(Memphis, TN) - Chairpersons representing many American cities will meet in Memphis at the Peabody Hotel to discuss the future of youth violence prevention in the United States. The meeting was hosted by the chairperson of the Memphis Program, District Attorney General Amy Weirich and by Councilman Harold Collins, coordinator of the Memphis and Shelby County program.
The program known nationally as the Do the Write Thing Challenge involves thousands of volunteers in both city-wide and state-wide programs around the United States. The focus of the program is to learn from middle school students what they think causes a young person to become violent and then to take steps with those young people to prevent this from happening.
The Do the Write Thing Challenge (DtWT) was first conceived by Washington, DC attorney Daniel Callister in 1992. During a dinner conversation at home with his family he recounted a tragic news story he read of one seventh grader killing another in a fight over a pair of shoes . The conversation turned into a general question of why anyone would commit such violence. When he asked his children why some youth perpetuate such acts of violence they responded by simply saying "Why don't you ask them?" So working with friends and like-minded people in the area a new program was created to gather information on youth violence directly from the young people who were living with it daily.
Young poets to compete for Drop the Mic Crown
The National Civil Rights Museum will host the Drop the Mic Poetry Slam competition at the Rumba Room at 333 S. Main Street on Saturday (Feb. 22nd).
The event – set to run from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. – is one of several that will celebrate the Museum's grand reopening. Youth and young adults (15-25) will articulate their views on freedom.
Poets will perform original pieces following the theme "My Freedom Is." Celebrity judges are Danny Simmons, co-producer of "Def Poetry Jam," along with Memphis natives Aisha Raison and multi-platinum hit-maker Drumma Boy.
Preserving the legacy of an educational institution that thrived for 14 years in the South Memphis community and produced future leaders is worth the nearly two years that it took for a group of former students, faculty and staff to publish their efforts in a book entitled "The Legacy of Owen College: 1954-1968."
Produced by GrantHouse Publishers, The Owen College History Committee began its quest in April 2012 to save and secure the legacy of Owen College. Throughout its years of operation, the college enrolled nearly 4,000 men and women. Many of them would go on to succeed in life and add their accomplishments to the annals of Memphis and Shelby County as well.
The project was a labor of love for the approximately 20-member committee that set out to preserve the legacy of the accredited two-year liberal arts college for African Americans before a funding shortage forced a merger in 1968 with LeMoyne College to form The LeMoyne-Owen College.
Last year and in the same week that he walked away from a reported $20 million offer from CBS to continue the wildly successful "Judge Joe Brown" television show, Brown made a very visible public splash.
With the directness that long has accented his character, Brown announced that he would host a fundraiser backing the campaign bids of retiring Shelby County Commissioner Henri Brooks for Juvenile Court Clerk and District Judge Tarik Sugarmon for Juvenile Court Judge.
Flash forward a year and it's official. Brooks and Sugarmon now are duly-filed candidates. So is Brown, who filed Tuesday for the Democratic Party nomination for Shelby County District Attorney General. And Shelby County Democratic Party Chairman Bryan Carson says Brown's celebrity status could be a major tipping point for the party this election cycle.
Elected officials and friends of 226 locked-out Kellogg's employees raised an enthusiastic voice of determination Wednesday night, vowing to walk the picket lines outside the plant until they can return to work.
Kevin Bradshaw, president of Bakery Confectionary Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union Local 252G, said he drew inspiration and encouragement from the outpouring of support shown by the "Memphis community."
"Although our numbers were small, tonight's rally means everything to those of us who are locked out of our jobs," Bradshaw said.
'...This is not your grandfather's Kellogg's. The old administration was compassionate and caring toward its workers and their families. John Bryant cares nothing for those working on the line and making the company all of their profits. We have worked before without a contract in place. We knew that an agreement was coming. That's because both sides were negotiating in good faith. We were shocked to be locked out. We are not on strike. We did not walk off the line. We simply came to work on October 22nd last year, and we could not get in because the doors were closed and locked. We just want to go back to work. That's all. We hope this week with the rally that Kellogg's administrators will come back to the table and talk..."
BCTGM International Union
Four months ago when Kellogg's employees refused to approve a permanently lowered rate of pay for new employees, they knew that plant administrators wouldn't agree with the move. But they weren't expecting to be locked out of the plant where they've always "felt like family."
Memphis is a tour stop on a rolling community dialogue on education opportunities for African-American families.
The 2014 School of Choice tour pairs The Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) with Grand Rapids, Mich. pastor and Grammy-nominated, Dove, Stellar and BET award-winning gospel artist Dr. Marvin L. Sapp.
Sapp will be in Memphis for the free event on Thursday (Feb. 20th) at 7 p.m. at Greater Community Temple Church of God in Christ at 5151 Winchester Rd. On tap is a discussion about the status of education for African-American students and the options that are available for parents seeking better educational opportunities for their children.