Social-distancing as the coronavirus pandemic continues was protocol on Sunday at Mt. Pisgah C.M.E. Church, pastored by the Rev. Willie Ward Jr. (Photo: Tyrone P. Easley)

Habari gani (What is the news?) Memphis!

TSD Associate Publisher/Executive Editor Karanja A. Ajanaku

MICAH’s next move will have the group Downtown on the plaza Tuesday (June 16) at 8:46 a.m., and if you’ve been keeping up you know the significance of that time. A bill in the mix on the Hill in Nashville could set some protesters up to face felony charges. Hold up on the Phase III Back to Business re-opening. Nintendo sales are blowing up during the pandemic; read why. The Withers Gallery is back, sorta, with an appointment-only schedule. Today’s TSD music video vibe: “The Bigger Picture,” Lil Baby.


MICAH to present Justice & Equity Charter

MICAH (Memphis Interfaith Coalition for Action and Hope) will present immediate calls for Justice & Equity at a rally in front of city and county buildings on Tuesday (June 16th) at  8:46 a.m.

After eight minute and forty-six seconds of silence, to represent the amount of time that a Minnesota police officer had his knee on George Floyd’s neck, leaders will present MICAH’s Justice & Equity Charter for Memphis and Shelby County.

“We must call on taking the knee off of the neck of the Black and Brown communities in Memphis who have been suffocated by systemic racism,” said MICAH President Stacy Spencer.

MICAH was founded in 2017.

“MICAH stands for our ever-growing coalition of partners, we stand for Memphis, we stand for those who have been and continue to be marginalized, stigmatized, traumatized, brutalized by the injustices and inequities that have gripped this community for more than 200 years,” said Janiece Lee, MICAH Vice President.

“MICAH has seen progress in our work, but such a time as this calls for urgent transformation.”

The “Justice & Equity Charter for Memphis and Shelby County” MICAH will present Tuesday outlines fundamental systemic change in four areas:

  • Police Accountability (including holding officials accountable to the 2016 CLERB ordinance and increased transparency from law enforcement)
  • Criminal Justice Reform (including programming and training services for the incarcerated population to reduce recidivism; Restoration full citizenship and voting rights for those convicted of a felony upon completion of time served)
  • Addressing Systemic Inequity (including City funding for K12 education through a YES (Youth Education Success) Fund; increase in PILOT withholdings to 40 percent with full amount going to education; disrupting the school to prison pipeline with restorative practices over suspension/expulsion; investments in transit funding)
  • Corporate Responsibility (including holding First Horizon accountable to their Community Reinvestment Act commitment of funding low to moderate home loans, small business loans and economic development loans within the Memphis MSA)“This is a once in a generation moment for residents of Memphis and Shelby County to demand specific change. We will hold our public officials, the business community, faith leaders, other nonprofits, and ourselves accountable to systemic change centered on justice and equity,” shared MICAH Organizer Meggan Kiel.(For more information, visit micahmemphis.org.)

    Bill would increase penalties for illegal camping, graffiti

Key Tennessee House Republicans are pushing a bill to significantly increase penalties against demonstrators who violate certain state laws, prompting Rep. Larry Miller (D-Memphis) to ask this:

“You’re spraying paint on government property, we’re making that a felony at this point?”

Responded House Majority Leader William Lamberth (R-Portland):

“Yes sir, if someone were to vandalize property belonging to the people in the great state of Tennessee it would make it an E-level felony….and I would argue they should.” READ MORE


Hold up on Phase III

After an earlier announcement that Memphis and Shelby County would move to Phase III of the Back to Business plan today (June 15), that will not be the case.

At the direction of the Shelby County Health Department, says Mayor Jim Strickland in an update, “we will remain in Phase 2 of the Back-to-Business plan.  If you’re a business and have questions or would like to submit a business plan, you can visit here or you submit them to [email protected]

Meanwhile, the guidance is to “keep washing your hands, social distancing, and covering your face when you’re in public.”


News from The Withers Collection Museum and Gallery

The Withers Collection Museum and Gallery is now open by pre-paid appointment only for groups of 10 or less with a 24-hour notice. All guests and staff members are required to wear a mask or facial covering at all times while on the premises and in the museum building. Any one entering the museum will be required to have a temperature check by our staff with an infrared touchless thermometer.

Call (901) 523-2344 to schedule an appointment at least 24 hours in advance.

All public events and programming are canceled while the museum is closed, which includes the monthly Talk About It Tuesday Community Forum.

(Learn more at www.witherscollection.org/special-announcement.)


Why Nintendo’s sales are skyrocketing during the global pandemic

(Zenger News) — While the U.S. economy faces the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and many businesses are forced to close or reopen slowly, one industry is booming: video games.

And not just any video games. The new Nintendo Switch came out on top as people stuck at home bought it in droves when the pandemic began in March.

Collaborative, multiplayer games, casually referred to as “couch-cooperative,” such as “Animal Crossing: New Horizons,” “Mario Party” and “Mario Kart” that can be played virtually with others, are making a huge comeback in the gaming world and driving Nintendo’s profits through the roof. Check out the story.


Today’s TSD Music Video Vibe: “The Bigger Picture,” Lil Baby