Bank of America Directs $340,000 into Memphis Nonprofits to Put Economically Disadvantaged Populations on Path to Long-Term Financial Stability

MEMPHIS – Bank of America today announced more than $340,000 in support to 11 Memphis nonprofits that will help drive economic opportunity and upward mobility for individuals and families and put them on a path toward stability and success.

The local nonprofits receiving funding will help address two key factors in improving economic mobility: basic needs fundamental to building life-long stability, including access to food, shelter and health services, and access to educational and workforce development services building pathways to employment, including providing resources to rebuild careers that may have been impacted by the pandemic.

While the Memphis market is experiencing general economic recovery, recent studies show a long road ahead to regain jobs lost during the coronavirus shutdowns, according to The Memphis Business Journal.

“The strategic investment into immediate short-term and longer-term needs has been key in helping communities progress as society begins to safely reopen,” said Trevia Chatman, President of Bank of America Memphis. “By supporting Memphis’ incredible network of nonprofits, Bank of America provides philanthropic capital to help advance economic and social progress, enabling our community to succeed.”

One non-profit receiving funding is Christ Community Health Services, a community-based health organization. Christ Community provides comprehensive primary care, preventive care, and mental health/substance abuse services to persons of all ages within the Memphis Metropolitan area.

“We are excited about the partnership with Bank of America, as their support to the community, education, and our patients is invaluable,” said Shantelle Leatherwood, C.E.O of Christ Community Health Services. “Coming on as a partner during the pandemic helped us provide COVID-19 testing and the opportunity to vaccinate over 11,191 residents. As we move forward, their support of Christ Community Health Services’ School-Based Health Center at East High will allow us to be proactive and ensure that Shelby County student’s health insecurities are swiftly addressed.”

Other organizations receiving grants include:

  • Advance Memphis
  • Agape Child and Family Services
  • Binghampton Development Corporation
  • City Year, Inc.
  • CodeCrew
  • City of Memphis Office of Youth Services
  • Memphis Athletic Ministries
  • Methodist Healthcare Foundation
  • MIFA
  • SchoolSeed Foundation

The grants and additional funding in Memphis build on the $2.6 million in grants and matching gifts that Bank of America has provided to organizations addressing workforce development and basic needs since 2016. The work is part of the company’s commitment to responsible growth as it aims to improve the financial lives of individuals and families. Philanthropic and volunteer investments play a key role in this effort to build thriving communities.

Additional background about Bank of America’s Charitable Foundation giving can be found here.

Bank of America

At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at about.bankofamerica.com, and connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).

For more Bank of America news, including dividend announcements and other important information, visit the Bank of America newsroom. Click here to register for news email alerts.

www.bankofamerica.com

The Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis will host the fourth 38126 COVID-19 Response Project event providing 500 families with food and other direct resources

The Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis will host the fourth 38126 COVID-19 Response Project event providing 500 families with food and other direct resources

Memphis, TN (June 25, 2021) – Since 2015, the 38126 community has been a major focus of the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis’ Vision 2020 Strategic Plan to reduce poverty and improve the overall economic wellbeing of families living in South City. The COVID-19 Response Project Event will be held on Monday, June 28, 2021, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Former Georgia Avenue Elementary School located at 690 Mississippi Blvd. Memphis, TN 38126.

“We all have experienced many challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Our 38126 grantee partners continue to receive an overwhelming number of requests for basic needs to help stabilize families,” said Ruby Bright, WFGM President and CEO. “We are serving those families by providing essential needs during this global health crisis. Now that vaccines are available, we are grateful for the opportunity to provide access to the vaccine for individuals who choose to receive it. We are thankful to our grantee partners, volunteers, and sponsors who believe in our vision of philanthropy, leadership and collaboration.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic the WFGM team and volunteers have distributed food, household products and personal care supplies to more than 1,500 families. The residents also received packets of information on the COVID-19 virus, testing locations, financial literacy, domestic violence, health and wellness, and employment opportunities.

Partners and sponsors for this service project include the Mid-South Food Bank, Shelby County Schools, FedEx, Kroger, Nike, Urban Strategies Inc., Bare Needs Diaper Bank, Memphis Housing Authority, Baptist Memorial Healthcare, Christ Community Health Services, International Paper, Rise Foundation, Emmanuel Center, First Baptist Church Lauderdale, SCORE Community Development Corporation, and the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis Board of Directors and Trustees. For more information, please visit www.wfgm.org or call 901-578-9346.

About the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis

For 25 years, the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis has been uniting women and helping break the cycle of poverty through philanthropy, leadership, and collaboration. The mission of the WFGM is to encourage philanthropy and foster leadership among women and support programs that engage women and children to reach their full potential.

The National Women’s Political Caucus Hosts a Diversity Symposium with National Leaders participating in a Panel Discussion on Voting Rights

The National Women’s Political Caucus Hosts a Diversity Symposium with National Leaders participating in a Panel Discussion on Voting Rights

The keynote speaker for the virtual event is California’s first African American Secretary of State, Dr. Shirley Weber.

(Washington, DC – June 22, 2021) The National Women’s Political Caucus (NWPC) will host a National Diversity Symposium discussing Voting Rights: The Key to American Democracy. The virtual event will be on June 26th  at 10:45 a.m. Pacific Time (US and Canada). Registration is now open at https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ZR7MetmvQ6GvkZRsbFIGyQ.

NWPC stands firmly by the fact that a woman’s right to vote is a woman’s right to choose. The organization continues to bring awareness of this initiative as they bring together an all-woman panel to shed light on the continued fight for women’s voting rights through the lens of diverse ethnicities and cultural context.

“Voting is a fundamental right,” said Dr. Carmen Schaye, Vice President of Diversity, NWPC. “It is 100 years since women won the right to vote and protecting women’s voting rights is the crux of American democracy.”

The keynote speaker for the virtual event is California’s first African American Secretary of State, Dr. Shirley Weber. Dr. Weber is the fifth African American to serve as a state constitutional officer in California’s 170-year history. The panel includes Attorney and Professor Gloria J. Browne- Marshall, President of SVREP Lydia Camarillo, Native American Political Director Theresa Sheldon, Director of the Power & Democracy Program Denise Lieberman, and Co-founder and Executive Director of Asian Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) Christine Chen. Following the panel discussion, audience members will have the chance to ask the panelists questions during the live audience Q & A segment. 

About the National Women’s Political Caucus 

The National Women’s Political Caucus, founded in 1971, is a national, multi-partisan, grassroots membership organization dedicated to identifying, recruiting, training, and supporting women candidates for elected and appointed office.

Frontier Airlines announces nonstop Memphis-Las Vegas service with flights running two times weekly starting August 12

Frontier Airlines announces nonstop Memphis-Las Vegas service with flights running two times weekly starting August 12

MEMPHIS, TENN. (June 22, 2021) – Frontier Airlines has announced that it will begin nonstop flights between Memphis International Airport (MEM) and Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS) starting August 12. The service will run twice weekly, on Thursday and Sunday. The airline will utilize a 186-seat Airbus 320 aircraft for the flight.

Tickets are now on sale at www.flyfrontier.com. Frontier previously offered Memphis-Las Vegas service from August 2017 until January 2019. Las Vegas will become Frontier’s third Memphis route, joining Denver and Orlando.

“We at MEM are excited to add another option to a destination as popular as Las Vegas,” said Pace Cooper, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners for the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority. “Frontier’s expansion of its Memphis service is a clear indicator that the Memphis market is making progress in rebounding from the pandemic.”

“We’re excited to announce new nonstop flights from Memphis International Airport to Las Vegas beginning this August, joining Frontier’s nonstop service from MEM to Denver and Orlando,” said Tyri Squyres, vice president of marketing, Frontier Airlines. “Frontier is focused on ‘Low Fares Done Right’ and this new service will provide an affordable and convenient option for local residents to visit one of the top entertainment destinations in the world.”

Schedule (subject to change):

Memphis to Las Vegas

  • Departs: 10:18 pm (CT)
  • Arrives: 11:51 pm (PT)

Las Vegas to Memphis

  • Departs: 9 am (PT)
  • Arrives: 2:25 pm (CT)

For more information about these and other flights, visit http://www.flymemphis.com/flights.

Airlines at Memphis International Airport to move baggage operations to B baggage lobby on May 26

Airlines at Memphis International Airport to move baggage operations to B baggage lobby on May 26

MEMPHIS, TENN. (May 20, 2021) – Starting on Wednesday, May 26, all airlines at Memphis International Airport will conduct baggage operations in the B baggage lobby. American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines will all move baggage service offices to the B area on that date. All other airlines already utilize the B baggage area. The move is taking place ahead of the anticipated opening of the modernized B Concourse later this year, which is now targeted for this fall.

United’s baggage service office will be located next to the Delta Air Lines baggage office, while both American Airlines and United Airlines will have offices near carousel 4. For passengers, the changes will result in all inbound baggage being claimed in the B baggage lobby. Airlines, rather than the airport, handle all aspects of baggage operations.

Other highlights of the consolidation:

  • Carousels in the B area are newer and larger and are less prone to jamming.
  • Signage will now direct all arriving passengers to the B baggage area.
  • The A concourse exit lane will be closed.
  • The C concourse exit lane will be closed unless the C security checkpoint is open.
  • While baggage operations will not be conducted in the A and C areas, the areas will be available as backup if needed. The curbs outside A and C baggage will also remain open for passenger pickup.
  • With the expected increase in vehicle traffic outside the B baggage area, passengers are encouraged to utilize the cell phone waiting lot before picking up passengers. The cell phone lot features a real-time flight information display. To avoid traffic congestion, the baggage level curbside lane will be available for immediate active pickup only. Vehicles will no longer be able to park outside the baggage area and wait on arriving passengers.

Other MEM Updates:

  • Federal mask mandate still in effect until September 13: Federal law requires passengers over the age of 2 (with limited exceptions) to wear a mask when traveling through U.S. airports, including MEM. More information about this and other COVID-19 related operations can be found at www.flymemphis.com/covid-19.
  • Passenger growth: Last week (Sunday-Saturday) was the busiest week at MEM since the first week of March 2020, with nearly 43,000 screened at the security checkpoint. While that number is down by more than 24% compared to the same time period in 2019, MEM continues to recover at a faster rate than the national average (the average US airport was down by 34.5% last week compared to 2019).
Pulitzer Center Partners with Playwright Gloria J. Browne-Marshall on the Play “Shot-Caught A Soul”

Pulitzer Center Partners with Playwright Gloria J. Browne-Marshall on the Play “Shot-Caught A Soul”

(New York, New York – January 15, 2021) A leading cause of death of African-American boys and men in the United States is police violence. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences research states that African-American men are 2.5 times more likely to die by police killing than white men by police officers’ hands.  The Pulitzer Center’s Law and Justice Group awarded a grant to the playwright and legal journalist Gloria J. Browne-Marshall for her play “Shot-Caught A Soul.”

 The 30-minute One-Act Play features 16-year old Kareem Johnson, an African-American teenager who lives in the suburbs, and Police Officer Michael O’Donald, who is white. Kareem dies from a single gunshot by the hands of O’Donald. The play shares each person’s perspective of what occurred that night. The play features Kareem’s Aunt Janice and a Police Union Representative giving the play views through others’ lens.

Here is the link to view the play Shot:  https://vimeo.com/496755244 . The play is free for the public to view.

Browne-Marshall is a playwright, writer, criminal justice professor, and civil rights, attorney. “Thank you to the Pulitzer Center for supporting this play that raises important questions about the police-involved civilian killing of people of color,” said Browne-Marshall. “Through my play Shot, viewers can see and feel the conflict, and I hope it serves as a call to action for much needed police reform initiatives.”

“Gloria Browne-Marshall combines her skills as a journalist, educator and playwright to create a compelling drama and powerful, in-the-moment teaching tool,” said Tom Hundley, Senior Editor, Pulitzer on Crisis Reporting. “The Pulitzer Center hopes that Shot will become a starting point for a long overdue conversation about race and law enforcement in the United States.”

This virtual staged reading of “SHOT: Caught of Soul” was produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center. The organization raises awareness of underreported global issues through direct support for quality journalism across media platforms and unique education and public outreach programs.

About Playwright Gloria J. Browne-Marshall

Gloria J. Browne-Marshall is a civil rights attorney, playwright, professor of Constitutional Law, and founding member of the Gender Studies faculty at John Jay College (CUNY). She is the author of “She Took Justice – The Black Woman, Law and Power,” “The Voting Rights War” and “Race, Law, and American Society: 1607 to Present,”  “The U.S. Constitution: An African-American Context,” “The African-American Woman: 400 Years of Perseverance,” “The Constitution: Major Cases and Conflicts” 4ed which is forthcoming, and “The Report on the Status of Black Women and Girls ®.

Browne-Marshall is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, Society of Professional Journalists, the Deadline Club, the New York Press Club, and the National Press Club.

Follow Gloria Browne-Marshall on social media on Facebook Attorney Gloria Browne-Marshall, Twitter @GBrowneMarshall, and Instagram Browne-Marshall.

WFGM – 38126 COVID-19 Response Project Event Assists More than 500 Families in the 38126 Zip Code

Today we salute the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis (WFGM) for coordinating a 38126 COVID-19 Response Project event providing 500 families residing in the 38126 zip code with food and other direct resources. Since 2015, this community has been a major focus of the Women’s Foundation Vision 2020 Strategic Plan to reduce poverty and improve the overall economic wellbeing of families living in South City.

Based on the assessments conducted by grantee partners, they identified a great need for basic essentials, “Many of the economic gains made by residents in 38126 in the last few years through the WFGM Vision 2020 Strategic Plan has been lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ruby Bright, President, and CEO, WFGM. “This 38126 COVID-19 Response Project is a way to help the families in 38126 to stay positive and let them know that we are standing with them and supporting them.”

The WFGM team and volunteers distributed food to 500 families, 1,000 household products and personal hygiene packages, and 200 bottles of hand sanitizers.

“We were fortunate also to receive a generous donation of 2,000 face masks from AutoZone for families that were distributed with the hygiene kits,” said Shante K. Avant, Vice President, WFGM. The residents also received packets of information on the COVID-19 virus, testing locations, financial literacy, domestic violence, health and wellness, and employment opportunities.

WFGM partnerships made this project a success. FedEx donated hygiene kits along with Heart to Heart International and International Medical Corps to help Memphis families as part of its FedEx Cares 50 by 50 initiative. The company’s goal is to positively impact 50 million people by the company’s 50th anniversary in 2023. “In times of crisis, we mobilize our network quickly to help the communities where we live and work, and we are proud to be able to do that in our headquarter city,” said Adrian Pomi, director of Global Citizenship, FedEx. “At FedEx, keeping the world connected, in good times and during periods of great need, is who we are and what we do every day.”

“International Paper recognizes that our corrugated boxes are essential for our community organizations, which are casting a wide safety net for those most in need during this pandemic,” said Dynisha Woods, global citizenship coordinator, Community Engagement, International Paper. “We are pleased to mobilize our products to address this community need, and we are proud to support the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis.”

Other partners include the Mid-South Food Bank, Heart to Heart International, Shelby County Schools, Bare Needs Diaper Bank, Urban Strategies, International Medical Corps, RISE Foundation, SCORE South City, Emmanuel Center, and First Baptist, Lauderdale.

 ABOUT THE WOMEN’S FOUNDATION FOR A GREATER MEMPHIS For 25 years, the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis has been uniting women and helping break the cycle of poverty through philanthropy, leadership, and collaboration. The mission of the WFGM is to encourage philanthropy and foster leadership among women and support programs that engage women and children to reach their full potential.

BlueCross warns of Coronavirus scams: Be wary of unsolicited phone calls, emails regarding testing kits, vaccinations

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee warns members that scammers are taking advantage of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and to be alert of potential scam activity.

Reported scams include unsolicited phone calls that could be an attempt to fraudulently gain personal information. BlueCross is urging members and customers not to give personal information to these callers.

“We want to advise all of our members to be wary of phone calls or emails asking for their health plan and personal information for coronavirus testing kits and vaccinations,” said Julie Boerger, vice president and chief compliance officer. “BlueCross will not call you to schedule testing or vaccinations for the coronavirus – and if you receive a call, it’s a scam.”

According to a Fraud Alert issued by The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, there has been an increase in reports of fraudulent schemes related to the coronavirus. Examples of possible scams include:

  • Phone calls asking members for their subscriber ID/bank account information for free testing and/or services to cure or prevent coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Door-to-door solicitation for coronavirus testing and prescribing products to cure or prevent COVID-19
  • Bogus advertisements for vaccinations or medications to treat COVID-19
  • Phishing emails from impersonators of the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to solicit personal information
  • Advertisements offering health products such as teas, supplements or oils that are ineffective against COVID-19

As of March 27, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not authorized any test that is available to purchase for COVID-19 testing at home. 

BlueCross has shared this alert on our COVID-19 resource website, bcbstupdates.com. Anyone receiving a suspicious call should report it to the BlueCross Fraud Unit at 1-888-343-4221.

Members may visit cdc.gov or tn.gov/health for the most up-to-date information on COVID-19.

About BlueCross®

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is a taxpaying, not-for-profit health plan serving more than 3.5 million members in Tennessee and around the country. The Chattanooga-based company was founded in 1945 and is celebrating its 75th anniversary of bringing peace of mind to its members and local communities. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company’s news center at bcbstnews.com.

BlueCross Foundation Giving $3.25 Million to Tennessee Food Relief Efforts

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation is donating $3.25 million to multiple food banks across the state.

The financial gift will help Tennessee food banks meet the needs of the communities affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Food banks can often purchase supplies at a much lower cost than individuals can, stretching to provide as many as four meals for each dollar they receive in cash donations. 

“Every day, families count on local food banks for help — and that’s especially true now,” said JD Hickey, M.D., chairman of the BlueCross Foundation. “Tennesseans can get through these challenging times by coming together, and we’re expanding our support for food banks statewide as another way to bring peace of mind to our neighbors.”

The BlueCross Foundation will distribute food relief funds to the following organizations:

  • $750,000 to Second Harvest Food Bank (Nashville)
  • $750,000 to Mid-South Food Bank (Memphis)
  • $500,000 to Chattanooga Area Food Bank
  • $500,000 to Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee (Knoxville)
  • $500,000 to Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee (Tri-Cities)
  • $250,000 to Regional Inter-Faith Association (Jackson)

The state of Tennessee declared a state of emergency to facilitate the treatment and containment of COVID-19, a global pandemic, on March 12. And due to the coronavirus outbreak, the demand for food assistance is expected to increase with school closures and time away from work.

Community members who want to help can find and donate to their local food bank by visiting www.FeedingAmerica.org.

As the philanthropic arm of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, which has offices in Chattanooga, Nashville, Memphis, Jackson, Knoxville and Johnson City, the BlueCross Foundation also provided financial and volunteer support for Middle Tennessee relief efforts after a devastating tornado swept through the region earlier this month.    

For more on how BlueCross is responding to COVID-19, visit BCBSTupdates.com.

About BlueCross®

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is a taxpaying, not-for-profit health plan serving more than 3.5 million members in Tennessee and around the country. The Chattanooga-based company was founded in 1945 and is celebrating its 75th anniversary of bringing peace of mind to its members and local communities. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company’s news center at bcbstnews.com.

About BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation, Inc.

The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee 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 provides funding for the BlueCross Healthy Place program, which creates active, healthy spaces across Tennessee.

River City Capital Investment awarded $225,000 by U.S. Department of Treasury’s CDFI Fund, which will help local Memphis businesses grow

 River City Capital Investment (RCC), an affiliate of Community Lift, was awarded $225,000 from the U. S. Department of Treasury as a part of their community development financial institution (CDFI) Fund. 

“This is flexible, no-cost capital that RCC can use to increase the volume of its products and services,” said Babacar Thiaw, Lending Executive in Residence at River City Capital.  “This is great not only for us as an organization, but also for the city of Memphis.  We go beyond traditional lending, and this is an opportunity for us to help people in underserved communities.”

The award is intended to expand economic opportunities via CDFIs in economically distressed and underserved areas.  RCC plans to use the funds to help businesses in Whitehaven along with other communities in the city.  As such, they have been working with organizations like the Greater Whitehaven Economic Redevelopment Corporation (GWERC) to identify businesses that may benefit from their services.  

“Economic opportunities like RCC helps GWERC to remain true to our commitment of helping the Whitehaven community to reach its full potential through the revitalization and redevelopment of businesses and the promotion of economic development in the area,” said Trey McKnight, Executive Director, GWERC.  

For more information about River City Capital Investments, visit www.RiverCityCapital.org

About River City Capital Investment: 

River City Capital Investment Corp., an affiliate of Community LIFT, is a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) certified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Our mission is to increase economic development in underserved neighborhoods by attracting and leveraging investment capital for community revitalization.

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