More than 300 community partners are working together to identify sustainable solutions that support thriving communities
More For Memphis, a community initiative funded by $8.5 million in national and local investments that seeks to improve social and economic mobility in the Mid-South, today announced its official launch. This effort, coordinated by Seeding Success and backed by Blue Meridian Partners and The Kresge Foundation, brings together government, community members, youth, and over 300 community partners to integrate our efforts behind systemic solutions to improve our community. This national investment is focused on supporting communities across the country that have faced historical inequities, particularly for Black and Brown residents. To lead the change, this approach will support those closest to these challenges and who are the most affected.
A cornerstone of the work relies on six focus areas: community development, culture, economic development, education and youth, health and well-being, justice and safety. In 2021, the foundation for this effort and related focus areas in the community was identified by a 32 member Design Committee who represented a range of backgrounds and lived experiences.
“While Memphis has great energy and incredible potential, the challenges we face mean that too many of our neighbors are excluded from the city’s growth,” said Teshanda Middleton, Interim Chief Executive Officer and Chief Program Officer at Communities In Schools of Memphis. “What we’re doing at More For Memphis will not only tackle the barriers of today, but pave a clear path forward for the next generation of dreamers and doers here.”
Formal introduction of More For Memphis – a free, public launch event – will be held on September 27 starting at 4 p.m. at the Central Station Hotel.
In addition, a Governing Body composed of 28 individuals representing various sectors including youth, government representatives, and affiliates of the designated focus areas or Anchor Collaboratives has been selected to advise and prioritize the intersection of the work across the six focus areas. The ultimate goal is to increase resources to improve our residents’ long-term quality of life by establishing a community-driven plan that invests in neighborhoods, strengthens cross-sector collaboration, and improves policies for the future. Collectively, our families, community members, youth and residents are steering this project that will accelerate the rate of change in communities across the county.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to sit alongside leaders of our community and represent our local youth as we work together to improve our city,” said Governing Body Committee Member and local youth Randy Truong. “To achieve a Memphis where opportunity and achievement can truly be shared by all, it’s important to have voices and views from all backgrounds and ages. I hope more youth will take advantage of the opportunity to make a real difference by joining a More For Memphis workgroup.”
To formally introduce More For Memphis, a free, public launch event will be held on September 27 starting at 4 p.m. at the Central Station Hotel. Community members are invited to come together and learn more about the initiative’s transformative work. Motivational speaker, social activist, and passionate advocate for educational reform Geoffrey Canada will deliver the keynote address. In addition to local entertainment and free food, there will be opportunities to engage in work groups and get involved in the initiative. Register to attend for free on Eventbrite.
About More For Memphis
More for Memphis is a collaboration to improve social and economic mobility in Memphis and Shelby County. This joint effort brings together more than 300 community members, nonprofits, businesses, and public organizations to define the challenges of our social and economic systems and policies; and identify sustainable solutions that make a shared vision for a thriving Shelby County a reality. Learn more on the More for Memphis website: www.moreformemphis.org.
Feature image from the More For Memphis website