Better Know A BRIDGES Staffer: Receptionist Charlene O’Baner

Posted by knetzler on Apr 24, 2017

Family: Two adult grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren in Memphis! Where do you live? In the East Memphis/Hickory Hill area. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? I just turned 74, but I feel 34! Where are you from/where’d you go to school? Memphis is home, and I attended Lester High School. When did you start at BRIDGES? Five years ago. What did you do before, and what brought you here? I worked in the hospitality field, supervising, sales and management positions in major hotel chains. A friend and former BRIDGES employee, Sherri Crane, asked me to help out while another employee was ill. I

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Better Know A BRIDGES Staffer: Evaluation Manager Jesse Davidson

Posted by knetzler on Feb 10, 2017

Family: Husband Jonathan Davidson, English Bulldog Boston and Chihuahua Murphy. Where do you live? Cooper-Young. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? 20. So, what’s it mean to be the evaluation manager? I collect feedback from students and other stakeholders to make sure our participants are effectively learning what BRIDGES claims they will learn so that we can continue to improve our programming and the student’s experience. I also make sure the student perspective is communicated and considered when making programmatic decisions. Where’d you go to school? High school in Chattanooga at Boyd-Buchanan; undergraduate at Valdosta State University; masters at the University of Memphis. When did you start at BRIDGES? September

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Meet BRIDGES’ New Board Member, Danish Siddiqui

Posted by knetzler on Jan 31, 2017

In January of 2017, we welcomed a new member to the BRIDGES board of trustees, Danish Siddiqui. Danish grew up in Memphis and attended K-12 in Shelby County public schools, then graduated from the University of Memphis with a BBA in Management Information Systems. He now works as a senior manager of technology for a major local corporation. Since his graduation, Danish has founded and served as a board member for more than a dozen nonprofits, both locally and nationally. His work has focused on uniting faith and ethnic communities, promoting social justice and civil rights, assisting immigrant communities, and ensuring government works for all Americans. In his free time, Danish

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Three BB Alums On The Memphis Flyer’s 2017 20<30 List!

Posted by knetzler on Jan 19, 2017

Bridge Builders do amazing things! The Memphis Flyer’s 2017 20<30 list, which honors 20 young Memphians under the age of 30 who are making the city a better place, included three BB alums. Check out this annual feature now to learn more about (from left) Whitney Hardy, who’s founded both Out901.com and Young Arts Patrons; Mahal Burr, who’s returned to BRIDGES as a staffer; and Larissa Redmond Thompson, who started her own nonprofit, the Collegiate Life Investment Foundation.  

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Juvenile Justice Summit: ‘We Are Addicted To Incarceration’

Posted by knetzler on Jul 21, 2016

By Katie Fretland of The Commercial Appeal, published June 30, 2016 James Bell, who works nationally to address racial disparities in juvenile justice, described incarceration as an addiction Thursday to an audience of more than 200 people in Hickory Hill. “We are addicted to incarceration as a primary instrument of social control,” Bell said. “Not just for law violators but for misbehaviors in school.” Speaking at a juvenile justice summit, “A Just Village: Our Children, Our Responsibility,” at the Gathering Place inside Hickory Ridge Mall, Bell said society has an obligation to enhance nurturing. “Nurturing and how do we provide support as a society so the young people are able to reach

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A Statement From BRIDGES Regarding This Week’s Acts Of National Violence

Posted by knetzler on Jul 08, 2016

Dear Bridge Builders students, parents, and supporters: We at BRIDGES have been struggling to find words that even begin to express the anger, frustration and sadness evoked by this week of unbelievable violence in our country. Our hearts have broken anew each day as the headlines keep coming: Four young children stabbed to death right here in Shelby County; Alton Sterling and Philando Castile shot to death by police in Louisiana and Minnesota, respectively; at least five police officers murdered while on duty at a peaceful Black Lives Matter rally in Dallas; a former Illinois congressman and a Nashville police officer posting messages of hate on social media in the

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Remembering History So We Never Repeat It

Posted by knetzler on May 05, 2016

“For the dead and the living, we must bear witness.” –Elie Wiesel, author and Holocaust survivor Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day, one of many days that asks us to pause and reflect on the Holocaust of Europe and North Africa.[1] From 1939-1944, the National Socialist Party of Germany (Nazi) systematically exterminated Jews, Roma, mentally and physically disabled persons, homosexuals, and political enemies, totaling 11 million men, women and children. Part of my undergraduate study was on the Holocaust and genocide, so Miss Peggy has asked me to reflect on today and what it means for us here at BRIDGES. The obvious question is this: how could it happen? Why does

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Happy Holidays and Other American Declarations

Posted by BRIDGES Web Team on Dec 15, 2015

Happy holidays, and other American declarations  By David Waters of The Commercial Appeal Posted: Dec. 12, 2015 SHARE 33   December 06, 2015 — Bridge Builders watch members of a bilingual theater group perform at BRIDGES. Participants spent the evening learning about a variety of ethnic and religious holidays during a World of Traditions event. (Brad Vest/The Commercial Appeal) Dozen of teenagers gathered on a Downtown Memphis street corner the other day. There were Hispanic kids. Muslim kids. Black kids. Immigrant kids. Kids from Midtown mixing it up with kids from Germantown. Donald Trump’s worst nightmare. The teenagers divided into smaller groups for 15 or 20 minutes, then broke up

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BRIDGES Holds Session On Interacting With Police

Posted by BRIDGES Web Team on Jul 23, 2015

(Memphis – localmemphis.com)– Safely interacting with police was the topic of conversation for nearly 100 teens today. During this “Bridges USA” session, local teens had a direct conversation with police about how they should act during a traffic stop and what to do, if an encounter goes bad.  It was a lesson in breaking down stereotypes and misinformation between young people and police. The teens stayed at the University of Memphis campus and had sessions with Memphis Police officers. Teens learned that they should not confront the police during the time of the incident, instead they should file a formal complaint with the Police Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau. Malik Brooks,

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Group Uses Charleston Tragedy to Improve Mid-South

Posted by BRIDGES Web Team on Jul 19, 2015

(Memphis – WMC) — A group in Memphis is working to end violence by teaching leadership and diversity to teens. After nine people where shot and killed inside a Charleston, South Carolina church, Bridges decided to use the tragedy to do good. Bridges is a group dedicated to helping young people become successful adults. The Bridge Builder Program is designed to bring together 7th and 8th grade students. No matter their race or socioeconomic background, students from more than 140 schools take part in Bridges’ services every year. “In my school, I learned a lot about diversity,” Sara Khouzam said. “When I came here [Bridges], we went over it a couple of

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