Dismantling White Supremacy

Posted by knetzler on Aug 14, 2017

We at BRIDGES are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of lives in Charlottesville, Va., over the past weekend and sickened by the brazen displays of hatred, bigotry and violence perpetrated by white supremacists there. As we process our emotions, however, we must also remember that words are only a starting point. Express your grief and anger on social media. Use the hashtags, share powerful messages, and sign the petitions. Initiate courageous conversations with your loved ones, colleagues and classmates about hate speech and violence and its impact on you as an individual and on our collective society. But do not make the mistake of stopping there, thinking you’ve done

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Take The BRIDGES Pledge On Immigration

Posted by knetzler on Aug 11, 2017

By Cynthia Ham A version of this piece appeared in the Aug. 10, 2017, edition of The Commercial Appeal.  “I am a Bridge Builder. I am a leader who can lay aside individual, social, economic and cultural differences to work for the benefit of all.” That’s the pledge more than 1,100 students take each year as part of our youth leadership programs at BRIDGES. Knowing what you know now, as an adult, could you take that pledge? Could you live it out daily, in a truly impactful way, on a complex, controversial issue like immigration? Try it for a moment. Take your political affiliations and your policy preferences, your cultural heritage,

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Bridge Builders #YOUnified2017 Unites Area Youth

Posted by knetzler on Jul 31, 2017

3,000 local students to participate in end-of-summer youth festival at Tiger Lane. Memphis, TN – On Friday night, Aug. 4, thousands of middle and high school students will converge on Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium’s Tiger Lane for the fifth annual Bridge Builders YOUnified end-of-summer festival. More than 3,000 local youth have already registered for the event. Designed to unite diverse youth from across the region in a positive and fun environment, the event will include group games, an interactive art project, food trucks, and a community action fair featuring 30 local organizations. BLDG Memphis’ “Mobile Front Porch” and Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland will be in attendance to solicit youth input on the city’s Memphis 3.0 comprehensive planning

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Bridge Builders COLLABORATE 2017 Summer Conferences Begin Today!

Posted by knetzler on Jun 12, 2017

BRIDGES’ legacy program helps local youth collaborate with diverse peers, unlock leadership potential, and become a force for positive community change. What does a student from Whitehaven have in common with one from Millington? What can a young person growing up in Collierville and another from Cooper-Young learn from one another? What does a teenager from West Memphis share with one from Germantown? And more importantly, how can they all work together to make Memphis better? They’re about to find out. Today marks the start of BRIDGES’ 29th annual Bridge Builders COLLABORATE program year, which unites more than 1,000 youth in grades 7-12 from more than 50 zip codes across Shelby

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Meet BRIDGES’ New Board Member, Amy Wright

Posted by knetzler on May 16, 2017

This spring we welcomed a new member to the BRIDGES board of trustees, Amy Wright. Amy is the co-founder and CEO of Macro Solutions, an information technology consulting company focused on enterprise application and agile solutions. She founded Macro Solutions in 2000 and has grown the company from a small consulting practice to a leading provider of technology services. Macro Solutions was recently included in the 2016 Inc. 500 list and was recognized by both Washington CEO magazine and Bisnow for being one of the fastest growing companies in the Washington, D.C., region. She has a B.A. from the University of Virginia and an MBA from Georgetown University. Amy also believes

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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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Hundreds Expected At Bridge Builders Youth Ignite Memphis Event Saturday

Posted by knetzler on Jan 08, 2017

This MLK weekend, the 3rd annual student competition will showcase youth-powered proposals for positive community change. Six student presenters. Six innovations for social change in Memphis. Five minutes each. Who will win? Find out Saturday, Jan. 14, at the 3rd annual Youth Ignite Memphis event, presented by Bridge Builders CHANGE’s Memphis Youth Union. Youth Ignite is a competition designed to elevate and activate youth-led initiatives to make the Greater Memphis area stronger, safer, more beautiful, and more just for us all. Winners will earn funding, advertisements and support to help turn their ideas into action. This year’s line-up features proposals on everything from art education to gender- neutral school dress

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