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engage, organize and mobilize communities to realize social justice through nonviolent action
This Thursday, Fast food workers across the nation will go on a 24 hour strike to demand $15/hour and a union. The Fight for $15 movement has been gaining strength as fast food workers in new cities and workers in new industries join the campaign. As Memphis rallies, we welcome other TN cities in their first strike like in Knoxville!
This will be the one-year anniversary of Memphis fast food workers going on strike! Let's show them that the community is STILL with them! Let's send a strong message that Memphians believe that a full time job should keep you out of poverty, not in it!
After a string of incidents last fall, involving the arrests of civilians who used their phones to film police, Memphis United successfully pressured MPD to release a policy confirming Memphians’ right to film officers. While we encourage all civilians to exercise this right, it is also apparent that there are situations where an added layer of accountability is needed.
Over the past several months, many cities have instituted body cameras on officers, not only to protect the accused, but also to protect police. “When the entire incident is caught on video, there is less uncertainly about what actually transpired,” said one local organizer with Memphis United.
A Guest Post from Rhodes student & MSPJC Intern, Schaeffer Mallory:
The anonymous social media platform, Yik Yak, hit Rhodes campus at the beginning of the fall semester. Since its introduction on campus, many posts have been vehemently misogynistic and homophobic. Then, in late October, there began to appear vitriolic, racist comments stating thing such as “All Black Leave Campus” and “Black should be out on leashes like moms use on little kids.” In the following weeks, there emerged substantial energy and action across campus to address both the injustices done on Yik Yak and the broader, systemic sources of oppression on campus. This energy eventually coalesced into over 90 students - representing a number of racial, gender, and cultural backgrounds and coming from an equally diverse group of student organizations – coming together during a BSA Townhall meeting to collectively produce a comprehensive and intersectional list of actionable short- and long-term demands for the administration As such, a campus-wide coalition has been built to take ownership of this list of demands, to present it to the administration, and to catalyze the long and arduous work of tackling all forms of oppression on this campus.
This group is called Rhodes United (RU) and on Friday, Nov. 21 at 12:30pm we are calling for a campus-wide walkout on oppression to take place at Evergreen Church (613 University St). We invite all community members to attend, as this is an issue not confined to the Rhodes Campus and, moreover, Rhodes should be held accountable by the city that houses and fosters it.
Check out recent media coverage on the issue by clicking here.
Memphis United Launches Legal Clinics For Restoration of Felony Rights And To Confront Legal Fraud Against The Immigrant Community.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: On Thursday, November 13th at 12 noon, at 3573 Southern, the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center and coalition of local grassroots and nonprofit organizations will held a press conference to announce the kickoff of two exciting new partnerships that will positively impact the Memphis criminal justice system.
This coalition effort, known as Memphis United, was originally founded in 2013 in response to the Ku Klux Klan’s last visit to Memphis. This past spring, Memphis United was instrumental in successfully pushing the City to release a new MPD policy outlining the rights of individuals to film officers in the line of duty, and successfully led the charge for the resurrection of the deactivated Civilian Law Enforcement Review Board. In June of 2014, the Memphis City Council voted to appoint new members to the vacant board to provide greater community oversight and accountability in cases of misconduct by Memphis police officers. The group now seeks to broaden its efforts with the announcement of two new community partnerships around the issues of felony disenfranchisement as well as accountability for those who prey on the immigrant community.
The first of these is the Immigrant Rights Project funded in part by the GIVE 365 program of the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis. The Immigrant Rights Project partners the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center with Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, and Memphis Immigration Advocates to provide the local immigrant community with a series of monthly Know Your Rights trainings as well as connecting attendees to proper and ethical legal aid services for immigration assistance. Immigrant Right Project partners also seek to raise public awareness and pursue prosecution of fraudulent immigration consultants or Notarios, who prey on the immigrant community by masquerading as immigration attorneys. “These con artists bleed immigrant families dry claiming to offer legal immigration assistance to the community, when in fact they are not lawyers at all. Their actions most often result in deportation proceedings and families being separated. They will be held accountable to the fullest extent.” Says Iris Mercado with the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition.
Memphis United is also joining forces with the Shelby County Public Defenders Office,Memphis Area Legal Services and the Memphis Bar Association to continue the work of restoration of citizenship legal clinics for people with Felonies who have served their conviction sentences.
In addition, Mid-South Peace and Justice Center will publish a Know Your Rights Resource Guide. This bilingual booklet will include detailed information outlining individual’s rights when interacting with law enforcement, and Renters Rights as well. This guide will include a section geared specifically toward undocumented immigrants which explains Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) policies. The guide will also provide the public with an extensive list of legal contacts and resources. Over 10,000 copies will be distributed free of charge to the general public via Know Your Rights workshops offered across the city in English or in Spanish in 2015.Along with these programs, Memphis United has been working with coalition partners to develop a Community Action Plan for comprehensive criminal justice reform that includes a wide breadth of justice concerns that impact Memphis and Shelby County. The Community Action Plan will address issues such as U-Visas to protect undocumented immigrants who report crimes like domestic violence, resolving the massive rape-kit backlog, the criminalization of pregnancy, militarization of police forces, civil asset forfeiture, youth criminalization, and sensitivity training for MPD officers that focuses on disability rights, LGBT issues, and homelessness.
Sunday, Nov. 16th :: Cooperative Memphis Potluck
Wednesday, Nov. 19th :: Memphis United General Meeting
6pm at the MSPJC offices at 3573 Southern Ave.
Memphis United General Meetings happen on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month. For more info, contact Paul@midsouthpeace.org
Thursday, Nov. 20th :: Facilitation Skills Training
This workshop will focus on practicing basic facilitation skills to peacefully resolve disruptions in a meeting. This workshop is for organizers, activists, community leaders, teachers, students and anyone who wants to practice their communication skills.
Click here for more info and to register!
Thursday, Dec. 18th :: MSPJC Holiday Party!
Join us 6pm - 9pm at our offices at 3575 Southern Ave for a potluck and holiday cheer!