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: For more information about the event contact the Memphis Branch NAACP at 901-521-1343 or visit their website at

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.

CO-Chairs named for NAACP Memphis branch Centennial Freedom Fund Luncheon

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Memphis Branch has named Shannon Brown, Jocelyn Wurzburg and Roquita Coleman-Williams as co-chairs for its Centennial Freedom Fund Luncheon. 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 June 24, 2017 at the Memphis Hilton.

“This is going to be an exciting and meaningful event for all who have supported the NAACP through the last one hundred years,” said Deidre Malone, Branch President. “This is a time to celebrate all that has been accomplished as a community and a time to reflect on the work that is still needed to get our community to a place of true equality. Our co-chairs, sponsors and our theme reflect the hope that we have for the next 100 years.”

Brown is the Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources and Diversity Officer for FedEx Express. With more than 35 years of experience at FedEx Express, he is the most senior human resources executive and oversees their workforce of more than 100,000 employees. Brown has been named to Black Enterprise magazine’s lists of “100 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America” and “Top Executives in Corporate Diversity,” as well as Savoy magazine’s “Top 100 Most Influential Executives in Corporate America.”

Wurzburg is a long-time civic and political activist in Memphis, and she founded the Memphis Panel of American Women. In 1972, she was appointed by Gov. Winfield Dunn to the Tennessee Human Rights Commission and to the International Women’s Year Commission by President Gerald Ford. Wurzburg is the former President of the Memphis Bar Association Family Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution sections. Gov. Phil Bredesen re-appointed her to the Tennessee Human Rights Commission in 2007.

Coleman-Williams has spent her lifetime in the transportation industry. She currently serves on the Department of Transportation Federal Advisory Board and the Memphis Area Transit Authority Board of Commissioners. She also has been awarded “Top 40 under 40,” Memphis Business Journal “Super Women in Business,” Rising Stars of North American Railroads and in 2011 she was the 63rd president and first African-American to serve as president of the Memphis World Trade Club.

Tickets for the luncheon start at $100 and can be purchased at: For more information about the event contact the Memphis Branch NAACP at 901-521-1343 or visit their website at


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.

Tennesseans, Spring-Clean Your Medicine Cabinets: National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is April 29

 BlueCross Health Foundation, Count It! Drop It! Lock It!™ promote medication safety by hosting collection events across the state

In an effort to fight opioid abuse, Tennessee residents are invited to bring their unused or expired prescriptions to one of more than 100 National Prescription Drug Take-Back events being held statewide on April 29 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The event aims to provide safe, convenient locations to dispose of prescription drugs and other medications and to raise awareness about the potential risks for abuse and misuse of certain medications, such as opioids.

This year, more drug take-back sites are available in Tennessee than ever before, thanks in part to the efforts of the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation-sponsored Count It! Drop It! Lock It!™ program, which has helped place secure, permanent drop boxes in all 95 counties.

“It’s important to get rid of old or unused drugs,” explains Dr. Andrea Willis, chief medical officer of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. “Prescription opioid abuse is a serious public health issue, and more than half of Tennesseans who use prescription painkillers recreationally say they got them from friends and family.”

“These bi-annual events offer a convenient and safe way for individuals to protect themselves and their loved ones from potential and unintentional harm,” said CLD co-developer Kristina Clark. “It’s worth it to take a few minutes to search through medicine cabinets or other storage places and bring unneeded drugs to a Drug Take-Back Day event.”

The Count It! Drop It! Lock It!™ program, expanded statewide in 2016 with a $1.3 million grant from the BlueCross Health Foundation, encourages community members to:


  • Count It! Count pills once every two weeks to monitor theft and help ensure medications are taken properly.
  • Lock It! Lock and store them in a secure place where others would not think to look.
  • Drop It! Take unused or expired medications to drop boxes located in participating law enforcement offices or pharmacies, or during bi-annual take-back events.


Tennesseans can find their nearest prescription take-back location online at



About Count It! Drop It! Lock It!™


Count It! Drop It! Lock It!™ (CLD) is a comprehensive community program for prescription drug abuse prevention that began in Coffee County, Tenn. Today, CLD is actively represented in 44 counties across Tennessee. For more information, visit


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







Tarik Black Announces Details on TRANSFORMATION50 Basketball & Life Skills Camp and Awards to Memphis Area Coaches

NBA Los Angeles Laker Tarik Black promised his hometown, Memphis, TN, that he would come home and give back to the community that he loves. Today, at a press conference, Black announced the details of the inaugural TRANSFORMATION50 Basketball and Life Skills camp. More than 50 Memphis area coaches attended the event at Streets Ministries.

Black and his mother, president of the Tarik Black Foundation, Judith Moore, shared information about the camp and the direction of the organization. “Ten years after hearing Magic Johnson discuss basketball as being a vehicle to accomplish many of things he wanted to do, I’m following my vision of starting this foundation to make an impact in my community,” said Black.

“Today, we start with these coaches and their nominations for participants in the 1st TRANSFORMATION50 Basketball and Life Skills camp for male players 11-15. It’s not just about basketball for me, it’s about our campers obtaining other life experiences.”

The culminating even for the camp will be an awards gala. Four individuals who have had a major impact on Tarik’s life were introduced at the press conference and awards in their honor will be given at the gala.


  • Byron Johnson- Neighborhood Officer Role Model (NORM) Award: The police officer receiving this award goes beyond the call of duty.


  • Leonard Draper Award- Guiding Hand Award: Given to someone who has stepped into a young man’s life and provided guidance, mentorship and counseling.


  • Wesley Henning – Northern Star Award: This award will go to someone who has touched the lives of groups of young men.


  • Willie Gregory Award: Touchstone Award: This award will be given to someone who sets an example- an adult who young men look up to and want to emulate that’s a positive role model and upstanding citizen.

The TRANSFORMATION50 CAMP is July 10-14, 2017 at Ridgway High School in Memphis, TN. For more information on the foundation or camp, visit


The Tarik Black Foundation was founded by Tarik Black, a NBA Association and Los Angeles Laker 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.


First Centennial Luncheon for the NAACP Memphis Branch Promises to Inspire and Honor



The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Memphis Branch will host the first of three major fundraisers for the year on Thursday, March 30, 2017 from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at First Baptist Broad Church (2835 Broad Avenue, Memphis, TN 38112).  The speaker for the Centennial Kick-Off Luncheon will be author, pollster and one of the premier strategists in national progressive politics, Cornell Belcher.

“The luncheon will serve as a time to honor heroes of our chapter, reflect on the accomplishments of our past and share with our members and supporters our responsibilities for the future,” said Deidre Malone, President, Executive Committee, NAACP Memphis Branch.  “We will honor the service of Rev. Keith Norman and receive an inspirational word from Mr. Belcher.  It promises to be an exciting luncheon, and we hope all of our supporters will purchase a ticket, table or sponsorship and attend.”

Belcher is author of the book “A Black Man in the White House: Barack Obama and the Triggering of America’s Racial-Aversion Crisis.” His polling was the blueprint for the heralded 50-State Strategy as Pollster for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) under Chairman Howard Dean—Cornell was the first minority to be lead pollster for either national party. He also served on the polling team for both Obama presidential campaigns, and has worked with both Senate and House Democrats as Senior Political Advisor to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), Special Projects Director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), and Women VOTE! Coordinator for EMILY’s List. In 2015 he was an Institute of Politics (IOP) Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School. He is a highly sought after political commentator, and is currently President of brilliant corners Research & Strategies.

Tickets start at $30.  To purchase, please click For more information contact Sherry Boyce at 901. 521.1343 or email at

About the Memphis Branch NAACP:

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is the nation’s oldest civil rights organization, and the Memphis Branch NAACP is the largest branch of the organization in the United States.  The mission of the NAACP is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.  During the entire year of 2017, the Memphis Branch NAACP is celebrating 100 years of service to the community. 


NBA Star from Memphis Begins To Give Back In More Ways Than One

LA Laker Tarik Black establishes foundation and basketball camp.

 Transforming lives through community service is one focus of the newly established Tarik Black Foundation. The Memphis native is the definition of a success story. Most are aware of Black’s abilities on the basketball court but few know just how serious he takes education and giving back to his community.

The Los Angeles Lakers Power Forward/Center launched the Tarik Black Foundation in January of this year.  “Through positive mentorship, we’re striving to inspire under-served youth to become visionaries,” says Black. “We want to encourage them to explore and engage beyond where they are today. The foundation will be looking for ways to partner with other organizations and agencies that align with our mission. We are hoping local companies and agencies will work with us to offer character-building programs that give youth positive life skills and memorable experiences through athletic, health, education and social programs,”   said Black, who serves as Chief Executive Officer for the foundation.

Judith Black Moore, mother of Tarik Black, will serve as President of the foundation. She will run the day-to-day activities of the foundation and work with Black and the Board of Directors on new programs.

“The vision for this foundation is one that my mother and I have shared since I dreamed of playing at the NBA level.  I’ve been blessed to experience my dream, so I want to do my part in transforming young lives in the Memphis community and anywhere I go I’m committed to my hometown, though, so my foundation is here where my mother will take the lead in executing my vision,” said Black.

The first foundation program is the Transformation50 Basketball and Life Skills Camp. It will take place in Memphis, July 10-13, 2017. This program is targeting boys between the ages of 11-15. Coaches will recommend players for this camp that will accept 50 players this year. The nomination packets should be received by April 1, 2017.

This basketball camp will be unlike most camps wherein basketball skills are secondary, he plans to teach these students life skills such as financial responsibility, proper etiquette, and conflict resolution.

For more information on the camp visit the website at

About theTarik Black Foundation

The Tarik Black Foundation was founded by National Basketball Association player and Los Angeles Laker Tarik Black.  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 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.


Seafood Nutrition Partnership Works With Kroger For Healthier City

Seafood Heart Health Day set for February 25

The Seafood Nutrition Partnership (SNP) is teaming up with Memphis-area Kroger stores to help Memphians become healthier through a seafood-rich diet. The organization will be in Kroger stores Saturday, February 25, from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. to share seafood coupons and information and tips about a seafood diet.

Kroger stores will have volunteers sharing information about the benefits of eating a seafood-rich diet and sharing recipes and coupons in the seafood department. Select stores will have samples from the seafood department. There will be a Facebook Live broadcast at for customers to ask questions about cooking and eating seafood.

Omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood are known to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and arthritis and improve child brain and eye development. Seafood is the best source of these essential oils that are healthy fats needed for human health and development.

“This is a great partnership opportunity for us,” said Teresa Dickerson, Community Affairs and Public Relations Manager for the Kroger Delta Division. “We enjoy being a part of initiatives that help promote a healthier community, and Seafood Nutrition Partnership has a great mission to help Americans learn about seafood.”


Kroger stores participating in the event include:

* 5995 Stage Road, Bartlett

* 3685 S. Houston Levee Rd., Collierville 1977 South Third

6660 Poplar Ave.

240 New Byhalia Rd., Collierville

2380 Mt. Pleasant, Hernando

7427 Goodman Rd., Olive Branch

* 3444 Plaza

540 S Mendenhall

7942 Winchester Rd.

3860 Austin Peay

4264 Summer Ave.

9025 Highway 64, Lakeland

300 I-40 West Service Rd, West Memphis

8039 Highway N, Millington 2835 Kirby Parkway
4770 Riverdale 1230 N. Houston Levee Rd., Cordova
7251 Interstate Blvd., Horn Lake 7615 Highway 70, Bartlett
1761Union Ave. 7265 Hwy 64, Oakland
676 N. Germantown Pky, Cordova 11635 Hwy 70, Arlington
2269 Lamar Ave. 3926 Goodman Rd. W., Horn Lake
1366 Poplar Ave. 1675 N. Germantown Pkwy., Cordova
3095 Goodman Rd E., Southaven 1212 E. Shelby Dr.
7735 Farmington Blvd., Germantown 2942 Kirby Whitten, Bartlett
2632 Frayser Blvd. 799 Truse Pky.
* Stores with seafood department samples


For more information about the Memphis Coalition of SNP visit: or

BlueCross Foundation Seeking 2017 Diversity Scholars

$10,000 scholarships assist minority students pursuing health care careers


 BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation’s 2017 Diversity Scholarship application period opened today and continues through March 1. Three $10,000 scholarships will be awarded to three minority college students pursuing health care careers.
 Now in its fifth year, the diversity scholarship program was developed to help address the need for a qualified and more inclusive health care workforce in Tennessee. The scholarships are presented in partnership with the Memphis chapter of the National Association of Health Services Executives (NAHSE) and recognize achievements in academics, community service and leadership.

“These scholarships help outstanding minority students to achieve continued academic success,” said Ron Harris, vice president of workforce diversity for BlueCross. “And in addition to that, this program serves to increase diversity in the health care field.”

According to BlueCross research on health care reform and its effects on minority populations in Tennessee, African-Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, and other minorities remain underrepresented in medical professions compared to their numbers in the population.

For more information, including FAQs and the application, go to the community diversity page on

Emerge Tennessee’s Inaugural Board of Directors Set

First Class to Open in March 2017 In Organization’s Mission of Recruiting, Training and Inspiring Democratic Women to Run for All Levels of Office


Emerge Tennessee, an affiliate of Emerge America, today announces its first Board of Directors with 15 members from across the state. Last week Emerge Tennessee posted the position seeking its first Executive Director, and the organization plans its first training program to open in March.

 “We believe that if families, women and children are to succeed in Tennessee, then we must start by electing Democratic women to focus on the critical policies like education, healthcare, transportation, jobs, affordable housing and equity,” said Carol Brown Andrews, a founding member and board member. “Our mission is to recruit, train and empower Democratic women to run for office on every level to make our communities stronger from the grassroots up.”

Emerge Tennessee’s inaugural Board of Directors:

 Carol Brown Andrews, Vice President and Senior Editor of Grindstone Research, Nashville. Carol was named best opposition researcher in America in two categories by Republican, Independent and Democratic peers in the American Association of Political Consultants in 2016. She has worked in hundreds of Democratic campaigns on all levels across the country as a strategist, researcher and communications expert for more than 25 years. Just this year, she helped elect the first woman and person of color to Congress from the state of Delaware. A former newspaper reporter, native Tennessean and University of Tennessee graduate, she also served as Communications Director for former Gov. Jim Doyle of Wisconsin and as Press Secretary for Gov. Chris Gregoire of Washington State.

Andrea Campbell, a nonprofit professional, Nashville. Dedicated to advancement of women in leadership, Campbell is the Nashville facilitator of LeadHer, an international women’s organization that challenges women to grow in their faith, leadership and relationships. Andrea also serves on the Executive Board of Advocates for Women’s and as Education Director of Kid’s Equality (AWAKE). She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Fisk University and is pursuing a Masters of Divinity.

Brenda Gadd, a veteran government affairs expert of Nashville.  Brenda has more than 15 years of experience in Tennessee campaigns. She managed the successful, nationally watched Tennessee Supreme Court Retention Campaign, including protection of two women Justices. An outspoken advocate for women’s, children’s and minority issues, Brenda leads workshops and trainings on both grassroots and grassroots leadership.

 Sky Gallegos, a senior political advisor to NextGen Climate founder Tom Steyer, Nashville. Sky’s career in national Democratic politics spans 20 years. She has held senior positions in Presidential campaigns, statewide campaigns, national advocacy organizations and served in both the Clinton and Obama Administrations. She currently advises Tom Steyer, the San Francisco philanthropist who founded NextGen Climate, an organization that acts politically to prevent climate disaster and promote prosperity for every American.

Gloria Johnson, an educator, of Knoxville. Gloria taught Special Education for 27 years.  After serving four years as Chair of the Knox County Democratic Party, she decided to run for State House 13 and was elected in 2012, serving through 2014. She was carried to victory by tapping grassroots support for education, women’s healthcare, and good paying jobs with equal pay for equal work.

 Holly McCall of Franklin. Holly has more than 25 years of experience as a communications strategist, newspaper reporter, and campaign operative at the local, state, and national levels. Most recently, she was the Democratic nominee for the Tennessee House of Representatives in Williamson County’s District 65.

 Deidre Malone, President and CEO of The Carter Malone Group, LLC, Memphis. Deidre is the Vice President of Communications for the National Women’s Political Caucus, President of the NAACP Memphis branch, and former Shelby County Commissioner. She managed or played major roles and campaigns for Mayor, County Commission, City Council and School Board.

Enora “Nori” Moss, radio and television personality and women’s advocate, Chattanooga. The Chattanooga native is a professional speaker, community coordinator and consultant. Nori is currently working on a guide for young women, The Young Ladies Advocate: Integrity, Intelligence and Lifestyle. The booklet will be coupled with a program to inspire young women’s self-esteem. She is the founder of Nori Cares, a nonprofit for people in need. She is a recipient of the Neighborhood Trailblazer award from the City of Chattanooga Neighborhood Leadership Institute and was a nominee for the Civic Impact award from the Young Professional Association of Chattanooga for her work with nonprofits. Nori is the Communications Coordinator for the City of Chattanooga Department of Youth & Family Development.

Olliette Murray-Drobot, Executive Director of The Family Safety Center of Memphis and Shelby County. Olliette has 20 years of experience in not-for-profit management. The Family Safety Center (FSC) coordinates civil, criminal, health and social services for domestic violence victims. A member of the Memphis/Shelby Crime Commission Board of Directors, she is also a board member of the Memphis/Shelby County Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Council.

 Emily Passini is a Partner at Greenlight Media Strategies – a woman owned and operated direct mail firm with offices in Nashville, Brooklyn and Washington D.C. The Nashville resident was named a 2016 “Top 40 Under 40” by the American Association of Political Consultants. She directed media efforts in 11 states as Senior Strategist at Hopkins + Sacks during the 2014 election cycle ­– including independent expenditure programs in three targeted U.S. Senate races. In 2010, she served as a Political Director at the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee where she oversaw the strategic and spending decisions in 13 states across the country.

Freda Player, political director of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 205, Nashville. Freda began her political career on the Gore Presidential Campaign. She was later Voter Outreach Coordinator and the Political Director at the Tennessee Democratic Party. At SEIU, she is responsible for all lobbying, advocacy and electoral efforts for Local 205 in Nashville, Chattanooga, and Memphis. Freda chairs the Tennessee Health Care Campaign Board of Directors, serves as Treasurer of Tennessee Citizen Action, sits on the Advisory Board of Nashville New Leaders Council, and is At-Large board member for the League of Women Voters of Tennessee.

 Cortney Piper, President of Piper Communications, Knoxville. Cortney provides commentary on current news and events in East Tennessee on WATE-TV’s Tennessee This Week, a weekly political roundtable. She started her public relations firm in 2008 at the height of the recession with a focus on energy, technology and getting results. Her firm has worked on some of the most innovative energy and technology initiatives in the state, region and country. In 2011, she had the privilege of attending the White House Business Leaders’ Forum on Jobs and Economic Competitiveness where she met with senior Administration officials to discuss efforts to spur economic growth and Administration priorities. Cortney has been recognized for her business leadership as a 2014 inductee to the Greater Knoxville Business Journal’s 40 Under Forty and recipient of the Postma Young Professional Medal. Cortney serves on the board of the East Tennessee Economic Council, the University of Tennessee Political Science Department’s Board of Advisors and chairs the Visit Knoxville Board of Directors. She is a 2013 graduate of Leadership Knoxville and 2009 graduate of Leadership Oak Ridge.

 Stacy Richardson currently serves as Chief of Staff to Mayor Andy Berke in Chattanooga. Stacy leads a team of 15 senior government officials who oversee the development and implementation of the Mayor’s agenda. She has overseen the drafting and passage of the City’s first open data policy, lead the development of the City’s early childhood education agenda, and coordinated efforts with area Universities to limit sexual assault on college campuses. Stacy previously worked at the crossroads of politics and policy — either in her capacity as a researcher or working on political campaigns. She graduated with highest honors from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and is currently pursuing her masters degree at the Sol Price School of Public Policy. Stacy also serves on the board of the Chattanooga Urban Design Studio and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga College of Arts & Sciences.

Maura Black Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer of the City of Chattanooga. Maura runs the day-to-day operations of Chattanooga’s city government, directing and coordinating the administration with the policies of Mayor Andy Berke and the City Council. Prior to joining Mayor Berke’s staff, Sullivan was Deputy Chief Administrative Officer in the Chief Administrative Office for the City of Memphis, reporting directly to Mayor A C Wharton. Maura was also Deputy Division Director in the Division of Planning and Development in Memphis and Shelby County, and Assistant Superintendent, Planning and Student Services, Shelby County Schools. Earlier in her career, Maura launched her own public affairs and public relations consultancy and served as special assistant to former Congressman Harold E. Ford, Jr.

Jennifer Buck Wallace, Director for Together Tennessee, of Nashville.  She graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 2000. After working as a producer for Country Music Television for 5 years, Jennifer left her career in television to become the Tennessee State Field Organizer for Obama for America in 2007. Post-election, Jennifer went to work for the Tennessee Democratic Party as the Executive Director in 2009, and then became the Director of Development and Tennessee Senior Advisor for Organizing for Action in 2013. Jennifer and her husband Billy live in Germantown are the parents of a young son, Buck.


Founded in 2016, Emerge Tennessee will be the premier political leadership training organization for Democratic women in Tennessee. Our mission is to recruit, train, and inspire Democratic women to pursue public office at the local, state and national levels through our multi-month campaign-training program. Emerge Tennessee is an affiliate of Emerge America, a national organization currently working in 17 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.


Memphians honored for their Civil and Human Rights work

Inaugural Trailblazer Awards Presented by the City of Memphis

  Yesterday the City of Memphis and the Division of Housing and Community Development paid tribute to 28 individuals with the Memphis Heritage Trailblazer award. This first time event honored Memphians for advancing civil and human rights and for carrying the torch to uphold African-American history and culture. The program also provided an overview of the Memphis Heritage Trail’s plan that has projected opportunities of an economic development impact of more than 1,000 new jobs and $84 million in additional tourism revenue.

“We are extremely excited about the Memphis Heritage Trail project and it has been eight years of planning to get us where we are today,” said Felicia Harris, Manager, Planning and Development, City of Memphis. “It is important for us to pay homage to those individuals who have fought and continue to fight for civil and human rights. Memphis reaps the benefits of their labor and we honored that today.”

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. It is considered the epicenter of African-American history, heritage and culture and will include a walking trail with historical markers.

“Society has so much to thank these individuals for,” said Jim Strickland, Mayor of Memphis. “These recipients come from all walks of life and have sacrificed to make a better Memphis for us all.”

The awards program was held at the Halloran Centre in downtown Memphis.

Here is a list of the Memphis Heritage Trailblazer Award Honorees:


Yvonne & David Acey         Robert Lipscomb                  Judge Russell Sugarmon

Ekundayo Bandele             Marion Mitchell                     Calvin Taylor

Joyce Blackmon                   Dr. James Netters                Henry Turley

Ruby Bright                           Attorney Charlie Newman  Elaine Lee Turner

Attorney Mike Cody             O C Pleasant                                    Rosalind Withers

Erma Clanton                       Diane Rudner                      Jocelyn Wurzburg, J.D.

Fred Davis                             James D’eke Pope              Jan Young/Assisi Foundation

Bishop William Graves       Beverly Robertson

Rev. LaSimba Gray             Dr. Coby Smith

Happy Jones                        Mark Stansbury


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