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
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/.