2020 Tillman Scholar

Tatum H. Perez

University of Denver

“The opposite of apathy is love. I want to be part of the fight against apathy, which is marginalizing communities, driving people from their homes, and preventing them from thriving.”

Tatum has always been devoted to selfless service. From volunteering with animal rescue organizations, to managing a crisis hotline, and working with those suffering from addiction, nothing has been more important to her than helping others.

Tatum joined the military after 9/11, committing to serve her country in any way possible. Crucial to the mission, but not always publicly acknowledged, are the community building and humanitarian efforts provided by the U.S. military in countries it occupies. Tatum seized every opportunity to contribute to these efforts. Working in the medical field allowed her to not only help her fellow soldiers, but also work with communities around the world providing education on public health and access to clean water.

After a deployment to New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina rescue and relief efforts, Tatum’s interest in emergency management took hold and she helped found an intervention hotline for those in crisis.

Today Tatum is enrolled in a law school program, in which she holds several leadership roles, and works tirelessly to improve the law school experience for her fellow students, all while working full time for a non-profit foundation. Tatum also finds time to volunteer with a local charity that offers career readiness language training for refugees and conducts habeas corpus research for animal welfare legal campaigns.

After law school Tatum will continue her work with policy makers and city planners to address the effects of urban sprawl and gentrification on disenfranchised communities to promote environmental and spatial justice.