Vivian Underwood Shipe

KNOXVILLE, TN — Vivian Underwood Shipe, a Tennessee Tribune journalist covering Knoxville, is running as an activist, advocate for at-risk populations, and dedicated servant of the Knoxville community. 

For more than 30 years, she has listened to the needs of all citizens of Knox County and made it her goal to take action to better the quality of life for all Knoxville citizens. She continues daily to work  to make sure that opportunity is always accessible in various avenues for all citizens.  She is  the founder and director of I AM THE VOICE OF THE VOICELESS, a founding member of the Faith Leaders Health Initiative, a Knoxville Utility Board Advocate (KUB), and an advocate for Knox County Schools. 

A graduate of Austin-East Magnet High School, Shipe still volunteers at AE events that support AE students and staff. She earned her associates degree in marketing from Pellissippi State Community College, where she was recently honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award as an outstanding graduate with significant professional achievement and her service to the community. She earned her Masters Degree from Tusculum University and is a doctoral candidate at Grand Canyon University.

In addition to Shipe’s service to the community, she was a dedicated35- year employee of the United States Postal Service, 25 of those years as union president of the National Alliance of Postal and Federal Employees. 

Upon her retirement, she returned to the Federal government as an agent and supervisor for the Department of Commerce. As a recruiter for the 2020 Census she helped recruit over 3,000 citizens for the decennial count.  

Shipe is also a senior journalist for The Tennessee Tribune, writing articles about issues that affect the Knoxville  that are important to the community but not covered by mainstream media who must prioritize because of lack of space.