Tannya Benavides is a first-generation Mexican American and the daughter of working class immigrants. A product of Laredo ISD schools, Tannya earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Texas State University with minors in English and History. Tannya also holds a Masters in Education with a concentration in Education Policy.
Tannya joins Commission Shift with the hope to build a coalition and widespread support for environmentally sound reforms that will center present and future generations of Texans in years to come.
In spring 2020, Tannya came back home to Laredo, where she joined the No Border Wall Coalition to help in the fight and defeat the U.S./Mexico border wall. Their efforts culminated with the cancellation of contracts worth over $1 billion and 71 miles of wall in October 2021.
Tannya previously co-founded and led the grassroots coalition Organizing For Equity NY. As a classroom teacher and lead organizer in New York, Tannya helped attain policy wins at the NYC Department of Education including an expansion of the universal 3K program. She also worked to drop the length of out-of-school suspensions from 180 school days down to 20 days, and the addition of community schools to high-need districts.
Before that Tannya served in Teach For America, where she was called to teach third grade bilingual education in Houston. She also became a community organizer with the Organizing Network for Education (ONE) Houston, where she contributed to a policy win that effectively canceled a multi-million dollar contract with the third-party affiliate private prison company, Camelot Schools of Texas.