Thomas Marshall III (he/him/his) is a policy communications strategist at IDRA. Through his strengths in Texas education policy, communication, social media strategy, writing and public relations, Mr. Marshall helps coordinate the Southern Education Equity Network communications, legislative and coalition communications, as well as media relations. His research interests include digital equity and inclusion, student engagement, and family and community engagement.
Mr. Marshall’s education journey began in the predominantly Black Title 1 schools of Columbia, South Carolina, where he is originally from. At Clemson University, he worked with a college access program with young men of color ranging from first-year students to seniors in high school, led Black student equity initiatives, and served as a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation intern in Washington, D.C., his junior year. It was in Washington, D.C., where he fell in love with education policy and its potential impacts. As a congressional intern for Rep. Val Demings, he researched education issues extensively within her district.
Mr. Marshall graduated with a bachelor of arts in English with a minor in youth development studies. During his senior year, he completed an internship with the Office of Strategic Communications and led social media strategy for the university’s governmental relations team. Currently, Mr. Marshall is a second-year master’s student at the University of Houston Education and Policy Studies program, studying higher education. His master’s thesis will explore the perceptions of student loan debt for Black students.
Mr. Marshall joined the IDRA team as an Education Policy Fellow, a part of the inaugural cohort of IDRA Education Policy Fellows. During his fellowship, he worked on digital communications, broadband Internet access for students, and student and family engagement. Some highlights of his fellowship included a strong digital communications plan for advocacy against the classroom censorship policies. He co-wrote Digital Destination – Texas Needs Broadband Connectivity for All Students & Families, an issue brief that addresses the gaps within race, region and socioeconomic status for students and families connectivity to the Internet.
As a full-time staff member, Mr. Marshall is excited to continue building strong community engagement through communicating policies for everyone to understand.
Fun fact, Thomas grew up playing the viola and saxophone and still enjoys classical music.
- Texas Legislature Takes Some Steps Toward Addressing the Digital Divide, August 06, 2021
- Solving the Digital Divide Requires Authentic Family Engagement, April 30, 2021
- Texas Needs an Equitable State Broadband Plan to Serve Students and Families, February 28, 2021