You can pray until you faint, but unless you get up and try to do something, God is not going to put it in your lap.Fannie Lou Hamer
Tanvier Peart is a wife, mother, daughter of a retired police sergeant, activist, and strategist deeply invested in the liberation of people forced to the margins of society. She believes in dismantling systems that empower white supremacy, mass incarceration, and economic inequities, and is focused on community reinvestment — instead of prison- and police-industrial complexes that continue to harm BIPOC communities. In addition to addressing police culture, Tanvier is focused on educational equity and school policies that disproportionately harm Black and Latino children, and housing justice, among other issue areas.
With the United States’ income inequality at the highest levels in half a century, almost every state investing more in prisons than educating children, and police violence being a leading cause of death for Black men, there’s an urgent need to make a radical (and restorative) impact that requires us to part ways with the harmful systems in place and reimagine more community-focused initiatives. Tanvier has had an awakening over the years that not only transformed her work through action, but her reaction to systemic issues that continue to cripple communities across the country and abroad.
Tanvier Peart is a trained community organizer, a policy enthusiast, sharp-witted storyteller, and a communications strategist with a heart for people, a passion for justice, and desire for restorative practices that heal the whole person. She is no stranger to service and getting off the sidelines to get involved, dedicating many years to mentoring and volunteer endeavors. Tanvier has lived in major metropolitan areas — Baltimore, the Washington DC corridor, and the New York City tristate — rural America (Oklahoma), and has seen firsthand the effects of deficient policies on communities that lack access to resources and opportunity.
Growing up, Tanvier experienced food insecurities for many years while navigating the realities of living in Baltimore, and having access to education opportunities in an adjacent and wealthier town — witnessing the fruits of investing in communities while not being able to financially obtain them.
In 2015, something in her spirit became uneasy that transformed into a guiding push to dive deeper and challenge systems. Since then, she’s been on a mission to bring attention to socioeconomic inequities and other forms of injustice in effort to realize a more just and equitable society. Her acceptance into the 2017 Open Buffalo Emerging Leaders cohort introduced her to community organizing to take collective action, both in and out the system, to effect change, and has since completed the National Urban League Washington Bureau’s congressional advocacy program. In January 2018, she began her Masters of Public Administration at the University of Baltimore (online) to develop and influence policies.
A former leader of the Racial Justice Task Force for the Western New York Peace Center, Tanvier challenged racial inequality by amplifying the voices of those affected by injustices and organizing to speak truth to power.
She previously held a seat on the Buffalo Urban League Young Professionals’ executive council, focusing her efforts on serving the community through partnerships and events. Tanvier is a member of the NAACP Buffalo chapter, the Buffalo Urban League, and supports Citizen Action of Western New York, Black Love Resists in the Rust (BLRR), and other organizations.
Tanvier is the state (policy) working group chair for Free the People WNY — a coalition of formerly incarcerated, the directly affected, activists, organizers, and attorneys that envision a world free from the violence and death of mass incarceration — addressing inequitable policies across issue areas on the state level. Tanvier was part of a small group that held frequent meetings with Mayor Byron Brown to discuss immediate and long-term policies to address policing strategies in Buffalo in summer 2020 to influence his reform agenda, and continues to work — across all levels of government — to push for the implementation of policies that go beyond the threshold of maintaining status quo.
Tanvier is working in a freelance capacity with Freedom Action Now (FAN), a Wisconsin-based Black and Southeast Asian nonprofit dedicated to inspiring and restoring power to those most affected by harmful systems, while challenging the root causes of poverty, racism and discrimination, and violence. In her role as Communications Lead, Tanvier will develop and implement campaign and marketing strategies, establishing an overall communications blueprint for the organization.
As the Just Recovery Coordinator for Partnership for the Public Good, a community-based think tank that provides advocacy support and research to community partners for a more just and sustainable region, Tanvier will help oversee a new initiative to implement policies that contend with long-standing inequities magnified during the pandemic. Tanvier is working alongside community and legislators to address the impact of our current crises – and their effects on divested and marginalized communities – creating short- and long-term strategies to counter structural inequalities throughout the Buffalo region. In addition, she serves as the LEAD Working Group Coordinator, convening with community stakeholders and elected officials to realize the trauma-informed pre-arrest diversion program in Buffalo.
As part of the Youth Task Force — and the System Advocacy and Partnership Work Group — for the Homeless Alliance of WNY, Tanvier works alongside community agencies and organizations to develop a coordinated community plan for the HUD-funded Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program to reduce the number of youth in Erie and Niagara counties experiencing homelessness.
Tanvier is also a member of the WNY Digital Inclusion & Equity Coalition, working alongside organizations, advocates, and the directly impacted, to create a community-centered strategy to address the digital divide across Western New York and develop a digital equity roadmap. Efforts include participatory research, conducting a needs assessment, developing a digital equity plan, and piloting a community-led (wireless) broadband network.
A Baltimore native — who once lived in the New York City tristate area, and a rural town outside of Oklahoma City home — Tanvier is currently finishing up her Masters of Public Administration, with a focus on public policy, at the University of Baltimore. She’s research capable, quick to understand policy, and enjoys working with others to create strategies and lobby for legislation.
Tanvier Peart is a wife of a first-generation Black Latino immigrant, a mom of two small boys, a PTA warrior, and an unashamed Christ follower who believes faith plus works yield good fruit. Though many aspects of her life still remain unwritten (and are still developing), Tanvier is dedicated to the work and being a part of the greater movement in the name of justice and equity for all.