TIRRC Electoral Work Featured in Nashville Docujournal

The Moving Picture Boys featured TIRRC in two installments of their Nashville Docujournal. Check out these amazing videos that show how we knocked on doors to educate immigrant voters about the election, and how TIRRC members spent the night of the election making phone calls, watching results, and reflecting on their goals and vision for the next administration. 

Check out the entire Nashville Docujournal series here

Getting Out the Vote:


Election Night:


Civic engagement campaign activates New American voters

In the state with the third fastest-growing immigrant population in the US, and in the region of the country facing the harshest and most persistent attacks on immigrants, our civic engagement work aims to educate and engage New Americans as effective advocates for their own communities. Towards this goal we help aspiring citizens navigate the naturalization process, learn to lobby their elected representatives on the issues that affect their families, and talk to their friends and neighbors about the importance of strong, welcoming and inclusive communities. At the center of our electoral organizing in 2012 was a highly energetic and volunteer-driven campaign that reached a record number of voters and raised the visibility of the New American vote in Tennessee.


To read TIRRC’s statement on the outcome of the elections, click here .

To view photos from TIRRC's civic engagement campaign, click here.


Faces of New American Voters


Meet Drost Kokoye, a New American voter. Drost's family left Kurdistan (northern Iraq) in 1996. She now attends MTSU and is excited to vote for the first time.

"Voting gives me the opportunity to voice what not every immigrant or refugee can yet. It's my chance to choose the people and laws that will allow others to practice this freedom I now have."



Meet Betzabe Vick, a New American voter from Mexico. Betzabe became a citizen through TIRRC's Become a Citizen Now! program and voted for the first time at TIRRC's Get Out the Vote celebration at Coleman Community Center.

Learn about TIRRC's Citizenship Program




Meet Qaali Warsame, a New American voting in her first election. Qaali overcame very difficult circumstances, leaving Somalia in 1993 during a civil war before finally settling in Nashville and earning a nursing degree.

"It's amazing to be in a country where you can vote, where that one vote can make a difference..."

Congratulations Qaali!

Read about New American voters from the Somali community in the Tennessean:


Civic Engagement

Our civic engagement work aims to educate and engage New American communities in the civic process to become effective advocates for their own communities. Year round we work towards our vision through robust programming that encourages and assists New Americans to become citizens, lobby their representatives on issues that are important to their community, and educate their neighbors and allies on issues impacting immigrants and refugees. 

Through continued political education and advocacy work, we support immigrant community members to more fully participate in the political process and build accountability from our elected officials. As the state with the third-fastest growing immigrant population in the US, and in the region facing the harshest and most persistent attacks on immigrants, increasing the visibility and impact of our civic engagement work is critical.

TIRRC aims to build on our culture and history of effective civic engagement with a strategic, visible, and volunteer-driven voter mobilization that targets immigrants and other low-propensity voters.


Get Involved!

Want to get involved in TIRRC's 2012 Civic Engagement work?


Become a Volunteer!

TIRRC is looking for volunteers to support our efforts to engage New American voters in the election this year. Through door-to-door canvasses, phone banking, poll-watching and events, volunteers will engage with Nashville’s diverse immigrant community in conversations about the importance of voting, how to vote, and issues of importance to the immigrant community.


Volunteer Opportunities

  • No experience necessary, all volunteers will receive training.
  • Volunteer shifts are in Nashville Tuesday-Thursday evenings, Saturday all day, and Sunday afternoons
  • Volunteer shifts are 4 hours each


    Please email or call TIRRC’s Civic Engagement Coordinator to sign up for shifts. Please include your name and contact information in your email, which dates and shifts you are available to volunteer. Contact:; 615-833-0384 x 118

Become a Poll Watcher!

The people of Tennessee could use your help. The right to vote and choose our leaders is at the heart of what it means to be an American, but some are working to rewrite our laws and set up barriers at the ballot box. Won't you volunteer as a poll watcher to make sure that any Tennessean who wants to can exercise this fundamental freedom?

Sign Up for Training:

As a non-partisan poll watcher, you will be credentialed through Tennessee Citizen Action.

  • 2 hours training required to be credentialed as a poll watcher.
  • Training Dates: Saturday, October 13; Saturday, October 27; Saturday, November 3
  • Morning & afternoon sessions will be made available.
  • Review Davidson County Poll Watcher Guidelines here:

Become a Poll Worker!

Visit your county's county election commission website to learn how you can sign up to be a poll official. Poll workers help ensure elections and the right to vote is protected. Find your county's website here.