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Pride Month Community Spotlight: Shannon Millsaps


Chattanooga Football Club is proud to recognize Shannon Millsaps, Chief Operating Officer of Thrive.

Shannon Millsaps is Chattanooga born and bred. Born in Hamilton County, Millsaps moved away for less than two years, before returning back to the place her family has lived in for generations.

"This is my home, and these are my people.”

Pride in Chattanooga

As someone that has spent so much time in Chattanooga and the surrounding areas, no one could know what the city has gone through for Pride better than Millsaps.

"Our city, our state, our country has a checkered history, especially when it comes to the queer community and race relations. Systemic issues run deep. I want to see more Chattanoogans show the necessary resolve to fight for change, honor diversity, and step into their power to make a difference."

When it comes to pushing for equality and fighting for change, Millsaps has found ways to foster a community and promote inclusion for the city.

"Taking time to honor the sacrifices, battles, celebrations, and successes of our queer ancestors is important for me, not just in June, but throughout the year. In its simplest form, I support my wife's small business (Thistle & Thorn Clay Co.) and help assemble earrings for the CFC Merch Shop. Let's go Blue!"

The Future of Pride

Pride has gone through so much in its journey to equality. With steps forwards and backwards, Millsaps believes in pushing ahead, and that it’s about looking toward what, and who, is next.

"Supporting events hosted by Chattanooga Pride and pledging funding for Prideraiser through the Chattahooligans are just two ways I try to give back. Probably the most rewarding, however, is mentoring and supporting young, queer kids in our community. They are the future."

Through her work for Thrive and beyond, Millsaps has been a leader and champion for younger people and underrepresented populations. To those people, she has one message:

"To young LGBTQ+ folks in Chattanooga and beyond, I say this: You are not alone. Embrace your authentic self and know that your unique perspective is your strength. Approach differences with curiosity and candor. And remember, by holding the door open for those who follow, you pave the way for a more just and inclusive future."