Who is the Nashville Rise Team?

Neonta Williams

Nashville Rise Director

Neonta Williams, a native of Gadsden, Alabama, has spent the majority of her career working in the non-profit arena. Through her work at AIDS Alabama, The People Development Center, Inc., United Way of Central Alabama and Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO), she worked to empower diverse communities through trainings, workshops and advocacy efforts.

She has always felt that empowerment works best from a grassroots effort. If the communities in which we seek to change realize that they themselves are the actual “change agent” we, in the non-profit world can retire to another passion. Since her collegiate years, she has been motivated by a motto of “Education commensurate Knowledge; and Knowledge commensurate Freedom”. Freedom to pursue life in an abundant way is liberating.

Neonta is a United States Army Veteran and holds a Bachelor of Social Work from Miles College and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Ariba Qureshi


As Organizer for Nashville Rise, Ariba is responsible for managing the relationships with parents and volunteers. Additionally, she assists in the programming for Nashville Rise and engaging parents on social media. Prior to this position, she served as a Field Organizer for Mayor Megan Barry’s successful mayoral campaign. In that role, she coordinated and trained volunteers, as well as managed canvassing efforts. She also worked alongside the campaign team to engage the community for Mayor Barry’s campaign. Ariba is a recent graduate of the University of Tennessee, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies and Political Science.

Allison Simpson

Lead Organizer

As Lead Organizer for Nashville Rise, Allison recruits, engages and manages the relationship with public school parents. Allison worked for eight years in the mental health field at Centerstone. In this work, she was a Community Support Specialist for both adults and homeless veterans where she provided support for those adult’s personal needs and to nurture their strengths. She volunteers with Hands on Nashville, Second Harvest Food Bank and doing various community activities with her daughter’s school – she has two, one of which is a school-aged child. Allison earned her Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Psychology from Auburn University.