The ongoing journey to freedom will serve as an understood theme during “Memphis Cares2” at Crump Stadium on Sunday (April 7), beginning at 3 p.m.
The event will be a free re-creation of the original Memphis Cares, April 7, 1968.
In the aftermath of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis on April 4, 1968, the Rev. James M. Lawson Jr. and businessman John T. Fisher II drew Memphians together for soul-searching and overcoming of racial and economic injustice.
Lawson, 90, will keynote the event and be joined by a team of “witnesses” speaking about the ongoing journey to freedom. The generations will be spanned as Lawson will be joined by nine-year-old Reuben Davidson, a 4th grader at Hanley Elementary School in Orange Mound.
Four faiths and 11 religious branches will be represented during Memphis Cares2. Other speakers include retired attorney Mike Cody, Pastor Rosalyn Nichols, Rabbi Katie Baumann, and community leaders Marcos Villa, Pan Awsumb, Justin Merrick and Gayle Rose.
Fisher’s daughter, Suzannah Fisher Ragen, and journalist Otis L. Sanford will appear as well as other leaders in faith and community.
Sixteen local non-profits will be present and offer display tables. Chief among them is Metropolitan Inter Faith Association (MIFA), a direct outgrowth of the 1968 event. Living veterans of AFSCME’s Sanitation Strike and their families will be honored, with special note taken of those who have passed.
MC2 is sponsored by Voices For Justice in the MidSouth (VFJM), begun in 2017 by Leadership Memphis classmates Mark Stansbury and Mark Matheny. Their purpose is to respond positively to the cries for justice all around us, with particular attention to education for new generations.
“MC2 is not a re-enactment, but a re-creation of the spirit of generous caring and strides toward freedom that emerged from that day in ’68,” said Matheny. “This is not only a ‘back then’ thing, but all about ‘here and now’ as well.”
NOTE: Parking will follow the routine for football season at Crump Stadium.
VFJM has arranged for reserved elderly/handicapped spaces (between Central High and the stadium off Linden), spots west of St. John’s U. Methodist Church to the southwest at Peabody and Bellevue, and spaces set aside by Methodist Health Care north of the Stadium.
Church vans will be shuttling between the Stadium and St. John’s, Bellevue School and Bruce lots as well.