Thousands of women in Memphis and Shelby County felt "someone was finally paying attention to them" when the Tennessee House of Representatives voted unanimously Monday evening to drop the statute of limitations on rape cases.
The measure had passed the Senate 31-0 last month, and the House vote was its last big hurdle. On Wednesday, the bill went to Gov. Bill Haslam after the Senate concurred with a House amendment.
"Monday's vote in the state legislature was great news for those of us who have been waiting years for prosecution," said Linda, a 38-year-old U.S. Postal Service employee, wife, mother of two, and a woman who once was raped.
"I'm not a politician holding an elected office, and I'm not a candidate in any of the upcoming elections this year. I'm just an average citizen of Memphis advocating for the city I love," said Kemba Ford, daughter of former Tennessee State Senator John Ford. But there was nothing "average" about the gift that Ford attained for the city's children.
The Herbal Life Family Foundation in Los Angeles trucked nearly 40,000 personal hygiene and skin care products into Memphis in late March, an in-kind donation worth more than $300,000 to benefit families in need. The generous donation was divided between two local charities: The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis and The Women's Foundation for a Greater Memphis.
"Herbalife operates a huge distribution center here in Memphis, and I felt it just makes sense for us to build a partnership of philanthropy," said Ford. "Robyn Browning, executive director of the Herbalife Family Foundation, has been a friend and mentor of mine for a number of years. She has heard me talk about our children and the great need here. Herbalife wanted to help. So you can imagine that I was thrilled when Robin called about making the donation."
Jasmine Guy, whose acting career spans television, theater and film, is headed to Memphis to keynote the Women's Foundation for a Greater Memphis' 2014 Annual Tribute Luncheon on April 24th.
"In addition to being a talented dancer and star of the stage and screen, she champions causes that support the safety and rights of women and girls everywhere," said Ruby Bright, executive director/CAO of the Women's Foundation for a Greater Memphis (WFGM).
Many recognizeGuy as Whitley Gilbert on the "Cosby Show" spinoff "A Different World." She won six consecutive NAACP Image Awards for her portrayal of the pretentious but funny southern belle. Guy's most recent role, recurring as Grams on the popular series "Vampire Diaries," can be seen on the CW Network.
Minister Adrian Johnson drives a really cool car. Pimped up in sparkling green paint, squatting on dubs (street language for the 20-inch wheels that make the cars ride high in the air), Johnson's ride fits right in with what's called "D-Boy smooth" on the streets, but with a hard-to-ignore difference.
The word "Jesus" is emblazoned across the side of the car in bright gold script.
Posted up at the Breaking The Cycle Boys Symposium last Saturday (April 5th) at Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church on Stage Road in Cordova, Johnson's "whip" perfectly symbolized the church's mission to reach out to youths and speak to them – in plain but impactful ways – of how temptations can ruin their ambitions. Several hundred were in attendance, some transported by bus by Memphis Police Department, a sponsor.
A haunting refrain of, "hold on," fills the theater. The lyrics, sung by a trio, warn the audience of what is to come: a story of strife, fear, choices and consequences.
The play is "Uniform Justice," written by New York playwright, Chukwuma Obasi, as part of a unique conflict resolution project, a partnership between Hattiloo Theatre and TE'A (Theater, Engagement & Action) at Intersections International and the Memphis Police Department's Community Outreach Program. It's sponsored by Memphis Gun Down, Mayor A C Wharton Jr.'s youth gun violence reduction initiative.
Hundreds of attendees of all ages, including community organizations and church groups, filled the house for each of the five, free shows held at Southwest Tennessee Community College's Union Avenue Campus theatre. Mayor Wharton attended one of the performances and spent time with the cast.
The National Black MBA Association® 2014 Regional Symposiums will kickoff this week with a Memphis launch.
The multi-city tour, which targets professionals, will discuss the innovative trends within the workplace, along with a changing global workforce that "sometimes requires one to recalibrate their professional and personal realities."
The tour theme is "The Art of Leadership – Recalibrate Your Reality: Practical Steps from the NBMBAA®." The symposium will share the latest industry practices, insights, cutting-edge resources and tools from some of today's leading experts.
About 100 students from Memphis high schools such as Booker T. Washington, Melrose and White Station spent Saturday (April 5th) preparing for their financial futures.
The Planning Your Dreams Summit was held at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Memphis Technical Training Center, where the teens focused on improving their understanding of financial terms and learning how to budget and manage their income.
The summit was hosted by The RISE Foundation, a nonprofit that empowers Memphians by improving their financial literacy skills. The teens who participated are members of the RISE Foundation's Goal Card program, an incentive-based program that requires goal setting and improvements in grades, conduct and attendance.