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Greetings from Mid-South Peace and Justice Center’s new executive director

bradwatkins 600We at the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center stand poised on the precipice of a great transition. I want to first and foremost thank Jacob (Flowers) for ten years of outstanding service and leadership to this organization and to our entire community here in Memphis.

Under Jacob's stewardship, the MSPJC has grown and evolved, producing an incredible body of work rooted in our most deeply-held principles. His work has connected global oppression to local injustice, asking us to focus not only on those that suffer overseas, but also those that suffer right next door. Beyond this, Jacob's leadership allowed us to build a "people's organization" with an amazing and diverse staff aided by one of the strongest board of directors this organization has ever had.

Over the past six years it has been my pleasure and honor to serve alongside Jacob as Organizing Director and with your help, we have made great strides towards a more equitable community. Local issues like environmental justice, homelessness, and public transit have become cornerstones of the MSPJC, as evidenced by grassroots movements like GrowMemphis, H.O.P.E., and the Memphis Bus Riders Union. The Gandhi-King conference has developed into a major event and our training department has provided resources and mentoring to foster leadership and build our base of local activists winning real victories for their communities.

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Luther Vandross to receive star on Hollywood’s walk of fame

luther 600Luther Vandross will receive his star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame next week.

According to a press release from the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, the "Secret Lovers" singer will be honored posthumously outside Capitol Records in Los Angeles on Tuesday, June 3rd.

"Luther's unparalleled voice and forever romantic tunes such as, 'Never Too Much,' 'Power Of Love,' 'Here And Now,' 'House Is Not A Home,' 'So Amazing' and 'Dance With My Father' are known the world over," stated Leron Gubler, president of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and emcee of the ceremonies. "We are honored to hold this dedication for a very special performer whose music will resonate for all time."

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RGIII helps special needs student get asked to prom

rg3prom 600Earlier this week, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (RGIII) helped one Virginia high school student ask a special needs friend to prom.

At a recent Centreville High School lacrosse game, 17-year-old Juwaan Espinal, who is non-verbal due to cerebral palsy, was asked to prom in an extraordinary way, reports WJLA.

Thanks to his group of friends, who enlisted the help of Espinal's favorite NFL player, classmate Morgan Assel asked the big question.

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* Memphis Italian Festival
4pm-11pm | Marquette Park
Downtown Trolley Night
5pm-10pm | Downtown Main St.
Tilmon M. Keaton “Change Your LIFE” Book Signing
6pm-9pm | Art Village Gallery

Fred Johnson – Memphis Training Camp for Dads Hall of Famer

(Every year, fathers – biological and non-biological – are honored for their impact on their families and the community and placed in the Memphis Training Camp for Dads Hall of Fame. The New Tri-State Defender will highlight past award recipients in the series, “Where Are They Now?”)
dadhalloffamer 600It’s been three years since father and community figure, Fred Johnson, received the Hall of Fame Award at the inaugural Memphis Training Camp for Dads. Then, he was raising his daughter, Jasmine, who was a bright and talented freshman at Wiley College. He’d raised her as a single dad after his wife passed away in 2011 when Jasmine was just a year old.
Despite challenges, Johnson continues to give and remains a father figure in the community. Today, he serves on the Community Advisory Board at St. Jude Children’s Hospital and is a coordinator for WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) at Rozelle Creative and Performing Arts Elementary School, his daughter’s former school.