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Greater Metro

NBCSL draws youth seeking lawmaking skills

NBCSL draws youth seeking lawmaking skills

Mathieu White and Tamaira Ballard were among the Memphis high school students who targeted the Youth Congress Day Luncheon as the place to be last week to gain first-hand experience in lawmaking.

The luncheon (Dec. 11), which had students taking on the roles of state senators and representatives, was coordinated by the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, which hosted its 37th annual Legislative Conference at The Peabody last week.

The four-day conference, whose theme was "Progress: Moving Our States Forward Through Policy Action," centered on presentations and discussions addressing current legislative issues in our community.

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Police ‘misconduct’ challenged

Police ‘misconduct’ challenged

Their numbers were few, but spirits were high as Memphis United Coalition members took to the streets Tuesday (Dec. 17) to protest what Mid-South Peace and Justice Center Organizing Director Brad Watkins called "a disturbing trend of harassment and misconduct among Memphis police officers."

"The homeless and groups of young African Americans are being singled out by law enforcement for arrests, illegal searches for no cause and other forms of misconduct in the community," Watkins said.

A related gathering took root early that afternoon at St. Patrick's Catholic Church on Fourth Street downtown. Homeless advocates and a legal representative conducted workshops where attendees were given some direct advice. They were told that citizens have the right to record or photograph any incident involving themselves or others when trying to document civil rights violations or illegal actions by law enforcement.

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Fundraisers ease wait for services for people with disabilities on list

Fundraisers ease wait for services for people with disabilities on list

Fundraisers by the Memphis area council of the Tennessee Family Support Program, encompassing Shelby and Fayette counties, are helping ease the wait for five people with disabilities on a 1200-person-deep list for service.

The program helps hundreds of people across the state, but there's not enough state funding to immediately provide services for everyone. Through fundraisers, the local council tries to help meet the need. Five thousand dollars has been raised since February 2013.

Jeri Henry is paralyzed on her left side, and receives dialysis treatments. She also has other major health concerns. She'll now have new avenues for help.

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Community in Pictures

Zach Randolph helped out those in need.

A culmination ceremony saluted the Emerging Leaders Institute Class of 2013,

And at the Hattiloo, now playing through Dec. 22 is "The North Star: An Urban Nativity."

Check out these images and more from the week past.

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New MEMShop, Co-Motion Studio, launches Friday in Crosstown

New MEMShop, Co-Motion Studio, launches Friday in Crosstown

The Mayor's Innovation Delivery Team MEMShop initiative will launch a sixth business, Co-Motion Studio, in the Crosstown area, at 416 N. Cleveland St., this Friday, (Dec. 13).

A free open house celebration from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. will mark the occasion.

Co-Motion – a creative movement studio and retail space – will offer recreational movement and fitness classes, including: hula hooping; yoga; modern and world dance; and circus and flow arts. The retail space will feature a selection of handcrafted and LED hoops, dance clothing and accessories, and other locally made products.

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Outreach gives MAM boys ‘cool cuts’

Outreach gives MAM boys ‘cool cuts’

"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor."
– Proverbs 9:9

That Bible verse sums up the value of partnerships. And in this story, the two working together are the Barber's Institute and Memphis Athletic Ministries (MAM).
The rewards?

That's easy to see. Just look at the group of boys smiling ear to ear, showing off their new haircuts while others wait for their turns in the chair at MAM's St. Andrew youth center, located at 1472 Mississippi Blvd. in South Memphis.

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‘DeBerry presence’ evident at legislators’ national conference

‘DeBerry presence’ evident at legislators’ national conference

Former Tennessee house Speaker Pro Tempore Lois M. DeBerry lost her battle with pancreatic cancer in late July of this year, but she was "there" Wednesday morning when National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) President Joe Armstrong opened the group's 37th legislative conference at The Peabody.

"Rep. DeBerry helped to shape this year's conference by adding two important elements," said Armstrong, a Knoxville Democrat. "Youth Day and the prayer breakfast were both her doing. She felt very passionately that we should be grooming young leaders to take up the mantle when we have moved off the scene. ...Her presence is strongly felt as we gather in the city she loved so well."

This year's prayer breakfast will be Friday morning. It has been named The Lois DeBerry Prayer Breakfast and Memorial Service.

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