Nominations Open to Honor locals for Civil & Human Rights work

Trailblazer Awards Presented by the City of Memphis

 The Memphis Heritage Trail, in collaboration with the City of Memphis’ Division of Housing and Community Development, is accepting nominations for the 2017 Trailblazer Award. The award honors Memphians for advancing civil and human rights and for carrying the torch to uphold African-American history and culture.

Criteria for the award includes: contributions to underserved populations through intellectual courage, written or verbal communication or creativity in the arts; contributions to support underserved populations through education or awareness and helping secure the cultural and historical legacy for future generations. Recipients must also have resided in Shelby County at one time and have a favorable overall reputation.

Nominations will open on Friday, November 3, 2017 and close Friday, November 17, 2017. Those interested in nominating a citizen should visit http://memphisheritagetrail.com/mht-nomination/ to complete the nomination process.

“This is a great honor for us to recognize these individuals,” said Felicia Harris, manager of Planning and Development for the City of Memphis. “Without these trailblazers, we wouldn’t have a Memphis Heritage Trail. Their efforts in our community should be celebrated.”

The Memphis Heritage Trail is a historic 60-block redevelopment area in downtown Memphis. The project has been in the works since 2008 and includes the area bordered by Beale Street on the north, Main Street on the west, Crump Boulevard on the south and Walnut Street on the east. Community assets within the area are: Clayborn Temple,

Mason Temple, Universal Life Building and the National Civil Rights Museum. In Memphis, it is considered the epicenter of African-American history, heritage and culture and will include a walking trail with historical markers.

The 2016 Memphis Trailblazers:

Yvonne & David Acey         Happy Jones                         Mark Stansbury

Ekundayo Bandele             Robert Lipscomb                  Judge Russell Sugarmon

Joyce Blackmon                   Marion Mitchell                     Calvin Taylor

Ruby Bright                           Dr. James Netters                Henry Turley

Attorney Mike Cody             Charlie Newman                  Elaine Lee Turner

Erma Clanton                       O C Pleasant                                    Rosalind Withers

Fred Davis                             James D’eke Pope              Jocelyn Wurzburg, J.D.

Bishop William Graves       Beverly Robertson               Jan Young/Assisi Foundation

Rev. LaSimba Gray             Diane Rudner                      Dr. Coby Smith

 

 

About MHT

Memphis Heritage Trail is an expansive plan to celebrate the rich business, culture and musical heritage of African-American achievements in Memphis. The project brings historical tourism, urban redevelopment and city-wide pride to important public spaces. For more information visit http://memphisheritagetrail.com/.

FAFSA Memphis Kickoff- Major Push to the Goal Line

Graduate Memphis’ theme is Start. Stay. Finish!

Students looking for help with post-secondary education costs can get a head-start on completing the essential Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at workshops located at Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library on Sunday, October 1 and Saturday, October 7, 2017. The FAFSA Kickoff will consist of workshops for students and parents to complete their FAFSA, with a goal of getting the students to start college, and persist through degree completion.

Graduate Memphis and its community partners are doing their part to make sure graduating seniors and adult learners are aware of the opening of FAFSA on October 1 for the 2018-2019 academic year. “Completing the FAFSA is a critical first step in preparing for college enrollment. Graduate Memphis, along with our partners and volunteers are prepared to assist as many parents of graduating juniors and seniors as well as adults seeking to enroll in college with completing the FAFSA. The early submission of the financial aid application allows families to better plan financially for the upcoming academic year,” said Reneé McCreight, Senior Director of Graduate Memphis.

Upcoming FAFSA workshops include:

Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library – 3030 Poplar Avenue, Memphis, TN 38111 Sunday, October 1, 2017

1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

 

Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library – 3030 Poplar Avenue, Memphis, TN 38111 Saturday October 7, 2017

1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Last year more than 7,000 Shelby County high school seniors completed the FAFSA. Graduate Memphis and partners are trying to make sure that eligible students and adult learners interested in enrolling in a technical/career, 2 year or 4 year college or university have the opportunity to ask questions and gain accurate information from knowledgeable, trained staff and volunteers.

For more information about the FAFSA Weekend and how you can get involved, contact Renee McCreight, Senior Director for Graduate Memphis at 901.415.2774 Or rmccreight@leadershipmemphis.org. Visit the website at www.FAFSAMemphis.com  Graduate Memphis is an action initiative of Leadership Memphis.

Leadership Memphis

Leadership Memphis is a non-profit, community leadership development organization. Its mission is to prepare and mobilize leaders to work together for the good of the whole

community. Founded in 1977 as the Memphis Institute of Public Responsibility, the organization has trained and graduated more than 2,500 leaders from its signature programs: Executive and FastTrack, Criminal/Juvenile Justice, and Grassroots. Its Action Initiatives include Graduate Memphis and Volunteer Memphis.

Count It! Lock It! Drop It! Adds New Communities to Program

Growth Sparked by BlueCross Health Foundation Grant

 

Count It! Lock It! Drop It! ™ (CLD), a comprehensive community program for prescription drug abuse prevention, has added 26 counties since its statewide launch last summer.

In June 2016, the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation approved a grant to fund the program’s expansion to areas identified as “hot spots,” which are counties with high numbers of prescriptions dispensed, overdose deaths and babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome.

The program, now offered in 58 counties, suggests three simple steps that anyone can practice to keep their medications out of the wrong hands:

 

  • Count pills every two weeks to monitor theft and help ensure medications are taken properly;
  • Lock and store medications in a secure place where others would not think to look; and
  • Dispose of unused or expired medications at drop boxes or during take-back events.

 

“Prescription drug misuse has reached epidemic levels in the state of Tennessee,” said Kristina Clark, CLD project manager. “Becoming a CLD community is an easy way for local law enforcement and anti-drug coalitions to encourage their residents to closely monitor their prescriptions, especially ones for opioids.”

Communities that have recently joined the program include:

 

 

  • Benton County
  • Carroll County
  • Cocke County
  • Claiborne County
  • Crockett County
  • Cumberland County
  • Decatur County
  • Dyer County
  • Fayette County
  • Fentress County
  • Gibson County
  • Giles County
  • Greene County
  • Hancock County
  • Hardin County
  • Henderson County
  • Humphreys County
  • Lauderdale County
  • Lawrence County
  • Lincoln County
  • Loudon County
  • McMinn County
  • Polk County
  • Scott County
  • Sevier County
  • Union County

 

 

“We are proud of the program’s success so far, but we know there is more work to do,” said Roy Vaughn, executive director of the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation. “It’s exciting to have these new communities join the fight to combat one of the state’s most concerning public health issues.”

In addition, CLD partnered with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation to locate a drug disposal drop box in all 95 counties.

For more information on joining Count It! Lock It! Drop It! ™ or to locate a drop box, visit www.countitlockitdropit.org.

 

About BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation, Inc.
The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation, Inc., was established in December 2003 as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation organized to promote the philanthropic mission of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. The foundation awards grants focused on high-impact initiatives across the state, which promote healthy lifestyle choices and help control health care costs for all Tennessee residents. Working with civic and economic partners, the foundation is dedicated to the support of research, innovative programs and creative approaches to improve the health and quality of life of Tennesseans for generations to come.

 

About BlueCross®
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee’s mission is to provide peace of mind through better health. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on serving more than 3.4 million members in Tennessee and across the country. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company’s website at bcbst.com.

 

Lauterbach to present at Heritage Trail event

Award-winning author Preston Lauterbach will share the rich and vibrant history of Downtown Memphis at a Memphis Heritage Trail event on Friday, Sept. 8.
The event is being presented by the Division of Housing and Community Development as part of its Neighborhood Connect podcast, produced by KUDZUKIAN. Free and open to the public, the event will take place at 11:30 a.m. Sept. 8 at the Paradise Event Center, 645 E. Georgia Ave.
Author of the award-winning books “Beale Street Dynasty” and “The Chitlin Circuit,” a Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and NPR book of the year, Lauterbach will specifically highlight the Memphis Heritage Trail district, a historic 20-block Downtown area that is considered the epicenter of local African-American history, heritage and culture.
“Memphis Heritage Trail highlights the rich African-American history in this community and provides a stimulus for our economy,” HCD Director Paul A. Young said. “The dialogue with Preston Lauterbach will amplify the stories and experiences that make the South City neighborhood such a significant asset to this city.”
After Lauterbach brings the history of Downtown Memphis to life, the audience will hear an update on the status of the MHT project, which celebrates the rich business, cultural and musical heritage of African-American achievements in Memphis. The floor will then be open for questions.
Lauterbach is the first guest of the new season of the Neighborhood Connect podcast. The Neighborhood Connect podcast serves as a portal for people to learn about the culturally rich communities and neighborhoods of Memphis.
“At KUDZUKIAN, we are dedicated to making different voices in the community heard through excellent programming,” Larry Robinson, the founder of KUDZUKIAN, said. “We are very excited to have Preston Lauterbach share the amazing role the African-American community played and continues to play in Memphis.”
ABOUT MEMPHIS HERITAGE TRAIL: Memphis Heritage Trail is an expansive community redevelopment plan that brings historical tourism, urban redevelopment and city-wide pride to important public spaces. The MHT is a historic 20-block redevelopment area that includes the area bordered by Beale Street on the north, Main Street on the west, Crump Boulevard on the south and Manassas Street on the east. Buildings within the area are: Clayborn Temple, Mason Temple, First Baptist Beale, the Universal Life Building and the National Civil Rights Museum. It is considered the epicenter of African-American history, heritage and culture and will include a walking trail with historical markers. More information is available at http://memphisheritagetrail.com/.

Vintage901 Introduces Lowcountry Boil Event

Vintage901 is back August 19, 2017 for its Lowcountry Seafood Boil event. A Cordova farm will be transformed into a seafood diner’s delight from 6 – 10 p.m. with wine pairings that will compliment the lowcountry cuisine.

The family-style seafood feast of boiled shrimp, crawfish, potatoes, corn and sausage will also feature music by a Memphis band. Tickets for the event are $50 and can be purchased at www.vintage901.com. VIP packages are $75 and include table service and a book by the Grand Sommelier Laurie Forster, The Wine Coach.

“Our inaugural festival was such a great success, I was eager to plan the next event,” said Vintage901 Organizer Stephanie Ferreira. “This is edutainment. I want people to learn about wine and have fun. Wine can be paired with anything.”

Forster is one of America’s leading wine experts and author of the award-winning book The Sipping Point: A Crash Course in Wine. She is a certified sommelier, national speaker and TV personality who is not afraid to tell you her first wine came from a box. Her edgy approach to demystifying wine has led her to guest appearances on Dr. Oz, FOX Morning News, Martha Stewart Living Today and ABC News at Noon.

For more information, visit www.vintage901.com. Follow them on social media at: www.facebook.com/Vintage901, Twitter: @Vintage901Fest and Instagram: @Vintage901Fest.

About Vintage901

Established in March of 2017, Vintage901 is a three-day wine festival complete with tastings, tapas, salsa, soul and jazz that brings the world to Memphis, Tennessee to celebrate wine, food and music. It features the best in artisanal wines, an array of local flavors with a nod to global sensibilities and music that blends the classic and the eclectic.

 

 

NAACP MEMPHIS BRANCH HIRES NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Vickie Terry was tapped for the top position at the local branch.

After a five month search, the NAACP Memphis Branch has
hired Vickie Terry as the new Executive Director for the organization. The former Fund
Development and Major Gifts Manager for United Way of the Mid-South will be responsible for
the day-to-day operations of the branch focusing on programs, advocacy, fund development
and membership. Terry will work closely with the local branch president and Executive
Committee on continuing the work of the branch.
“We took our time to find the right leader for the Memphis Branch and I believe we have that
person in Vickie Terry,” said Deidre Malone, President, NAACP Memphis Branch. “Vickie
understands the non-profit market and has worked on programs that focus on the betterment of
our community. We look forward to working with her to achieve our goals for the Memphis
Branch.”
Terry started in her new role on Monday, July 24th and attended the National NAACP
Convention to learn from national and state leadership the direction of the parent organization.
“As a member of the NAACP, I’m honored to serve in this role and work with our leadership to
take the Memphis Branch to the next level,” said Vickie Terry, Executive Director, NAACP
Memphis Branch. “I look forward to leveraging my longstanding relationships in the community
to educate people on the work we are doing today and cultivating new partnerships to grow our
programs that are so needed in this community.”
The NAACP Memphis Branch meets every 4th Sunday at 4pm at Mt. Olive CME Church at 538
Dr. Martin Luther King Drive. These meetings are open to the public.
ABOUT NAACP MEMPHIS BRANCH
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is the nation’s
oldest civil rights organization. The mission of the NAACP is to ensure the political, educational,
social and economic equality of rights for all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial
discrimination. The Memphis Branch is one of the largest branches in the organization.

The TRANSFORMATION50 Basketball & Life Skills Camp, Awards Gala and Righteous Revolution Rally This Week

The TRANSFORMATION50 Basketball & Life Skills Camp sponsored by the Tarik Black Foundation begins on Monday, July 10, 2017 at Ridgeway High School at 2009 Ridgeway Road. The 4-day camp will host 50 male students who will learn basketball techniques, police etiquette, table etiquette, and other life skills. The camp is from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
On Thursday evening, there will be an awards gala for camp participants with NBA player and foundation CEO Tarik Black serving as the keynote speaker. Four individuals who have had a major impact on Tarik’s life will receive awards in their honor. This event will be held at the Church of the Holy Communion at Cheney Parish Hall at 4645 Walnut Grove starting at 6:30 p.m. This event is only for campers and invited guests.
On Friday, the Righteous Revolution Rally will be from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. across the street from Mt. Olive C.M.E. Church at 538 Dr. Martin Luther King Drive. The goal is to promote unity, love and power to the Memphis community. The general public is invited to this event.

ABOUT THE TARIK BLACK FOUNDATION:
The Tarik Black Foundation was founded by Tarik Black, a NBA player. The Memphis native, who graduated from Ridgeway High School, received his undergraduate degree from the University of Memphis and his master’s degree from the University of Kansas. The Tarik Black Foundation, headquartered in Black’s hometown, Memphis, TN provides programs and recognizes causes that offer help bring about positive change in communities. The foundation is managed by Judith Black Moore who serves as president and oversees day-to-day operations.

2ND YEAR OF SAFE SUMMER BLOCK PARTY SERIES OFFICIALLY KICKS OFF ON FRIDAY 7/14/2017

The event features free camel rides food, drinks and family-friendly entertainment

 The Anti-Violence Safe Summer Block Party Series kicks off its second year on Friday, July 14, 2017 at Hickory Ridge Middle School, 3920 Ridgeway Rd., from 5 – 7 p.m. The event, free and open to public, will feature a petting zoo with exotic animals, food and drinks, music, games, motivational speakers and informative sessions lead by community organizations. The exotic animals are new this year and will include kangaroos, tortoises and free camel rides.

The successful series saw more than 3,000 people come together last year in support of neighborhood peace and anti-violence. Block parties will also be held at: Cordova High School, Trezevant High School, John P. Freeman Optional School, Craigmont High School and Tiger Lane.

“Last year was an overwhelming success,” said Artemis “Peppa” Williams, the series organizer. “The need for peace in these communities continues to be vital. These families need a place where they can be safe and come together as a community, and I am happy to provide it for them.”

The series is sponsored by organizations and individuals throughout the city including: Shelby County Commissioners, Memphis Police Department C.O.P. (Community Outreach Program), City of Memphis – Youth Services, Shelby County Schools, Well Child, Allworld Project Management, Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, Workforce Investment Network, Horne & Wells, PLLC, Families Matters, Kroger, 88.5 FM, Penny Hardaway and Team Penny and iheartradio.

In 2015, Williams produced an anti-violence rally in Whitehaven during fall break. The event attracted more than 2,500 students who participated in and came to promote the community message of nonviolence, and the event had zero incidents and spread the word that local communities are banding together to show they will not tolerate violence and crime.

 

Memphis Heritage Trail Introduces Curriculum On Memphis History

Pilot Program Tested at Kirby High School

 The Memphis Heritage Trail (MHT) is rolling out a pilot educational curriculum this summer featuring the historical locations on the trail. The curriculum’s pilot was tested to entering freshman at Kirby High School’s Summer Institute June 6-9, 2017.

After the pilot is completed and reviewed, plans are in the works for it to be available to Shelby County School teachers this fall. The curriculum roll out will coincide with a MHT smartphone app that will be launched in conjunction with the 50th commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. death, April 2018.

“This is a wonderful accompaniment to the trail,” said Felicia Harris, manager of Planning and Development for the City of Memphis. “This curriculum will teach the youth in our city about our historic people, events and places, and the trail will allow them to see first-hand where history took place. I must thank MHT volunteer Lauren Barksdale, who developed the curriculum, for all of the work she has put into it.” Ms. Barksdale is a history teacher at Kirby High School.

The curriculum, for grades K-12, is broken into four units based on aspects of Memphis heritage and creative devices such as writing, art, graphic design and music. It focuses on figures and events in Memphis history such as Robert Church and the Church legacy, the all-black military units who fought during the Civil War (Fort Pickering) and the legacy of Beale Street.

“We wanted to base the curriculum around what makes up the city’s heritage,” said Barksdale. “There’s no way to tell the story of the city without mentioning the Civil Rights Movement, the Civil War, and our cultural gems. However, we wanted to include lesser

known narratives that make up our heritage that give a full scope of this city’s beauty.”

The MHT is a historic 20-block redevelopment area in downtown Memphis. The project has been in the works since 2008 and includes the area bordered by Beale Street on the north, Main Street on the west, Crump Boulevard on the south and Manassas Street on the east. Buildings within the area are: Clayborn Temple, Mason Temple, Universal Life Building and the National Civil Rights Museum. It is considered the epicenter of African-American history, heritage and culture and will include a walking trail with historical markers.

About MHT

Memphis Heritage Trail is an expansive plan to celebrate the rich business, culture and musical heritage of African-American achievements in Memphis. The project brings historical tourism, urban redevelopment and city-wide pride to important public spaces. The borders are Beale Street, Main Street, Crump Boulevard and Manassas Street. More information is available at http://memphisheritagetrail.com/.

 

Professor Melissa Harris-Perry and former Congressman Harold ford jr. are Guest speakers For NAACP Memphis branch Centennial Freedom Fund Luncheon celebration

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Memphis Branch announces Professor Melissa Harris-Perry and former Tennessee U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr. as speakers at the Centennial Freedom Fund Luncheon Celebration. The luncheon themed, “Reflecting on the Past, Remaining Focused on the Future: 100 Years of Civil Rights and Human Rights Advocacy,” will take place on Saturday, June 24, 2017 at the Memphis Hilton at 11:30 a.m.

Professor Harris-Perry is the Maya Angelo Presidential Chair at Wake Forest University and the Executive Director of the Pro Humanitate Institute and founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Center. She hosted the award winning television show “Melissa Harris-Perry” on weekend mornings on MSNBC. Harris-Perry recently wrote an Op-Ed piece in the New York Times on “How to Save the N.A.A.C.P From Irrelevance”.

Congressman Ford is coming home to give the charge for the next 100 years of grassroots advocacy. Elected to Congress at the age of 26, Ford served on the House Budget, Education and Financial Services Committees. He now lives in New York with his wife and family and lectures part-time at the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy and is a political analyst for MSNBC and CNBC.

“We are thrilled to have them both as speakers for our largest fundraiser for the year,” said Deidre Malone, President, NAACP Memphis Branch. “Melissa Harris-Perry and Harold Ford, Jr. are a combination Mid-Southerners will not want to miss.”

Gale Jones Carson is the Chair for the Centennial Celebration and Secretary for the Memphis Branch. “We have been focused on raising funds to support the local branch’s programs and have created a Centennial Celebration that pays tribute to the past, but is focused on our future,” said Carson.

“Our Co-Chairs FedEx Chief Diversity Officer Shannon Brown, Civil Rights Activist and Mediator Jocelyn D. Wurzburg and CN Railroad Executive Roquita Coleman-Williams are working hard to ensure the success of our event.”

Our major sponsors are FedEx, AutoZone, Durham Bus Services, Methodist Healthcare, Regional One Health, and Baptist Healthcare.

Tickets for the luncheon start at $100 and can be purchased at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/naacp-memphis-branch-centennial-freedom-fund-luncheon-celebration-2017-tickets-34254484084. For more information about the event contact the Memphis Branch NAACP at 901-521-1343 or visit their website at www.memphisnaacp.org.

About the NAACP Memphis Branch

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is the nation’s oldest civil rights organization. The mission of the NAACP is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights for all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination. The Memphis Branch is the largest branch in the organization.