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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

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If it seems like Memphis Mayor Paul Young is everywhere, it’s because he kinda is

On Wednesday, February 28, the Black Business Association of Memphis held a meet and greet hosted by Brian Clay, CEO of Greater Memphis Media, Inc., in his studio located at 494 North Hollywood.  The who’s who invitation-only event included a taping of The Brian Clay Chronicles, which airs on YouTube. 

Show interviewees were Black Business Association President Ernest Strickland and  Mayor Paul Young, City Council members Jana Swearengen-Washington and Pearl Eva Walker, as well as LeMoyne-Owen College Interim President Dr. Christopher B. Davis.

Guests to the invitation-only taping of “The Brian Clay Chronicles” crowded into the studio to hear from Mayor Young and other guests. (Photo: Gary S. Whitlow/GSW Enterprises/Tri-State Defender)

Greater Memphis Media, Inc., is listed as a Social Justice Media Company whose primary goal is “to elevate the African American Community in Memphis.”

During the pre-show reception, Mayor Young was told, “You’re everywhere.”  It was a comment on his high visibility in and throughout the Memphis community.

Earlier this week, Young spoke to a crowd in Whitehaven. Last week, he delivered remarks as a recent Kappa Alpha Psi banquet. Earlier this year, he attended a vigil for Tyre Nichols. Since his inauguration on January 1, 2024, he has appeared almost everywhere — which is clearly his intent.  

“We’re everywhere,” he said, “and we’re going to stay engaged.  We show up and be present –  doing the work, bringing a different energy to solve new and old problems.”  

The Memphis City Council was well represented at the taping: Council members Pearl Eva Walker, Jana Swearengen-Washington and Yolanda Cooper-Sutton paused for a photo with the talk show host. (Photo: Gary S. Whitlow/GSW Enterprises/Tri-State Defender)

He gave two examples during his short talk. Young mentioned he had met with gang members and asked for a ceasefire.  He said that as a result, those gang members agreed to put their guns down and stop the killing –  if certain conditions were met.   

“My ask for them in that conversation,” Young said, “was can we get a seven-day ceasefire? Just seven days where there’s no shooting, no killing? And they said, ‘Yeah, we would be willing to do that,’ and they gave me a couple of caveats.”

Those caveats? Good-paying jobs and the training necessary to qualify for those jobs.

In his second example, Mayor Young said that when temperatures plunged below freezing in February,  warming centers were opened from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. Young specifically mentioned two locations –  one for single women and families at the Hospitality Hub, 590 Washington Ave.; and a second one for single men and couples at Greenlaw Community Center, 190 Mill Ave. Sack meals and blankets were also provided.  

“Everyone was welcome,” he said, noting that guests needed to check in upon arrival, but were not required to show identification. “(The main concern was providing) a safe, kind, and respectful environment.”


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