Aspire Memphis Slated to Become Independent, Locally-Operated Charter Management Organization

(Memphis, TN – January 10, 2019) The Aspire Public School’s Board of Directors voted today to make its Aspire Memphis region an independent, locally-operated charter management organization.

Over the next 12-18 months, with continued support from the Aspire home office, all operational responsibilities at the four Memphis schools–Hanley Elementary, Hanley Middle School, Coleman Elementary and Aspire East Academy–will be transitioned to a new nonprofit organization and managed by a local board of directors. The schools will officially transition at the beginning of the 2020-21 school year. During the transition period, the schools will remain part of Aspire.

“Our team, our scholars and I have gained so much from the affiliation with Aspire Public Schools and their leadership,” said Dr. Nickalous Manning, Superintendent, Aspire Memphis. “The time is right to begin this transition and we believe it will benefit all of our scholars and families to have an organization fully based here in Memphis managing our four schools.”

Aspire Memphis serves approximately 1,600 predominantly low-income African American scholars across three neighborhoods: Raleigh, Orange Mound, and Hickory Hill. Academic achievement in math and reading across the four schools currently paces schools serving similar students in Tennessee.

“We have every confidence in Dr. Manning and the local team and look forward to seeing these Memphis schools continue to thrive,” said Mala Batra, Interim Chief Executive Officer, Aspire Public Schools. “Dr. Manning and his team have shown a deep commitment to high-quality academic instruction and have developed incredible relationships within the Memphis community. They are well positioned to take these schools to new heights in service of scholars and families.”

About Aspire Public Schools

Aspire Public Schools operates 40 high-performing, college-preparatory public charter schools serving 17,000 scholars in underserved communities across California and Memphis, Tennessee. Founded in 1998, Aspire is one of the nation’s largest open-enrollment public charter school systems serving predominantly low-income students, delivering a rigorous College for Certain education across grades TK-12. Currently in its 19th academic year, Aspire is one of the nation’s first charter school systems. Visit Aspire Public Schools at www.aspirepublicschools.org.

You’re invited to the 2nd Round of Public Meetings for the Greater Memphis Region’s Regional Transportation Plan

The Memphis Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), as a part of the Livability 2050 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), will host three public meetings to give the community the opportunity to see the progress that has been made and provide comments and feedback on the work that is being performed by the MPO.

This community’s input is extremely important for a successful transportation system in the region. “These meetings give us an opportunity to share the results we have found to date as well as continue to receive input that will make this region’s transportation even better,” said Pragati Srivastava, Administrator, Memphis MPO. “Everyone is affected by these decisions and we want to take the communities input and create the best possible plan.”

Below you will find all the locations for the October 23, 2018 public meetings.

Date/Time: Tuesday, October 23, 2018 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Address: Desoto County Board of Supervisors 365 Losher Street, 3rd Fl. Hernando, MS 38632

Date/Time: Tuesdsay, October 23, 2018 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM

Address: MATA Airways Transit Center 3033 Airways Blvd. Memphis, TN 38131

Date/Time: Tuesday, October 23, 2018 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM

Address: Collierville Chamber Board Room 500 Poplar View Parkway Collierville, TN 38017

For more information on this and other services provided by the Memphis MPO, please go to our website at http://memphismpo.org

901 Keep It Clean Memphis!

City of Memphis Launches Anti-Litter Campaign to Combat Blight

The City of Memphis is leading the way in combating littering and blight in our city. The City is issuing a call-to-action urging all residents to keep Memphis clean through the “901 Keep It Clean” campaign. The Memphis City Beautiful Commission launches the campaign this month. Participants include: Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, University of Memphis Head Basketball Coach Penny Hardaway, the Grizz Girls, Spoken Word Artist Sebastian Carson and Christ Missionary Baptist Church Senior Pastor Dr. Gina Stewart. The campaign will launch on multiple platforms including television, radio, print, digital, and social media.

Memphis City Beautiful Commission Executive Director Eldra T. White leads the city’s beautification efforts. “Sweep around your own porch first,’ is what we would consistently hear from our parents growing up,” said White. “This is essentially what we’re saying with this campaign. Memphis is our home. We are all responsible for its upkeep. Each and every resident is a stakeholder in keeping our city clean.”

Research shows that a major demographic of litterers are young women and men ages 16-34. The City of Memphis and Memphis City Beautiful are educating the public on the negative impact litter and blight has on the city. A campaign goal is to start a discussion focused on anti-littering and blight and serve as a call-to-action for general pride in our city.

A major focus of Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland’s administration is blight reduction. “Memphis is a city rich in cultural history and significance,” said Strickland. “It is our obligation as citizens to not let blight and litter create a barrier between us and opportunity. People come from all over the world to patronize our city and we want that to continue,” said Strickland.

To learn more about the “901 Keep It Clean” Campaign visit www.memphiscitybeautiful.org. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter: @mem_beautiful and Instagram: @memphiscitybeautiful. Also follow or join the conversation at #901keepitclean.

About Memphis City Beautiful:

Memphis City Beautiful was officially established by a city ordinance in 1930, making it the first and oldest beautification commission in the nation. The goal was to make Memphis a beautiful and safe place to live.  Currently, the Commission focuses on providing public education programs and other services designed to encourage all members of our community to take responsibility for improving the environment in which they live. The Commission also supervises beautification projects designed to enhance the appearance of parks and other public spaces throughout Memphis.

Transformation50 Basketball and Life Skills Camp Starts Next Week

The Tarik Black Foundation will conclude the camp with An Evening for Boys and Men

NBA player Tarik Black and the Tarik Black Foundation
open their second camp for the summer. This is his camp for boys. It’s the 2nd Annual
TRANSFORMATION50 Basketball and Life Skills Camp. The camp starts on
Monday, July 9th and ends on July 13th with a new event “An Evening for Boys and
Men – A Conversation about Growing into Manhood.”
The event is a panel discussion and an opportunity to emphasize the importance of
good values, self-control, excellent work ethics and strong faith. This event is free and
open to the public – especially men and boys.
The panel will be moderated by George Weaver with the Los Angeles based
Brotherhood Crusade. Panelists include: former NFL Player Ken Hamlin, and the face of
the ‘Fed-Up” gun violence campaign Jerald Trotter (Don’t Lose Your Head Use Your
Head). Former Memphis Tiger Basketball star and current Denver Nugget Guard Will
Barton will assist Tarik Black with the basketball camp.
The foundation will present its annual awards for the Leonard Draper Guiding Hand
Award, Willie Gregory Touchstone Award, Sgt. Byron Johnson Neighborhood Officer
Role Model Award and the Coach Wesley Henning Northern Star Award to local leaders
who have made an impact on the lives of youth.
“The Evening for Boys and Men event is an exciting addition to what our foundation
sees as investing in the minds and spirits of our youth,” said Tarik Black, CEO, Tarik
Black Foundation. “This evening is a village discussion about growing from boys to
proud men and honoring men who have poured into the lives of youth.”

For more information on the Tarik Black Foundation please
visitwww.tarikblackfoundation.org.

The Tarik Black Foundation Hosts Summer GLAM (Girls’ Life Academy Memphis)

The Tarik Black Foundation has a new camp this year targeting young women. The program is called the Girls’ Life Academy Memphis (GLAM) or Summer GLAM. This life skills development program targets young ladies from ages 16-20 years old and introduces them to leaders in industry and community with a focus on learning how to make good choices. The six weeks camp includes experiential field trips, forums and wrap sessions.

The Summer GLAM program runs Monday through Thursday beginning at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 4:30 p.m. at Mount Olive CME Cathedral Church at 538 Martin L. King Avenue in Memphis, TN. Some of the key presenters include: Monday, June 11th, L’Oréal Executive Jennifer McDaniel will speak on Leadership, Monday, June 11th, , McDaniel will discuss setting goals and achieving them, Tuesday, June 12th,  Akina Morrow will teach presentation skills and on Wednesday, June 13th, WMC-TV Reporter Kelli Cook will discuss appropriate attire. Later that day the girls take a field trip to visit the Memphis Brooks Museum.

Other speakers in upcoming weeks include: Paragon Bank Executive Nancy Wells, Real Estate Executive James Maclin, Financial Planner Christine Jaroush, Physician Dr. Angela Watson, Restauranteur Aryen Moore – Alston, Business Owner and Community Activist Deidre Malone and Entrepreneur Kennedy Black.

“The Tarik Black Foundation mission focuses on activities and programs that are character building and this program meets that criteria,” said Judith Black Moore, President of the Tarik Black Foundation. “We have tried to address the pitfalls encountered in transitioning from teen to adulthood and create life classes that offer wisdom and insight.  Our goal is to present these in a way in which they will remember so that they make prudent grown-up decisions from the very start.”

Participants, given the nickname “GLAMERS” are being paid to participate as one of the job sites for the City of Memphis MPLOY Program. The Tarik Black Foundation is a new MPLOY partner as of this summer. To learn more about the camp, visit the website: www.Tarikblackfoundation.org .

About the Tarik Black Foundation

The Tarik Black Foundation was founded by National Basketball Association player and Houston Rocket 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.

 

 

Aspire Public Schools Selects Dr. Nickalous Manning as New Supt. for the Memphis Region

Aspire Public Schools Selects Dr. Nickalous Manning as New Supt. for the Memphis Region

 

Today, Aspire Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Carolyn Hack announced the appointment of Nickalous Manning, Ed.D. as the new Memphis Area Superintendent. He has been with the organization since 2012, serving as an Associate Superintendent, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Principal of Hanley Elementary and Memphis Community Outreach and Partnerships Manager.

“Nick brings a wealth of experience to his role, as both an Aspire principal and regional leader,” said Hack. “His unwavering commitment to his hometown, deep love for Aspire and its vision, and inspiring leadership style make him the right choice to lead Aspire Memphis.” Aspire currently has three schools under the Achievement School District and one under Shelby County Schools. More than 1,600 students attend the Memphis Aspire School District.

“I look forward to serving children and families in my hometown,” said Manning. “I believe in our mission and vision for our schools and our scholars. I am proud of what our team at Aspire has accomplished already and I look forward to working with our Aspire teammates to improve outcomes for children. I will work hard every day to achieve that goal.”

Prior to joining Aspire, Manning worked in the Memphis City School system as a teacher, assistant principal, New Leader Resident Principal and a principal. He holds a BS in Secondary Education with a concentration in Economics from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and Ed.D in Professional Practice from Trevecca Nazarene University.

Manning becomes Aspire’s second Memphis Superintendent replacing Allison Leslie who announced her departure in May. Leslie is thrilled for Manning. “I am looking forward to seeing Dr. Manning continue the great work we started together and make it even better.  He believes in the importance of academic excellence for all of our scholars and it shows in the work he has done to date.”

 About Aspire Public Schools

Aspire Public Schools operates 40 high-performing, college-preparatory public charter schools serving 16,600 students in underserved communities across California and Memphis, Tennessee. Founded in 1998, Aspire is one of the nation’s largest open-enrollment public charter school systems serving predominantly low-income students, delivering a rigorous College for Certain education across grades TK-12. Currently in its 19th academic year, Aspire is one of the nation’s first charter school systems. Visit Aspire Public Schools at www.aspirepublicschools.org.

 

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation Launches Healthy Place Program in Memphis

$5.4 million investment will create revitalized space for community activity

 The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation has announced that the first project under its new strategic focus, the BlueCross Healthy Place℠ program, will be an expansive, revitalized public space at David Carnes Park in Memphis.

In total, the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation is investing as much as $5.4 million in the Whitehaven neighborhood park. Up to $4.5 million will go toward construction of the park and its facilities, along with a $900,000 endowment earmarked for its maintenance and care.

The BlueCross Healthy Place program provides neighborhoods with communal spaces for healthy activities, improving the overall wellbeing of Tennesseans.

“Concentrating our giving on BlueCross Healthy Places will allow us to have a bigger impact within our communities, reaching both urban and rural areas across the state,” said Scott Neal Wilson, BlueCross director of community relations and health foundation. “We’re excited about the potential of these projects, and we are honored to partner with the city of Memphis to launch this new focus.”

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee gathered feedback for the Memphis project during a community meeting held at Greater Faith Tabernacle Ministries on Monday, April 16. Mayor Jim Strickland and Councilwoman Patrice Robinson were in attendance, along with Kevin Woods, BlueCross Memphis market president.

“The BlueCross Healthy Place program shares one of our top priorities: healthy, inviting public spaces for our citizens. That’s why we’re so grateful for this partnership with the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation, and we’re looking forward to enhancing this park for neighbors here in Whitehaven,” said Strickland.

BlueCross Healthy Place projects are collaborations with the communities they serve. During the planning phase, representatives meet with community members to hear their ideas and ensure the space is tailored to the needs of area residents. Finalized BlueCross Healthy Places may include a number of elements, such as athletic fields, walking tracks, playgrounds and fitness areas.

The Memphis site was selected in partnership with the city and in response to community residents who previously expressed interest in having more resources for the park.

“Input from residents is crucial to the project’s success. The space will be an asset to their community – an area where they can be active and form new connections. It will truly be a hub of renewed civic activity and a jewel in the Memphis park system,” added Woods.

The project will be completed with PlayCore, a national play and recreation company. Efforts will be made to work with local and diverse suppliers.

Additional competitive funding opportunities for future BlueCross Healthy Place projects across the state will be announced in the fall. For the latest updates on the Memphis project, please visit www.bettertennessee.com.

For additional resources related to the BlueCross Healthy Place program, please visit https://bcbstnews.com/mediaresources/bluecross-healthy-place-program.

PUBLIC MEETINGS BEGIN FOR THE UPTOWN COMMUNITY PLAN RESIDENTS, BUSINESS OWNERS AND COMMUNITY STAKEHOLDERS ARE INVITED TO PROVIDE INPUT ON THE DIRECTION OF THE AREA

The Memphis and Shelby County Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) along with the Uptown Advisory Committee is planning a week-long charrette to give residents, business owners and community stakeholders a voice in the Uptown Community Planning process. The Charrette will be held from April 16 – 20, 2018 at the Neighborhood Christian Center, located at 785 Jackson Ave in the redevelopment area.
The community meetings are designed to gather input from community residents and stakeholders in an inclusive and interactive way. Throughout the week there will be fun pop-up events throughout the neighborhoods in the redevelopment area. Friday, April 20th, the CRA Team will share with the public early recommendations and close the week with an Uptown themed community block party at the Explore Bike Share Warehouse at 61 Keel.
“During the Uptown community planning process, residents will have an opportunity to voice their opinions and influence public decisions,” said Tanja Mitchell, CRA Uptown Neighborhood Coordinator. “This is the community’s plan; therefore it is important that residents bring their authentic voice to the table and participate in shaping the future of the community in which they call home. As both an employee of the CRA and a resident of Uptown, I encourage my neighbors to the north, south and east to come out be a part of the planning process.”
Over the next 14 years, more than $95 million will be generated in the Uptown Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district which includes not only Uptown but parts of Smokey City, New Chicago, North Parkway, Carnes and the Medical District which are in District 7. “I want to encourage every Uptown resident to participate in the Uptown Community Plan Planning process,” said Berlin Boyd, Chairman, Memphis City Council. “This is an important opportunity to be a part of the process on the forefront and have a say in where and how funds should be allocated to enhance the community.
I guarantee you will feel a great sense of pride and inclusion knowing that you participated in this worthwhile endeavor and had a direct impact and influence on the decisions being made.”
The CRA encourages those not able to attend the public meetings to provide input by completing the survey found at CRAMemphis.org. A full listing of all of the public meetings, pop-up locations, and daily recaps can be found on the website.
About the Memphis and Shelby County Community Redevelopment Agency
The City of Memphis and Shelby County Community Redevelopment Agency was created to review applications for Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Districts and expenditures of TIF Funds. The seven-member Community Redevelopment Agency Board of Directors are appointed by the Mayor of Memphis and Mayor of Shelby County. They are responsible for working with the CRA staff to participate in partnerships that encourage reinvestment in neighborhoods.

The Philanthropic Black Women of Memphis Award $15,000 in Grants

The Philanthropic Black Women of Memphis awards the following grants for applications that were submitted December 2017.  Each organization will receive a $5,000 grant for a total of $15,000 this grant cycle.

Benjamin L. Hooks Institute (U of M) Hooks African American Male Initiative (HAAMI)

The program was developed to improve the retention and graduation rates of African American males at the University of Memphis.  HAAMI outcomes show that the program has a measurable, positive impact on increasing the retention and graduation rates of its participants.

The grant will go to assist with funding the following: $1,000 –Community Awareness – encourages the members to be positive contributors to the community. Community awareness experiences such as attending local cultural activities, conferences and other developmental opportunities expose HAAMI students to community assets as well as community needs; $1,500 – HAAMI Mentoring session – students benefit from interacting with university faculty and staff and community professionals by gaining insights from them regarding the importance of academic success, goal setting and career readiness;

$2,500 – Student Supplies – This funding allocation would be used for supplies given to new HAAMI members (estimated at 20): student business cards, business portfolios and a $100 book stipend. Daphene McFerren is the Executive Director of the Hooks Institute.

The S.O. What! Foundation

The mission of the S.O. What Foundation is to help youth and young adults overcome obstacles and eliminate excuses hindering individual and family success. The foundation was started by Summer Owens to help challenged youth find themselves, make good decisions, dream and pursue their dreams regardless of the obstacles they face.

The grant will assist with the following: The Summer Experience and Workshop Series

$2,500 – Program facilitator/camp leader; $1,000 – Supplies including workshop materials, t-shirts, books and workbook for the curriculum used; $500 – Transportation to get participants to and from meeting locations as well as field trip destinations (job shadowing, volunteer projects, college tours, restaurants/etiquette training, etc.);$1,000 – Meals (breakfast and lunch)

 The Entrepreneur Training Institute

This award is to assist individuals that are unemployed or underemployed in this community gain the educational tools to become entrepreneurs. This grant will serve as a part of the seed funding to open the Entrepreneur Training Institute. The Program Director is Beverly Anderson.

About PBWM

The Philanthropic Black Women of Memphis’ focus centers around education, children and families, and programs that prepare Memphis citizens to become self-sufficient. To date, with these three new grants, PBWM has awarded $70,000. This is the culmination of the 2017 grant cycle. Members of the organization include: Mary McDaniel, Edith Kelly-Green, Carolyn Hardy, Debra Evans, Monice Hagler, Nelda Burroughs, Deidre Malone and Belinda Watkins. For more information about the PBWM and future grant opportunities, visit the website at www.pbwmemphis.org.

The Carter Malone Group, LLC Expands Into the Jackson, MS Market

One of the largest female owned public relations firms headquartered in Memphis, TN has opened an office in Jackson, MS. The Carter Malone Group, LLC (CMG) moved into the market to work with current clients and explore new opportunities. The office is located at the 1230 Raymond Road, Suite 1009, Jackson, MS, 39204.

CMG is a public relations, marketing, advertising and government relations firm founded by Deidre Carter Malone in 2003. She serves as president and chief executive officer of the organization.

“Our team is excited to enter the Jackson, MS market,” said Malone. “We look forward to continuing to provide quality service to our current and new clients and to grow our business in this new market.”

Currently, CMG has clients in Memphis, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Chicago and Washington, DC. In May of this year the firm will celebrate 15 years of being in business.