step Initiative and many more. McKenzie is a member of Greater Warner AME Zion Church, and she and her husband, Sam, live in East Knoxville and have a blended family of six children and one dog, Lucky.