Tenant Education Counselor

My name is T’Naya, (Ta-Nay-Ya), I have a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology, and Administrative Management from Central Washington University, an accomplishment I thought would be forever out of my reach. I have overcome significant obstacles during my human experience, being born into a low-income, single-parent, mentally ill household. I have always lived on the “other side of the freeway”, and for a long time I felt that I would always be a product of my environment; a body stuck in systemic poverty and oppression, with generational scars.

I felt crushed, shamed, guilted, and stigmatized into submission, completely defeated by these life challenges. However, after the loss of my partner and child’s father in 2016, I chose to channel my experiences into a powerful force for change, an attempt to take all my collateral damage and turn it into collateral beauty. The best things in my life have come from my darkest moments, but because of my suffrages, I have a raw human understanding of the complexities of the human mind, body, and soul, and how those three components are negatively impacted when experiencing any type of crisis.

I started my journey with the Tenants Union as a volunteer tenant's rights counselor answering calls on the statewide hotline. In my time volunteering, I have gained robust knowledge about tenants’ rights, and an immense appreciation for all those who fought for housing justice before me. I now have a strong conviction and desire to pay it forward for those coming after me in the fight for housing justice and to challenge myself and others to undo generations of injustices, isms, phobias, and all other forms of oppression.

I am also the Associate Director and public speaker for The Original DUI Impact Panel. A journey that brought me peace. Our organization facilitates education and awareness impact panels every Saturday, as well as take part in mock crashes and DUI awareness events at high schools and colleges.

I am elated to jump in the arena and fight the good fight alongside the Tenants Union and the people we serve. I believe my knowledge, lived experience, fortitude, and resilience combined with my technical and management degree grant me the ability to connect with others with ease and create measurable, meaningful, and impactful change with the help of technology.