Representative Raumesh Akbari’s interest in politics and community activism led to her winning a special election for House District 91 in the fall of 2013. Since that time she has been an effective and vocal member of the House Criminal Justice Committee and Subcommittee, and the House Education Instruction and Programs Committee. Her law background has been instrumental in both formulating and implementing policy. She has authored several bills affecting economic disparities and job creation, school district changes, criminal justice reform and regional health issues.
Beyond her obvious responsibilities, Representative Akbari has also taken a leadership role in several legislative organizations. She is currently vice-chair of the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators; Chair of the Children, Youth and Families Committee of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators; a state director within Women in Government; and national corresponding secretary of N.O.B.E.L., the National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women.
She is the recipient of honors and awards from the Council of State Governments and its affiliated Southern Leadership Conference; the National Council of State Legislatures; the State Legislative Leaders Foundation; the National Juvenile Justice Network; N.O.B.E.L.; and Governing Magazine’s Governing Institute for outstanding appointed or elected women officials. She was invited by the Canadian Embassy and the Canadian Consulates General to participate in Canada’s Rising State Leaders Program, and she was one of a handful Americans selected by the American Council of Young Political Leaders to take part in an exchange program in Australia.
She received a special honor recently as she was invited by the Democratic National Committee to speak at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
Back in her hometown of Memphis, Representative Akbari is most active. She has spearheaded a city-wide effort to clean up neglected and abandoned cemeteries in Memphis and Shelby County; she has begun what she hopes to be an annual workshop for felons who seek employment and restoration of voting rights; and, with her family’s business, she has conducted a “giving back” effort involving other local businesses and community outreach programs to raise funds for youth ministries in churches within her district.
A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, she earned her Juris Doctorate at the Saint Louis University School of Law, with a concentration in civil litigation.
On a personal level, Representative Akbari is a member of New Hope Baptist Church in Memphis. She and her family own and operate the World Trichology Institute and the Lisa Akbari Hair Care Products line. Theirs is a mission of public service, devoted to the needs of the people of their community, of Memphis and Shelby County, and of the entire State of Tennessee.