Erica R. Williams

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Poverty in Memphis: ‘It’s the story of a city that’s stuck’

The number of African-Americans in Shelby County living in poverty is 2.5 times greater than that of whites, and almost half of African-American children in the city are living in poverty, a number that’s four times greater than that of their white counterparts. These sobering...

UNSOLVED: Seven months after 2-year-old Laylah Washington was killed, police still search for clues — and help from the public

Laylah Washington would be turning three years old this month but instead of planning a birthday party, her mother, Leslie Washington, will be visiting her daughter’s grave. The toddler was shot in the head during an apparent road rage incident last June. More than...

MLK50: ‘An Education Dream’

When Mendell Grinter moved to Memphis two and a half years ago one of his first visits was to the National Civil Rights Museum. As an advocate for education, specifically for students and families of color, he was inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King...

Black cardiologists driving Spirit of the Heart Tour

Dr. Jesse McGee recalled the time he lost a close friend to hypertension. The sudden death of his high school classmate sparked the cardiologist’s commitment to not only saving lives in the operating room, but specifically in minority communities. “My friend ended up bleeding into...

Freedom Award unfold amid a ‘turbulent time’

by Erica R. Williams, Special to The New Tri-State Defender With evidence aplenty of the historic value and worldwide drawing power of the National Civil Rights Museum, Executive Director Terri Lee Freeman is striving to ensure that the Memphis staple grows as a pillar of hope...

Goal: Defy the odds, walk across the stage

Each year, more African-American men are entering college, but reports show that only half of them are finishing. At the University of Memphis those numbers hit close to home with the graduation rate of African-American men standing at less than 11 percent. The Hooks African...

10 Years In, KQ Communications has come this far by faith

When two strangers decided to start a business serving community nonprofits, they had no idea it would become one of the most sought after, minority-owned businesses in Memphis In August, Kingdom Quality Communications (KQ) celebrated a decade in business. Despite the eminent success, co-founders Renee...