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Greater Metro

Police ‘misconduct’ challenged

police 600Their 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.

Fundraisers ease wait for services for people with disabilities on list

fundraiser 600Fundraisers 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.

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

memshop 600The 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.

Outreach gives MAM boys ‘cool cuts’

mamacuts 600"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.

‘DeBerry presence’ evident at legislators’ national conference

winan 600Former 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.

Is an unseen hand at work in the Juvenile Court Clerk race?

juve 600When former municipal employee Kenneth Moody announced he would challenge Shelby County Commissioner Henri Brooks for Juvenile Court Clerk in next year's Democratic Primary, some watchers of local politics quickly pointed to the influence of Brooks' commission colleague, Sidney Chism.

Brooks, who was questioning the operation of Juvenile Court long before the U.S. Department of Justice determined there was much seriously amiss, announced her candidacy many months ago. When The New Tri-State Defender asked Chism to comment on whether he had a hand in Moody's planned challenge of Brooks, he chose to remain mum for now.

Candidate Moody said those who see his bid as some type of mini-machine manipulation need to think again.

‘Early Advantage’ brain exhibit debuts at Pink Palace Museum

pink 600Advancing their commitment to provide resources to help Memphis and Shelby County children reach their full potential, The Urban Child Institute recently opened the first module of the Early Advantage Brain Awareness Exhibit at the Pink Palace Museum.

The interactive exhibition aims to equip parents and caregivers with information and tools that can be used and applied in daily life to encourage healthy brain development for babies ages zero to three.

Understanding how a child's brain receives and processes information is important to promote optimal growth and development, but learning about best practices to ensure that an infant reaches key milestones like crawling, walking, and talking can sometimes be a daunting task for new and expecting parents.

BRIDGES hires Staci Franklin as vice president of Communications

Staci-Franklin-Headshot 600Staci Franklin has recently joined BRIDGES as the vice president of communications. Franklin will provide leadership in managing the internal and external communications strategy for the organization with a particular emphasis on the Bridge Builders® program.

Prior to joining BRIDGES, Franklin served as the executive director of communications and broadcast services for Memphis City Schools for more than five years. She also served as the manager and director of community investment for the Memphis Grizzlies from 2001 to 2007.

Franklin's career in communications began with International Paper (IP) in 1994, where she worked in variety of roles at IP locations in Memphis, Erie, Penn., Washington, D.C., and Laurel, Miss.