SON OF THE
Ty's Story is a Mississippi Story
Frustrated by the lack of action from lawmakers on the issues facing people in Mississippi–and believing that the hard-working voters of Mississippi deserve much better–Ty Pinkins decided to run for office.
The son of a tractor driver, Ty doesn’t come from a wealthy family. He was born and raised in the small town of Rolling Fork, and is a “proud son of the Mississippi Delta."
He grew up on cotton farms. His family moved from plantation to plantation, depending on where his dad found work driving tractors. When Ty was around 13 years old, he started chopping cotton in the summers to help his parents make ends meet. He worked in cotton fields throughout his teenage years.
Chopping cotton was hot, dusty, grueling, back-breaking work. Even at such a young age, he knew how his parents were struggling to provide him and his family the most basic necessities, including the roof over their heads—Ty wanted to carry his own weight. Working in the fields taught him the value of hard work and perseverance.
Although Ty’s parents never received much formal learning, they instilled in him the importance of a good education. Because of this, he became the first in his family to graduate high school and the first to attend college. While at Tougaloo College, he worked as a waiter at a local restaurant and sold his plasma at a local blood bank to earn enough to feed himself.
Because of financial hardships, Ty made the decision to leave college and enlist in the military. A decorated veteran of the U.S. Army, he served on active duty for 21 years, including three combat tours in Iraq, earning a Bronze Star for his actions. Throughout his military career, Ty never forgot the importance his parents instilled in him about completing his education. He continued attending classes on military bases around the world—finally earning his undergraduate degree while stationed in Okinawa, Japan. Several years later, his military career culminated in the White House--serving both Republican and Democratic Presidents.
Ty is a dedicated public servant. Because of his upbringing in the Delta, Ty has always believed in serving in low-income communities just like the one that gave him so much despite it having so little to give in material terms. Upon retiring from the military, he co-founded The Pyramid Project, a nonprofit organization serving and inspiring youth from low-income communities by providing career and academic-related resources and mentorship opportunities.
Traveling the Delta, Ty realized that many of the injustices and inequalities he, his family, and his neighbors faced decades earlier—like poverty, underfunded schools, lack of quality healthcare, and high unemployment—are still present in the Delta. So Ty decided to do something about it! He enrolled in law school at Georgetown, earning his J.D. (Juris Doctor) and his LL.M. (Master of Laws) in National Security Law.
After finishing law school, Ty came right back home to the Mississippi Delta, where he now advocates on behalf of community members in some of Mississippi’s most underserved communities by helping community members navigate the justice system.
He has sat in observation of over 700 civil cases in justice courts throughout the Mississippi Delta, helping low-income litigants in their struggle for justice. In the cold of winter, he helped hard-pressed parents access resources necessary to prevent their eviction in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic.
As a community organizer, Ty advocated for Mississippi workers facing unfair pay practices. He took these concerns all the way to Washington, D.C., testifying before Congress regarding the unfair employment practices Mississippi workers were facing. He then represented those workers in lawsuits resulting in Mississippi workers receiving substantial compensation for their lost wages.
Ty has traveled across numerous Mississippi counties, helping establish an organization to support women seeking elected office. In the face of discriminatory redistricting tactics, he helped redraw county electoral maps to ensure all community members have equal representation.
Through it all, Ty has never tired of serving in his community. Although his parents didn’t have much to give financially, they gave him something very important: an understanding of the power of giving back and the value of service to the community. From a young age, his parents taught him to stand up and fight for what’s right. His military career provided him with the leadership skills necessary to serve his community. And, the education he gained at some of America’s best institutions provided him with the tools necessary to have a positive impact in Mississippi.
And, now he's running to continue his service to community as Mississippi's next Secretary of State.