engage, organize and mobilize communities to realize social justice through nonviolent action

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Latest News

Volunteer Appreciation Day!

Mid-South Peace & Justice Center is a 'People-Powered' organization. Over the years, you have supported us in so many ways. From our work to end homelessness and improve public transit, to our around demilitarization, and police accountably, nothing we have accomplished would be possible without our members and volunteers!  We all know there is more work to be done to build what Dr. King called the 'Beloved Community' here in the Mid-South, but sometimes we need to take a moment to celebrate all we've been through together. 

On October 25, 2014 We are hosting the Mid-South Peace & Justice Center Volunteer Appreciation Day to do just that!  We'll be celebrating with food, music, festivities, and friends! We have an impressive musical line up featuring Barbara Lester, DJ KUSH, NoOnOne, and The Chinese Connection Dub Embassy--so, you wont want to miss it!

The festivities are scheduled from 9AM until 5PM, at the beautiful Washington Bottoms Community Park and Garden, located at the corner of Court Ave & N. Watkins.

Admission is absolutely FREE! There will be food trucks on site for your digestive pleasure, or you can bring something of your own to throw on the charcoal grills!

We can't wait to see YOU there!
Saturday, October 25at 11:00am - 5:00pm
Washington Bottoms Park (Court Ave & N. Watkins)
For more information: 901.725.4990 or center@midsouthpeace.org
or go to the facebook event page

H.O.P.E. Women's Caucus Cares!

Did you know that in all of Memphis, there are only about 25 beds available to unsheltered women without children? October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and H.O.P.E. Women's Caucus is well aware of the effects of DV: it is the leading cause of homelessness among women. Even worse, the threat of homelessness after leaving an abusive household is so frightening that some women end up staying in violent relationships. The fear is well-founded - over 90 percent of unsheltered women are survivors of severe physical or sexual violence and women traveling alone are at a particularly high risk for sexual assault.
Help us reach out to our sisters on the streets with some small creature comforts and welcome them into our group which gathers to heal the past and fight for the future through yoga, dance, advocacy, and self-defense.
The H.O.P.E. Women's Caucus is assembling care packages to include anything that might serve to empower women struggling without shelter, including, but not limited to:
  • Sleep Bags
  • Large Cloth Grocery-Style Bags
  • Warm Shoes
  • Small Flashlights
  • Soap and Waterproof Soap Containers
  • Toothbrushes and Trial-Size Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Compact Mirrors
  • Reusable Water Bottles
  • Hair Ties and Hair Clips
  • Gloves, Knit Caps, and Scarves
  • Baby Wipes
  • Gallon-size Plastic Bags
  • Lip Balm
  • Tissue Packs
  • Bandages
  • Scented Lotions or Body Sprays
  • Nail Kits (Including File, Clippers, and Polish)
  • Journals and Pens
  • Chewing Gum
  • Chocolate or Granola Bars
  • Feminine Hygiene Products
  • Gift Cards or Movie Passes
  • Job Opportunities
Items can be dropped off at the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center at 3573 Southern Avenue anytime Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Call (901) 725-4990 to make special arrangements outside of those hours. If outreach is successful, we hope to expand our self-defense course and allies who identify as women are encouraged to attend classes on a sliding-scale basis. Stay tuned for updates!
The H.O.P.E. Women's Caucus is a safe space for H.O.P.E. members who identify as women to work together on the issues that affect them disproportionately, including reproductive health and violence. 

Oct. 18th: The People's Conference on Equal Justice

Following the Gandhi King Youth Conference, the MSPJC and Memphis United will host The People's Conference on Equal Justice, in partnership with LeMoyne-Owen College. The People's Conference will be a day of learning about the criminal justice system and training in grassroots community organizing skills, featuring a variety of workshops that will help provide participants with tools to push for real reform of our local adult and juvenile criminal justice systems and police accountability. 

The People's Conference on Equal Justice will be unlike any other conference you have attended because YOU - the participants - will have a hand in directly shaping the tone and content of the conference. While there will be some pre-determined workshops on issues like privatized prisons, knowing your rights, and alternatives to incarceration and the death penalty, there will also be scheduled spaces left open for attendees who want to facilitate a discussion, make their own presentation, or host a dialogue circle around additional justice issues. 

Following morning sessions, lunch will feature local food trucks offering a variety of tasty and affordable meals. 

After lunch, participants will move into a structured series of skill-based workshops focusing on the basic skills of community organizing including planning a campaign, anti-oppression awareness, canvassing and outreach, and nonviolent direct action. 

Participants will leave with the tools needed to engage and collectively act with their communities, towards REAL changes in our justice system. We ask you to attend not to follow but to lead, as we as a community prepare to work for positive change. 

The conference is free to current MSPJC members. You can renew your membership online or sign up the day of the conference. 
We use a sliding scale for membership dues, and NO ON WILL BE TURNED AWAY FROM THE CONFERENCE FOR FINANCIAL REASONS. 

On-site childcare will be available. 

What: People’s Conference on Equal Justice

Where: LeMoyne-Owen College, 807 Walker Ave*

When: Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014
            Registration and Check-In:  7:30am - 9:00am
​            Conference and Workshops: 9:00am - 5:30pm
​            (Lunch Break: 11:45am - 1:15pm)

* The conference will take place in and around the LeMoyne-Owen Student Center. While some of you may be familiar with the LMO campus, a Google Map highlighting the Student Center is available by clicking here. Conference parking will be available in the lot just west of the Student Center.  


Enough is Enough

This week Memphis United will help kick off the International Day of Peace by supporting the Campaign Nonviolence "Enough is Enough" march and rally against all violence on September 19th.  This march was called by Barry Blackstone organizer with Universal Center Corp. to call attention to the neighborhood plight for peace after the neighborhood pastor's home was riddled with bullets. Although the community tried to report the crime to local law enforcement, authorities never came out to take a report or investigate. Mr. Blackstone reached out to partner with Memphis United because he believes in police accountability and wants more community policing in Smokey City.  Memphis United volunteers will continue efforts to increase police accountability by canvassing with Mr. Blackstone on Oct.1 to educate community members about how to utilize the newly reinstated Civilian Law Enforcement Review Board. 

Join Us: 
Friday, Sept. 19th at 5pm
768 Pearce St.
Memphis, TN 38107

For more information about Memphis United, contact Organizing Coordinator Marquita Bradshaw at marquita@midsouthpeace.org. 

September is Full of Learning Opportunities with the G.O.T. Power Training Department!



THIS THURSDAY:  Founding & Funding your Grassroots Group
Sept. 11, 6pm - 8pm - Please, be on time.
Click here to register!
Location: 450 Mulberry St Memphis TN 38103 - Links Education Center, National Civil Rights Museum. 
Wheelchair accessible
Learn the process, skills and actions you can use to establish and financially sustain your grassroots organization.

A workshop led by Jacob Flowers

This session starts with an in-depth look at the mission, vision and values that you are organizing from and ends with concrete actions that you can take to fund your work sustainably over the long term.

Limited to the first 25 people who register.
Cost: $20-$45 Sliding scale.
Registration online or by phone is required to attend.
Privilege and Oppression Awareness Workshop
Thursday, Sept. 18, 6pm - 8:30pm
Click here to register!
Location: 450 Mulberry St Memphis TN 38103  Links Education Center, National Civil Rights Museum. Wheelchair accessible
In this workshop participants will have the opportunity for recognizing privilege and oppression in themselves, in a safe space, as a first step to combat them.   *Limited to the first 8 people who register.
Cost: $20-$45 Sliding scale.
Registration online or by phone is required to attend.
Labor Liberation Workshop
Tuesday, Sept. 30, 6pm - 8pm, Please be on time!
Click here to register!
Location: 450 Mulberry St Memphis TN 38103  Links Education Center, National Civil Rights Museum. Wheelchair accessible
In this workshop we'll explore the complexities of the labor movement in intersection with people’s diverse identities as workers and how they identify their personal histories and lives with the history of labor movement.

Who can attend this workshop? Workers, students, union members, and anyone who wants to learn about the labor movement! It's for Everyone who would like to learn about their identity as a worker and how they can identify as a part of the labor movement.

*Minimum 12, maximum 20 participants who register.
Cost: $20-$45 Sliding scale.
For all of our workshops, registration online or by phone is required to attend.
Some scholarships may be available. Please request a scholarship application by email or phone.
Donations for workshop scholarships gratefully accepted!
G.O.T. Power started September collaborating with the local movement of fast food workers, Memph15. We had the honor to provide training for the participants of the local strike on Sept. 4th.
We supported the Memph15 with two trainings: Third Party Nonviolent Intervention for a group of 12 people committed to keep the peace of the action, and a Nonviolent Direct Action training for the brave group of fast food workers doing civil disobedience. 
It is our hope to continue collaborating with the local and state movements that are working and taking action for change.

For more information on anything happening with G.O.T. Power, MSPJC Training Department, please contact Training Director Gio López at gio@midsouthpeace.org or call the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center at 725-4990.

G.O.T. Power, Mid-South Peace and Justice Center’s training program, is committed to building our community's capacity building skills in grassroots organizing, providing support to people doing community work and offering oppression awareness and liberation education.​

MBRU: Improvements Made at MATA's Hudson Transit Center

Memphis Bus Riders Union (MBRU) members and other MATA riders are seeing some practical improvements at MATA’s Hudson Transit Center, but there are still concerns about excessive force from private security companies.

When MBRU met with MATA board members for a tour of the terminal, riders had a laundry list of ideas for the 20 year old transit hub. MATA has since installed a charging station for electronic devices, ADA compliant soap and paper towel dispensers, and a large full system map.

We still have a long way to go, but these new features are already in heavy use.

Meanwhile, rider complaints against the newly contracted security company Ambassador Worldwide Protection Agency are on the rise. A few weeks ago, a woman transferring between buses with her 11yr old and 3yr old children was sprayed with mace by one of the guards, after a verbal argument over jaywalking. The rider’s children were exposed to the mace. Several witnesses say the children appeared to be in a great deal of pain. MBRU members have continued to observe a pattern of bad judgment and reckless use of force by the security guards. Last week a guard was attempting to remove a rider from the terminal for selling soap. According to witnesses the rider threw his bag at her and ran off the property. The guard drew her gun and chased the man 6 blocks, leaving her post, and eventually macing the man after he had already been apprehended. The guard has since been fired, but Ambassador remains.

MBRU organizers believe incidents like this will continue unless there are real measures in place that improve the quality of security services and create accountability to the public.  Evaluative data and reporting on any use of force by private security, more security cameras, and sensitivity training for guards is needed, and the MATA Board will be addressing these needs through policy at an upcoming meeting.  Oversight of these reports is needed to observe patterns of violence, and compare them with customer complaints against guards.

As Shelia Williams stated in an interview with Fox13 “We want security to protect and serve the riders... that are commuting back and forth and not come at us like we are some criminals. Let's build the trust factor and start on a new path,"

For more information, or to give your input on improvements to the Hudson Transit Center, join us at one of our monthly meetings, held on the second Saturday of each month, 12pm to 2pm, at the Memphis Center for Independent Living (1633 Madison Ave). 

To contact MBRU, call or text 901-205-9737 or email MemphisBRU@gmail.com.  

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