Kia Jarmon

Kia Jarmon is the Agency Director for boutique communications and community engagement firm, MEPR Agency, visionary for a nonprofit equity collaborative providing capacity building support and leadership development to nonprofits led by people of color, is the co-leader of the Black Philanthropy Initiative in Nashville, and a Collective Impact consultant with the Center for Nonprofit Management. Jarmon is also a trained Rule 31 Civil Mediator and navigates the interconnectedness and division of community, culture, crisis, and communication.

As an agency leader, Jarmon partners with high capacity leaders – in nonprofit, government, and the C-suite – on mission-driven, high impact initiatives to drive organization, community, or system improvements, through the lens of inclusion and equity. Specifically, Kia has led design efforts to address affordable housing, water conservation, transportation, health access, youth violence, child abuse prevention, elder law, historic preservation, and green space, to list a few. Most notably, as a leader in community engagement, Kia has developed and implemented projects that enhance community resilience, established standards for place-keeping, and informed architecture and design teams on neighborhood development and community building.

In addition to her daily work, Jarmon is currently leading two pilot projects aimed at closing the awareness, resource, and access gap between philanthropists and minority-led nonprofits in an effort to design a more equitable ecosystem of giving and receiving.

With a heart for philanthropy and mentorship, Jarmon believes her greatest calling is to serve other people. She mentors dozens of women informally, and also takes great joy in graduating more than 20 young women from a formal mentoring and internship program, the Mentorship Project, for aspiring public relations professionals. In addition to time she gives money to a variety of small, “on the ground” nonprofits, and to small businesses through an Innovation Fund her company launched.

Known as ‘kiss with a fist’, Jarmon is a highly sought-after facilitator, panelist, trainer, and keynote speaker. She brings an infectious, candidly caring energy to sessions on community engagement, inclusive communication, storytelling, sense of belonging, implicit bias, designing for equity, neighborhood identity, and being a female founder.

As a result of Jarmon’s commitment to the community and communications industry, she has been recognized by the 100 Black Women of Nashville with the Susan Short Jones Emerging Leader award, the Minority Business Center as the Minority Business of the Year, the Middle Tennessee Diversity Forum as the “Woman to Watch”, and the Nashville Business Journal’s “Top Forty Under 40” and “Women of Influence”, among others.

In collaboration with her professional pursuits, Jarmon serves as the Vice-Chair of the Metropolitan Beer Permit board, sits on the board of neighborhood leadership organization, Neighbor to Neighbor, serves on the Urban Housing Solutions Community Council, is a member of the Metro Human Relations Support Fund Advisory Board, and serves as the Communications Chair for the Mayors Council on the State of Women.