The “Big Business of Poverty: Crisis in Memphis” signals the return of “The Brian Clay Chronicles” on Jan. 30.

Presented by Greater Memphis Media, Inc., in association with The New Tri-State Defender, the symposium will be held at the National Civil Rights Museum beginning at 6 p.m. with a Meet & Greet Reception at 5:30 p.m.

Featured guest panelists are:

* Shelby County Mayor, Lee Harris;

* Dr. Demetria Frank, assistant professor of Law, director of Diversity & Inclusion, University of Memphis School of Law and, the executive director of Project MI (Mass Incarceration);

* Mark Yates, chief visionary officer, Black Business Association; and

* Apostle Rickey Floyd, founder and pastor of The Pursuit of God Transformation Center, and curriculum facilitator for the City of Memphis’ Manhood University.

The panelists will discuss ways to effectively break the cycle of poverty, illiteracy and low expectations through the implementation of services, business entrepreneurship, financial literacy and education. The discussion also will explore empowering the Memphis urban community to transform its citizens, neighborhoods and communities.

Brian Clay of Greater Memphis Media, Inc. will moderate the discussion.

“The business impact of people living in poverty is a huge issue and cannot be addressed by any one agency or community,” Clay said.

“Tackling this complex issue can only be addressed when community partners collaborate to achieve a common goal and contribute their unique skills to benefit local low-income individuals and families. Together we can empower the Memphis urban community to transform its neighborhoods.”

The overall aim, Clay said, “is to bring about lasting institutional change and to catalyze key partners to increase investments in community resource management.”

Memphis’ poverty rate was 24.6 percent as recorded in the 2018 Memphis Poverty Fact Sheet (Data from 2017 American Community Survey); that was down two percent from the previous year.

Among Metropolitan Statistical Areas with populations greater than 1,000,000, Memphis dropped to second place in both overall poverty, 17.1 percent, and child poverty, 27.1 percent.

New Orleans topped the list in overall poverty at 18.6 percent.

It is estimated that about 180,000 Memphians are living in poverty. In Memphis, almost four in 10 children (39 percent) live in poverty.

 (For more information, contact Brian Clay at [email protected] or call 901-801-0096; Eugenia Gray, Allegis Development Group, LLC, at [email protected], or call 901-609-4362. Greater Memphis Media, Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit/non-partisan, social justice journalism company.)