Meet the Crew:

Jack Knoxville-President

Originally from NY, Jack moved to Knoxville in 2012.  Since that time, he fell in love with Appalachian life and committed himself to bringing out the best in the town which welcomed him so quickly.

By the age of 14, Jack found himself homeless and spent the next 9 years observing & trying to learn how the world worked.  Once he found his way back into mainstream society, he began advocating for injustice and equality.  In 2002, Jack began an organization called Free2Be, in Charleston, SC.  The organization’s mission was to fight violence and hate crimes through education and awareness.  Since that time, Jack has become a Wall of Tolerance award recipient and earned the distinct pleasure of being the first openly Trans politician to run for office in Knoxville, TN.  Jack is currently overseeing the development of the Trans Empowerment Project, and is involved heavily with the community while working as a Brand Ambassador, Artist, and Entrepreneur.



Kelli Turczyn- Director of Community Education / Board Chair

Kelli Turczyn-Kelli Turczyn is a speech-language pathologist and voice therapist who specializes in voice and communication therapy for transgender individuals. Kelli is passionate about fighting for, and defending the fundamental human rights of the LGBTQ community. She is proud to serve on the board for The Trans Empowerment Project and aims to be a fierce ally for by promoting acceptance, combating harmful legislation, and providing education regarding issues that impact the transgender community.




Nicole Deasy-Director of Digital Marketing

Nicole moved to Knoxville in 2009 and has grown to love it as a second home. Her goals are to get a bachelors degree in history, then a law degree, focusing on the rights of women, low income families, and LGBT+ individuals. As the Trans Empowerment Project’s director of digital marketing, Nicole’s focus is to be an ally and an empowering individual for the transgender community of Knoxville and beyond. Our social media outreach will focus on the promotion of equal rights for the LGBTQIA community, as well as the preservation of Knoxville as a safe space for all individuals.