Cover photo for Marilyn Robinson's Obituary
Marilyn Robinson Profile Photo

Marilyn Robinson

September 10, 1955 — February 25, 2022

Ms. Marilyn Robinson was born September 10, 1955 in Memphis Tennessee, the only child to the late Ms. Mae Ola Robinson and the late Joseph Johnson. She confessed her faith in Jesus Christ at an early age and attended Open Door Baptist Church with her family. She is a graduate of Carver High School and Lemoyne Owen College of Memphis, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Finance.

After working briefly at the IRS, Marilyn relocated to Nashville in 1984, serving as the executive director of the Nashville Minority Business Center. In that capacity, for over 35 years she sponsored and coordinated the Minority Enterprise Development week, a national minority business development conference known as MEDWeek, a weeklong celebration of minority business contributions to the national economy, business development trainings and advocacy for public contracting equity which culminated with the awesome and highly anticipated Minority Business Achievement Awards Banquet.

She served on many boards and in many leadership and committee member positions in several organizations, including but not limited to, operating the One Fund which provided access to capital to small and minority business owners, Nashville Electric Service Metropolitan Nashville, Davidson County Convention Center Commission, Leadership Nashville class of 1999, AAA Residential Resources Inc, and 100 Black Women Metropolitan Nashville Chapter. Always having an avid political interest, she also served as a delegate for Al Gore in the 2000 Presidential campaign.

Marilyn is a member of the Nashville Foundation for Women of Color Inc., Music City (TN) Chapter of the Links Inc., and the National Congress of Black Women Inc. Metropolitan Memphis (TN) Chapter. A committed and tireless fighter for business equity and justice, her career, life and passion has been dedicated to seeking equitable opportunities for minority business owners. Therein, she was instrumental in encouraging Nashville to complete two disparity studies to document the inequities in government contracting, was instrumental in the Metro council passing the historic Equal Business Opportunity legislation to remove barriers for minorities to compete in government contracting and worked to create a state pilot program to encourage more procurements for small and minority businesses.

She bestowed many awards on many individuals in her lifetime and received many awards for her outstanding work, including but not limited to receiving the Power of WE, Inaugural Trailblazers Award for outstanding contributions, the Saint Mark Baptist Church Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award and most recently, on February 24th 2022, she received the Sam Howard Business Advocate Lifetime Achievement award by the Urban League of Middle Tennessee.

A Lifetime of Achievements, A Lifetime of Contributions, A Loving, Gifted and Generous sole, she leaves to cherish her memory and miss her dearly, her beloved akita dogs, Buffy and Jody, her family and a host of friends and associates.

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