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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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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