Election Day 2018 didn’t turn out as Wade Munday had hoped, but the 2004 graduate remains committed to serving others.
“Even throughout the campaign, I’ve been focused on my work at Justice for Our Neighbors,” Munday said. “It’s such a vital solution to today’s immigration crisis. Whether you’re on the right or the left of the issue, immigrants and refugees need lawyers in order to navigate the legal system. I’m going to keep doing this and I’m really fortunate to be in the position I’m in.”
Munday, who serves as the executive director of Tennessee Justice for Our Neighbors, a nonprofit that provides legal services for refugees and immigrants, lost his campaign to represent Tennessee District 25 in the state senate. District 25 encompasses Robertson, Dickson, Cheatham, Humphreys and Hickman counties.
A Middle Tennessee native, Munday graduated from Trevecca with a bachelor’s degree in religion and continued his education at Vanderbilt Divinity School. Munday felt called to serve, thinking he might eventually become a minister or missionary.
But it soon became clear to Munday that he was called to public service. He started working in politics during his senior year of college and has been involved ever since.
“I started working in politics during my senior year of college at Trevecca,” Munday said. “I was working for a political consulting company and it remained something I’ve always been involved in since.”
Munday previously served as the community director of the Tennessee Democratic party and as a fundraising consultant for Boston Children’s Hospital, an international pediatric hospital ranked #1 pediatric hospital in the country by U.S. News and World Report.
Whether in politics or his daily work, Munday feels called to work with the marginalized or overlooked, something he says began at Trevecca.
“I was really impacted by my time at Trevecca,” Munday said, “particularly in the religion department. There was a strong understanding that our study of faith isn’t just an intellectual exercise but a daily practice. I was probably most impacted by Tim Green’s class on prophetic books of the Bible and the call to serve vulnerable people in society, the poor and marginalized. That really did impact not only the way I thought about things theologically, but also where I wanted my career to go.”
In addition, Munday says his Trevecca experience helped to inform his deep desire to serve others as well as challenging him to think critically and find better ways to serve the community.
“[My theological training] gave me an understanding into how we think critically,” Munday said. “At Trevecca, we’re not taught to accept things at face value, but rather use all our reasoning and modes of thinking in order to resolve textual issues and be critical of other things we’re reading. It certainly informed my faith and the way I work now.”
For Munday, the decision to enter the District 25 race wasn’t about making a name for himself, but rather giving a voice to the voiceless.
“I’ve been an active voter all of my adult life and this is one part of being an active citizen,” Munday said, “moving from being a voter to being someone who regularly interacts with your representatives and lobbying for things you care about. If you care about things enough, you challenge the incumbent. I knew there were voters who hadn’t had a voice in other elections and I wanted to give a voice to them, win or lose.”