Will minority- and women-owned firms ever get a fair shake in the awarding of contracts issued by local municipal governments?
While some will argue that the question is loaded and that it brushes away any measure of progress, there is a fresh reason why it is being bandied about in various quarters of Memphis.
In a protest letter recently sent to several county officials, including Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell Jr., three locally owned African-American firms are claiming foul. Their owners and operators say the county sidestepped them to hire a firm that did not meet at least two of the priority minimum qualifications supposedly demanded by the county in a recent contract bid. They note that Caissa Public Strategy – the firm that secured the contract – happened to be white-owned.
Club Crave – the controversial Beale St. nightspot – was shutdown permanently on Wednesday by virtue of a Shelby County Environmental Court order.
"This is a major victory for the city, the Downtown Entertainment District, and Beale Street," said Mayor A C Wharton. "Rest assured we will continue in our efforts to identify a more productive use for this property through our ongoing talks and negotiations with the property's owner."
Teachers who attend a Jan. 26 financial literacy summit at the University of Memphis will each receive a $50 gift card from Amazon and financial literacy lessons that they can teach to their students and apply to their own lives.
The free summit is being sponsored by the Tennessee Financial Literacy Commission, which is administered by the Tennessee Treasury Department, and Shelby County Trustee David Lenoir.
In 1913, African-American women marching in support of Women's Suffrage in Washington, D.C. were told to go to the back of the parade. The young college students who founded Delta Sigma Theta Sorority were among those marchers.
"As college students, our founders wanted to use their collective strengths to promote academic excellence and assist persons in need," said Shirley Payne Page, president of the Shelby County (TN) Alumnae Chapter. "To keep this vision alive, sorors all over the world are coming together to celebrate 100 years of achievements."
The nation's annual celebration of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy hits full tilt on Monday with the observance of the national holiday – Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Myriad events are set here in Memphis, where he was assassinated on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel on the evening of April 4, 1968. King was born on Jan. 15, 1929.
Kroger executive Tim Brown and Shannon A. Brown of FedEx Express will co-chair the Memphis Branch NAACP's 37th Annual Freedom Fund Gala scheduled for March 20 at the Memphis Cook Convention Center.
Tim Brown will serve as the corporate fundraising co-chair and Shannon A. Brown will serve as the community co-chair for 2013. The interracial chairs represent an effort to cross racial barriers and work for a common cause within the Memphis community.
The second annual Healthy Church Challenge – 100-day weight loss competition for churches in West Tennessee – kicks off at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2, at Mississippi Blvd. Family Life Center, 70 North Bellevue.
BlueCross BlueShield® of Tennessee is presenting the Challenge, which puts the focus on weight loss, healthy eating and healthy lifestyles.