BRIDGES launches immersive hub for youth-adult partnerships

Posted by Melissa Whitby on Apr 06, 2021

Youth Action Center to be led by longtime BRIDGES staff member and Bridge Builders alum Download this press release. MEMPHIS, TN—On April 6, BRIDGES announced the formal launch of the BRIDGES Youth Action Center (YAC), a first-of-its-kind programming and training model centered on activating and amplifying youth voice through authentic youth-adult partnerships. Since 2018, BRIDGES has been meeting and planning with youth leaders, community partners and a variety of organizations to create a comprehensive programming model that will not only provide space and resources for engaged youth leadership opportunities, but also offer specialized training for organizations seeking to incorporate youth insight into their own decision-making and governance structures. The Jim

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BRIDGES stands with the AAPI community

Posted by Melissa Whitby on Mar 31, 2021

As our nation continues facing a variety of challenges related to public health and political divide, it is more important than ever that we show kindness, respect and empathy for one another. BRIDGES is committed to helping young leaders see past differences and learn to communicate, work and live with people of all backgrounds because we know that diversity strengthens our communities. The recent murders in Atlanta and growing uptick in violence toward Asian American/Pacific Islander communities is a reminder that safe spaces are only as safe as the people within them, and the first step in changing this alarming pattern is knowledge. We must all hold ourselves accountable for

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BRIDGES receives $139K youth mental health grant

Posted by Melissa Whitby on Feb 18, 2021

Awarded by The Assisi Foundation of Memphis to support multi-level, collaborative programming Download this press release. MEMPHIS, TN—On January 28, The Assisi Foundation of Memphis announced BRIDGES will receive $139,500 to help fund an ambitious response to the youth mental health crisis in Memphis. The Assisi Foundation grant will allow BRIDGES to expand its youth-centered, social-emotional wellness programming and extend a successful therapeutic services pilot with The Anaya Partnership. Outside of the grant-based programming, BRIDGES will continue collaborating with a community coalition to decrease stigma and increase access for youth seeking mental health services. A July 2020 report issued by the Tennessee Department of Education’s Child Wellbeing Task Force states

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BRIDGES welcomes four new board members, one returning in 2021

Posted by Melissa Whitby on Jan 28, 2021

MEMPHIS, TN—In their January 28 meeting, the BRIDGES Board of Directors unanimously voted in four new members, one returning member, and approved officers for the 2021 term. Including the newest members, 10 out of 20 board seats are held by Bridge Builders alumni, parents of Bridges Builders or both, demonstrating a deep organizational commitment to strengthening the culture of BRIDGES from within. “BRIDGES had such an impact on my life growing up, giving me the confidence to be myself and expand my horizons,” said Geoffrey Morris, attorney at Butler Snow LLP and one of new members voted in on Jan. 28. “I can honestly say I wouldn’t be where I

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Youth organizers Shelby County Schools announce comprehensive sexual harassment and bullying policy, strengthened commitment to Title IX

Posted by Wesley Paraham on Nov 23, 2020

Download this press release Youth organizers Shelby County Schools announce comprehensive sexual harassment and bullying policy, strengthened commitment to Title IX MEMPHIS––Bridge Builders CHANGE, a group of youth organizers seeking social justice through community organizing, has partnered with Shelby County Schools (SCS) to implement a new District-wide sexual harassment policy that centers the voices of survivors and ensures clear definitions and procedures for sexual harassment and assault cases.  This unprecedented partnership brings a new understanding between adult policy makers and the youth those policies affect, gives youth voices power, and demonstrates the value of youth-led social change.  In 2016, Bridge Builders CHANGE set goals to end sexual violence in schools

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Shelby County Youth Council and Shelby County Commissioners work together to hold virtual town hall for youth

Posted by Melissa Whitby on Nov 09, 2020

  Download this press release. Memphis, TN​—The Shelby County Youth Council (SCYC), a youth-led and youth-focused advisory council which​ a​ ims to uplift youth voice in local government, will hold a Virtual Youth Town Hall on November 14, 2020 via Zoom. During the event,​ Shelby County youth will speak directly with Shelby County Commissioners with the goal of engaging diverse perspectives around the issues most relevant to youth today. By creating an equitable and safe space for youth to voice their concerns, the SCYC seeks to use the insights unique to young people in constructing a community plan of action with elected officials. The Virtual Youth Town Hall will also

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BRIDGES awarded $50,000 operating grant

Posted by Melissa Whitby on Oct 01, 2020

  Mid-South COVID-19 Regional Response Fund announces $2.5 million in grants for recovery and resiliency Second phase of funding brings total deployed to $4.9 million MEMPHIS, TENN. (Oct. 1, 2020) – In its second phase of funding, the Mid-South COVID-19 Regional Response Fund, managed by the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, awarded $2,473,791 to stabilize 78 nonprofits that are directly responding to the significant consequences of, and disparities exacerbated by, the public health crisis. Since March, the fund has distributed $4,880,291 to serve 138 distinct organizations, focusing on immediate relief in its first phase of funding and recovery and resiliency efforts in its second phase. Of the 78 agencies served in

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BLACK LIVES MATTER. It shouldn’t have to be said, but it does.

Posted by Melissa Whitby on Jun 03, 2020

To our Bridge Builders, alumni, supporters and community partners: In the coming days, we will be lifting up voices that need to be heard, starting with one of our own young leaders: The late and forever great Malcolm X once said, “You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.” His words strongly resonate with our current situation. As an African-American, I can say for myself and many others that we are tired. Tired of having to fight tooth and nail to simply breathe in an oppressive space refined over many centuries. The only way racism can be destroyed is for

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Thoughts on Peace and Freedom, written by Bridge Builder Trey McCray III

Posted by Melissa Whitby on Jun 02, 2020

The late and forever great Malcolm X once said, “You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.” Malcolm X’s words strongly resonate with our current situation. As an African-American, I know I can say for myself, and many others, that we are tired. Tired of having to fight tooth and nail to simply breathe in an oppressive space refined over many centuries. Tired of seeing others who look just like us beaten and murdered over and over again. Only to wonder if we will be next and when will be next. In America, it is simply unimaginable to be black

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Bridge Builders Summer Conference 2020

Posted by Melissa Whitby on Apr 29, 2020

Dear supporters, partners, alumni and friends: For the past six weeks, our team has been hard at work figuring out creative ways to bring the magic of the Bridge Builders experience to the small screen, and we’re now preparing to launch our very first virtual Bridge Builders Summer Conference! WHAT’S DIFFERENT THIS YEAR? In accordance with the most current COVID-19 prevention recommendations from health experts, all activities and trainings will be taking place via Zoom so we can observe social distancing and support the #901StayHome effort.   To ensure the Bridge Builders program remains affordable and accessible for all youth who want to participate, we have decreased enrollment fees by

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