Last modified by Coy Wakefield - 4 weeks ago

James McKinney

James McKinney serves as Highlander’s Bookkeeper and has lived in Appalachia all his life. As a child, he grew up in a working class neighborhood with friends and neighbors of diverse backgrounds. He graduated from Karns High School in 2010 and went on to become the first in his family to attend college, beginning at Pellissippi State Community College. While there, he was instrumental in creating a community garden, which to this day provides food for community members through the Pellissippi Pantry Program. He then went one to graduate from the University of Tennessee in 2014 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. James has three years of accounting experience from working with a for-profit accounting and wealth management firm. James’ call to action moment came when he was preparing tax returns for wealthy individuals and realized the outstanding level of social and financial inequality in today’s society. It was then that he began looking for other ways to use his accounting skills and was fortunate to find his way to Highlander. He is passionate about economic equality, immigration reform, and financial literacy. Outside of work, James enjoys circus arts including –but not limited to– stilt walking, teeterboarding, and aerial arts. He is an amateur mechanic who enjoys working on vintage motorcycles and cars. He also spends free time at the Riverside Catholic Worker Community, helping with odd jobs and providing stimulating conversation. James loves the people, the culture, and the mission of Highlander, and is grateful for the opportunity to do impactful work.