Memphis Islamic Center’s recent ‘Summit on Youth Violence’ seeks answers

Mayor Young: 'It will take a unified approach . . . the whole community, to change what we're seeing.'


Memphis Islamic Center recently hosted its first STEM4US Black History Month National Summit on Youth Violence. The conference, held Saturday, Feb. 17, was a comprehensive gathering of community leaders, and governmental and elected officials, including Memphis Mayor Paul Young.

In addition to honoring Black History Month, the event sought to find solutions to youth violence using a series of panel discussions as well as prayer.

As part of his official duties and opening remarks, center director Talib Ibn Karim, Esq. welcomed guests speaking first in Arabic and then in English. Dr. Ibranim Sultan-Ali gave welcoming remarks, thanked attendees and closed his remarks with a reminder – “We are commanded to stand for justice.”


Special guest speakers for the conference included Memphis City Council member Pearl Eva Walker and Shelby County Commissioner Erika SugarmonOther business and community leaders who came to share their insights and experiences included:

    • Ernest Brooks II of the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office,
    • Toria Brown of the Pursuit Center,
    • Rev. Aaron Campbell of Rising Sun Outreach Ministries,
    • Terrence Davis of No Entry Network,
    • Janeen Gordon of Shelby County Juvenile Court,
    • Larry Dodson II of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity,
    • Layth Fethi of Shelby County Jail,
    • Antonio Harvey of Shelby County Public Schools,
    • Janet Malone of Spirit of Hope Church,
    • Norman Miller of Innovative Counseling and Consulting, and
    • Dianne Black, a candidate in Mississippi’s Congressional District 1.  

Special thanks to event coordinator Halla Mustafa and to all leaders and members of Memphis Islamic Center for their hard work and hospitality. Sister Halla also moderated the panel featuring Ernest Brooks, Terrence Davis, Larry Dodson, Jonathan Cooper and “Miss Emma.” Other MIC members also took part in various panel discussions.

To view this Black History Month presentation and experience all speakers and panel discussions see above. To watch Mayor Young’s speech, see below:

Talib Ibn Karim is the son of Dr. Talib-Karim Muhammad, the founder of Memphis Islamic Center. Dr. Muhammad is also remembered as the Memphis City Council member who filed a class action lawsuit in 1988 which eventually ended runoff elections for the Mayor’s Office in 1991. The abolishment of runoff elections lead to the election of Dr. Willie Herenton as Memphis’ first Black mayor.

With a focus on youth, the summit on violence is seeking innovative solutions to youth violence by networking with legal, education, and technology experts throughout Memphis and across the nation. The goal is to learn about resources to end car thefts, mob looting, and other youth violence as well as to find resources to engage and deter youth from violence.

In addition, the summit is seeking a plan to break the cycle of violence using training, intensive mentoring and job placement in computer or cyber security and construction fields for young adults serving their last months of incarceration. For more information, contact the Memphis Islamic Center by email at [email protected].