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Empower Knox Empower Knox is an initiative within the City’s Community Empowerment department that works with area community groups to provide opportunities for young people to achieve in school, in work and in the community.

 Empower Knox
The mission of the Empower Knox initiative is building successful life outcomes for Knoxville’s youth.

Empower Knox has its roots in the Save Our Sons initiative, established by Mayor Madeline Rogero and City partners to remove barriers, address persistent opportunity gaps and build strong, lasting bridges to success for Knoxville’s sons ages 14-24.

In collaboration with the new and existing partner organizations (listed below), Empower Knox works to build capacity within organizations that address and meet the needs of at-risk youth.


For information about the Empower Knox initiative, contact:

Emily Norris
Youth Engagement Coordinator

Office of Community Empowerment
[email protected]

  The City of Knoxville's Summer in the City Intern Program is now accepting applications until April 23, 2023.
Learn more
  The Mayor's Youth Council is now accepting applications until May 19, 2023.
Learn more
  Local organizations working to interrupt violence in Knoxville are invited to apply for grant funding through the City of Knoxville Office of Community Safety.

Grants have already passed deadline: 

Spring Break Opportunity Youth Engagement Micro-Grant

Youth Violence Prevention Week Micro-Grant

Take a look at the 2022 grant impact reports:

Spring Break & Summer Opportunity Youth Grants Impact Report [PDF]

Youth Violence Prevention Week Grant Impact Report [PDF]

The Mayor's Youth Council was established in 2021 with 17 members from eight area middle and high schools to create a platform for high-performing and high-potential young people to have meaningful and effective roles in the City’s policy and decision-making processes. Council members will collaboratively identify and address issues around community organizing, leadership and advocacy. As representatives of Knoxville’s youth, Council members will be responsible for elevating all youth voices through consistent communication with other youth.


Youth SummitEmpower Knox staff held Youth Forums in November 2021 to ask young people about their thoughts about the City of Knoxville and what changes they'd like to see made in the community. On November 19, 2022, Empower Knox held a Youth Summit which included a day-long workshop for the youth of Knoxville to voice their concerns and solutions around mental health, violence prevention, homelessness and civic engagement.

Learn more about the Youth Summit


• A 1 Learning Connections/The S.M.A.R.T. Institute
• Amen Academy
• Beta Theta Boule
• Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee
• Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley
• Change Center
• Childhelp, Inc. 
• City of Knoxville Community Empowerment Department
• Clarence Brown Theatre at the University of Tennessee 
• Community Voices
• Community Volunteers / Partners
• East Tennessee Freedom Schools
• Emerald Youth 
• Forget You Not
• Future of Hope Institute at Johnson University
• Girl Talk Inc.
• Harmony Family Center
• Johnson University, Education 
• Knoxville Area Urban League (KAUL)
• KAUL Young Professionals
• Knoxville Education Foundation
• Knoxville Interdenominational Christian Ministerial Alliance (KICMA)
• Knoxville's Community Development Corporation (KCDC)
• KnoxWorx, Knoxville Leadership Foundation
• Mayor Indya Kincannon
• Metro Drug Coalition
• Operation Hope
• Pellissippi State Community College
• Penultimate Development
• Project Grad Knoxville
• RealTalk Mentoring Inc.
• SEEED Knoxville
• Shora Foundation 
• Skyranch Youth Aviation Program
• University of Tennessee Football
• United Way of Greater Knoxville
• University of Tennessee Diversity and Community Relations Office
• Wesley House
• YWCA Phyllis Wheatley Center 
• Zaevion Dobson Memorial Foundation


The My Brother's Keeper (MBK) Alliance leads a cross-sector national call to action focused on building safe and supportive communities for boys and young men of color where they feel valued and have clear pathways to opportunity.

The MBK Pledge calls for mayors, city councils, and police oversight bodies to address police use of force policies and commit to the following actions:

1. REVIEW your police use of force policies.
2. ENGAGE your communities by including a diverse range of input, experiences, and stories in your review.
3. REPORT the findings of your review to your community and seek feedback.
4. REFORM your community’s police use of force policies.

Mayor Kincannon Announces My Brother's Keeper Pledge - 06/04/2020

Learn more about the My Brother's Keeper Mayor's Pledge at www.obama.org/mayor-pledge

Learn more about the My Brother's Keeper Alliance at www.obama.org/mbka