About Barbara Cooper

Education and career

Cooper has served as a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives since the 100th Tennessee General Assembly (1997–1998). She was Vice Chair of the House Government Operations Committee. She served on the House Children and Family Affairs Committee, the House Education Committee, the House Family Justice Subcommittee and the House Higher Education Subcommittee.

Cooper graduated from Manassas High School, in Memphis, Tennessee. She also graduated from Tennessee State University, with a Bachelor of Science Degree and a Master's Degree in Education. She is a retired Memphis City Schools teacher. Cooper graduated with a Doctorate of Religious Philosophy in Christian Psychology, from Jacksonville Theological Seminary, in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1999.

In June 2000, Barbara Cooper voted to sustain Governor Don Sundquist's veto of the Tennessee General Assembly's proposed budget.  She voted against a bill that, upon passing, would have allowed fines of up to $100 for drivers who are in accidents or who are stopped for other traffic offenses and cannot show proof of insurance or financial responsibility.

STATE REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 86 
PRESENT COMMITTEES & SUBCOMMITTEES
• HEALTH
• CONSUMER AND HUMAN RESOURCES
• FACILITIES, LICENSER AND REGULATIONS
• TENNESSEE BLACK CAUCUS
• SHELBY COUNTY DEMOCRATIC LEGISLATIVE CAUCUS

AWARDS AND HONORS: 

2011 Legislator of the Year, Memphis Area Association of Governments, Tennessee Area Development District Association: Chairlady Emeritus, Honorary Member, Manassas High School, GQ/PVL Clubs; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority (AKA), Extraordinary Leadership, AKA Day on the Hill: TSU, Appreciation, Dedicated Service Pioneer Black Firefighters, Inc.: NOBEL (National Organization Black Elected Legislators) Shining Star; Citizens for Better Service; Public Service Dr. Raymond Winbush Award; NUAF (National Union of American Families) Outstanding Leadership: Honorary Member: Shelby Forest Community; T. O. Fuller State Park; Equal Opportunity Group, Inc. Project Save-a-Student Award; HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) Wellness Award, LeMoyne College; AFL-CIO Leadership Award; Honored by Women of Distinction, AFL-CIO International Award Community Service, Las Vegas, Nevada: Shelby County Schools, Hall of Fame 2019. Key Legislation: Fireworks, Millington; Sales, Beale Street; Community of Schools: TTP; Intu Education: SITES $10M (Strengthening Instruction for Teachers in Elementary Schools): Focus on Math, An HBCUs project; Veterans Home Funding $50Th: AA Museum $10th: AIA $20th: Withers Collections $20th: TSU Land Grant Funding (TBCSL) $4.1M.

PERSONAL INFORMATION:

MEMBERSHIP HISTORY: 
100TH THROUGH 111TH GENERAL ASSEMBLIES

COUNTIES REPRESENTED:
PART OF SHELBY, INCLUDING
THE CITY OF MEMPHIS

I WILL CONTINUE TO: promote and advance projects, initiatives, programs and legislation focusing on a more informed educated citizenry. Therefore, I will continuously organize, network and communicate with my constituents in Memphis/Shelby County and the State of Tennessee, nationally and globally utilizing various mediums - voter education/registration, sessions, constituent services, community workshops, forums, mass media platforms and the Presidential Election 2020. People and Equal Rights) and Community Awareness Workshops: Education, Health, Environment and Economic Development, Jobs for All Coalition, Expungement Clinic, Urban Farmers’ Listening Session, One Voice Community Coalition, Living Legends Awards Ceremony.

Personal Info
Committees
Community Involvement
Honors & Awards
  • Born on August 4, 1929
  • Widow, three children, three grandchilden, three great-grandchildren
  • Catholic
  • Retired Educator, Community Relations Specialist and Parent Coordinator
  • Graduate of Manassas High School, Memphis, TN
  • B.S. and Master's Degree in Education, Tennessee State University
  • Ph.D., Religious Philosophy and Christian Psychology, Jacksonville Theological Seminary
  • M.Ed., Tennessee State University
  • 45 Hours Post Graduate, Curriculum and Instruction, University of Tennessee
  • House Member of the 100th through 111th General Assemblies
  • Former Chair, Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators
  • Memphis Cotton Makers’ Jubilee
  • Bi-Centennial Ball
  • MLK50
  • W. C. Handy Park
  • Southbrook Center Project
  • Super Learning Class
  • Books and Breakfast
  • Education Leadership Council
  • Shelby County Democratic Women
  • Social Action Committee (St. Augustine Church)
  • Co-Convener, African American People's Organization
  • NAACP
  • Former Member, District 86 Advisory Council- SDNSC (Southwest,Downtown, Northwest, Shelby County Council)
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority
  • Past President, Tennessee Community Education Association
  • Tennessee State University
  • Women in Government
  • Former Member, Shelby County Democratic Executive Committee
  • National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL)
  • Southwest Community Education Advisory Committee
  • Committee Co-Chair, One and One Half Cent Sales Tax Funding for Education, Sponsored by the NAACP/Memphis Education Association
  • National Council of Negro Women, Shelby County Section, SAC Chair
  • Former Secretary, Democratic Caucus
  • Cooper/Jones Initiative
  • Citizens for Better Service
  • Tennessee Dispensing Opticians Association
  • Tennessee Tourism Roundtable
  • Kennedy Democratic Organization (KDO)
  • CIO Labor Council
  • Memphis Area Association of Governments Board (MAAG)
  • Downtown Memphis Commission Board
  • Equal Education Opportunity Group, 2012
  • Friends of T.O. Fuller Park
  • Sierra Club, 2010
  • Bloomfield Baptist Church Summer Youth Program, 2009
  • Save-A-Student Leadership Training Conference, 2008
  • TSU Alumni, 2007
  • Shelby Forest Community Forest Oak Drive Civic Club, 2003
  • American Dream Community Neighborhood Blast-Off
  • S/W Forum on Taxes
  • Thirteenth Documentary Cultural Awareness
  • Neighborhood Clean Up in Public Safety
  • Transportation: A Way out of Poverty
  • Shelby County Delegation, Secretary
  • Memphis Shelby County Schools Induction Hall of Fame, 2019
  • TEA - Most Support for Teachers 2014
  • Top Ladies of Distinction, 2012
  • Cool-Out Saturday Recognition Award, 2012
  • Legislator of the Year, 2011
  • Citizens for Better Service, 2010
  • Memphis Women of Stamina National Spokespersons, September 2010
  • AKA, Extra Special Politician, 2007-2010
  • The Spirit of Kwanza Award, 2007-2008
  • Leadership Award, Tennessee, 2005
  • WAND/WILL Pacesetters, 2001
  • Silver Tray for Outstanding Service by St. Augustine Catholic School Principal 1988-1994 and Certificates (2)
  • BURE Honoree “Outstanding Educators of the Month Award”
  • International AFL/CIA Kellogg International - National Conference
  • MAAG - Legislator of the Year
  • Shelby County Legislative Chair
  • Outstanding Service, St. Augustine School
  • Magnolia Transportation, Outstanding Civic Work
  • Teacher Recognition Day by St. Augustine Parents