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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BRIDGES Celebrates Achievement Of $20 Million Endowment Fund Goal

Posted by knetzler on Nov 10, 2016

On Tuesday, Nov. 15, BRIDGES will observe National Philanthropy Day with an event celebrating the conclusion of a six-year campaign to create a $20 million endowment. The fund, which began with a $10 million matching challenge from an anonymous donor in December of 2010, will provide $1 million per year in annual operating revenue and ensure the endurance of one of Memphis’ most unique and respected non-profit organizations. “BRIDGES’ success in meeting its $20 million endowment goal is an incredibly important achievement,” said Robert M. Fockler, President of the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis. “It obviously represents a major step forward in securing BRIDGES’ future, but more than that, it

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BRIDGES Hosting Gandhi-King Youth Conferences Friday And Saturday

Posted by knetzler on Sep 25, 2016

Workshops for local 6-12th graders will harness the peaceful principles of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. More than 300 youth from across the Mid-South are expected to attend the 2016 Gandhi-King Youth Conferences, presented by Bridge Builders, on Sept. 30-Oct. 1. For the first time, the leadership event will be held over two days. The Middle School GKYC will take place Friday, Sept. 30, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the BRIDGES Center (477 N. Fifth St., Memphis). This year’s middle school conference theme, “YOU Are What’s Needed”, will help students practice principles of positive social change instituted by Gandhi and Dr. King, such as how to lead

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Bridge Builders YOUnified Event Unites Area Youth

Posted by knetzler on Aug 01, 2016

On Friday, August 5, more than 2,000 area middle and high school students will gather at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium’s Tiger Lane for the fourth annual Bridge Builders YOUnified youth festival, presented by ServiceMaster. Designed to unite diverse youth from across the Mid-South in a positive and fun environment, the event will include a community action fair featuring more than 30 local organizations and a large-scale, interactive art project facilitated by the Memphis College of Art. Students will also participate in group games, play bubble soccer, climb a 24-foot rock wall, and enjoy a giant water slide. Food trucks, live performances from local artists and cultural groups, and a glow-stick

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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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Youth And Police To Share Perspectives, Seek Solutions Via Workshops Beginning July 13

Posted by knetzler on Jul 06, 2016

Through a collaborative partnership between the Memphis Police Department and the youth leadership non-profit BRIDGES, hundreds of 11th grade students from across the greater Memphis area will begin coalition-building discussions with law enforcement officers on Wednesday, July 13. For the second consecutive year, Bridge Builders summer conference participants and MPD Officers will meet to at the University of Memphis to engage in facilitated discussions in small groups. This dual mentorship experience, which draws on the unique expertise and experience of both parties, is designed to open pathways of communication, confront stereotypes, address issues of accountability and respect, explore root causes of violence and illegal activities, build trust, and chart pathways forward.

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Bridge Builders COLLABORATE 2016 Summer Conferences Begin June 13

Posted by knetzler on Jun 01, 2016

The BRIDGES legacy program helps local youth collaborate with diverse peers, unlock leadership potential, and become a force for positive social change. It’s been 28 years since community volunteer Rebecca Webb Wilson pioneered a radical program to bring together high school students from diverse backgrounds—not just to foster better understanding and develop leadership skills, but to forge lasting ties between future leaders of the Memphis community. Today, the Bridge Builders program Wilson established engages more than 1,000 youth per year, ranging from grades 7-12 and representing every public, private and parochial high school in Memphis and Shelby County. The Bridge Builders class of 2017 will begin their participation in the yearlong program with summer leadership conferences,

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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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