The Memphis Challenge, Inc.

The Memphis Challenge, Inc.


It's that time of year! Our founder just wrapped up her annual #InternetEtiquette workshop with The Memphis Challenge, Inc. #GJCPublicity
Congratulations to the 15 finalists who will vie for $63,300 in grant awards from the GiVE 365 Memphis membership! Mark your calendar for Tuesday, April 13, and join us for The Finals.

Finalists will present their proposals with the theme Equity Through Access: projects/programs that increase access and/or elevate the quality of life for communities of color.

Learn more at
Kudos to CodeCrew Community Legal Center CasaLuz Memphis Choices: Memphis Center for Reproductive Health Creative Aging Crosstown Arts Hope House Memphis Indie Memphis Just City Landmark Training Development Company Man Up Memphis Library Foundation The Memphis Challenge, Inc. PURE Youth Athletics Alliance SchoolSeed Foundation
Our founder just took her annual "Internet Etiquette" session virtual with the 9th and 10th grade cohort of The Memphis Challenge, Inc.! #GJCPublicity #SupraScriptumEst #BeyondTheWritten
Parents of students who have been displaced due to COVID-19 - Tune in TODAY at 11am to join Casandra Webster with The Memphis Challenge, Inc. for a candid conversation via Zoom focusing on Creating Calm and a Can-Do Attitude in Chaotic Times! To join the meeting, click here:

Meeting ID: 719 777 009
Password: 489870"
The Memphis Challenge, Inc. is hosting a webinar this Saturday for parents of students who have been displaced due to COVID-19 from 11 am-12 pm on Creating Calm and a Can-Do Attitude in Chaotic Times. To join the meeting, click here:
Meeting ID: 719 777 009
Password: 489870
Another great #mediamention from High Ground News for our client The Memphis Challenge, Inc. and their recent Thanksgiving Dance-A-Thon fundraiser!
#GJCPublicity #SupraScriptumEst #BeyondTheWritten
Check out The Memphis Challenge, Inc.'s Thanksgiving Dance-a-thon.🕺🦃 Proceeds go towards programming initiatives for Memphis Challenge's student members. Show your support or sign up to become a fundraiser here >>
*IMPORTANT! Time Sensitive!*

Thank you The Memphis Challenge, Inc. for sharing this information!

ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital has paid internships available for the Fall of 2019 across the country, including the following cities:
Washington DC

September 16 - December 6
$11 Per Hour
20 Hours Per Week (Schedules Are Flexible)
Work Involves the Following Departments: Field Development, Gift Planning, Direct Marketing, Strategic Partnerships, Multicultural Marketing, Information Technology, Fitness, Marketing, and Administrative Operations.

Be actively enrolled in an accredited college or university
Be 18 years or older
Study a non-STEM Major (Ex: Marketing, Communications, Business, Political Science, Public Relations, English, Journalism, etc.)
Be available to start on September 16, 2019.


Follow this link to apply:
Thanks cityCURRENT for spotlighting client The Memphis Challenge, Inc. and the amazing "Tell Me A Story" capstone learning project connecting hands to each student's unique journey and story!
Today is the Day!!! Tickets are now on sale for The Jack and Jill of America, Inc. - Memphis Chapter Spring Fundraiser: Strike Out Childhood Disparities in Health, Education and Family: Bowling with A Purpose and A Promise!

Join us for a day of family fun and bowl with A Purpose and a A Promise to help end Childhood Disparities in our Memphis community!

Join us Saturday, May 4,2019 in our efforts to provide all children with the skills and advantages we desire for our children!

Go to to purchase your tickets TODAY!!

ALL proceeds will benefit Jack and Jill of America Foundation, Inc. and our 2019 Local Memphis community-based partners: Binghampton Christian Academy, Common Table Health Alliance, The Memphis Challenge, Inc. and Vance Avenue Youth Development Center, who focus is to end childhood disparities.

#jackandjillofamerica #forourchildren #bowling #investinginourfuture #JJMEMBowlingWithAPurpose
Hey Memphis this is Johnny Britt. I'm honored to be bringing my Marvin Meets Miles Show to the Orpheum Theatre. I wait to hit the stage ... see you this Friday!!! #marvinmeetsmiles #johnnybritt #sohot
Not only is this a great opportunity to enjoy good music and fun, but also an amazing way to support a worthy organization.

Inspiring and Developing Future Memphis Leaders Founded in 1989 by Pitt Hyde, The Memphis Challenge coaches talented, high achieving students of color, through leadership and professional development, preparing them to become future Memphis leaders.

The program currently boast an alumni and student network of more than 900 of the finest academic minds and career disciplines imaginable.

Operating as usual

Timeline photos 03/31/2022

Philanthropist, community activist, CEO, & proud Memphian - these are a few words that describe Memphis Challenge Alum Roshun Austin Class of ‘89. Roshun is the CEO/President of The Works, Inc. a community development corporation serving children, the elderly, and families in the South Memphis and Greater Memphis area.

Roshun grew up in the North Memphis/Hyde Park community and attended East High School. Her neighborhood was heavily impacted by the heroin epidemic, but against all odds, Roshun made straight A’s and attended Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont. She received a BA in Sociology/Anthropology in ‘93 and her masters in Urban Anthropology from the University of Memphis in ‘97.

The Works focuses on the revitalization of South Memphis through community engagement, economic development, and affordable housing. Their first housing complex, the Alpha Renaissance, opened in 2002 and serves low-income families. Today, The Works is building their 2nd housing complex dubbed the Renaissance at Steele and Renaissance Park. The Works also engages the community by offering classes on financial fitness, health & wellness, nutrition, and through the South Memphis Farmers Market. They are supported by activities like the beloved Glide Ride - a community biking event scheduled to begin in April.

Roshun is a quiet storm, but her contributions to her hometown speak volumes. Memphis Challenge is excited to salute Roshun Austin a semi-finalist for the Change Makers - Valuing Homes in Black Communities Challenge. This challenge is designed to foster a new generation of structural innovation and address the devaluation of homes in black communities. If selected, Roshun has a chance to win funding of up to $100,000. Earlier this year, she was honored with the 2022 Memphis Heritage Trailblazer Award for Neighborhood Revitalization. She serves on several boards, including Fourth Estate, Inc., Urban Land Institute, Memphis Chapter, and the Methodist Healthcare Foundation. The legacy continues as her daughter, Lailah Wilson, is also a Memphis Challenge alum. The salutes Roshun and her commitment to leadership and service.


Calling all Memphis Challenge Parents! Tonight we are hosting our MC Parent Workshop on Good Parenting Solutions - facilitated by MC Executive Director, Cassandra Webster 🎉!

Explore best practices on how to be the best navigator for your child by joining us tonight @ 7pm through Zoom or Facebook Live! Look forward to seeing you there!

Timeline photos 03/30/2022

Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama is a lawyer, writer, and the wife of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama. She was the first African-American First Lady of the United States. Through her four main initiatives, she has become a role model for women and an advocate for healthy families, service members and their families, higher education, and international adolescent girls education.

When people ask First Lady Michelle Obama to describe herself, she doesn't hesitate to say that first and foremost, she is Malia and Sasha's mom.

But before she was a mother — or a wife, lawyer, or public servant — she was Fraser and Marian Robinson's daughter. The Robinsons lived on the South Side of Chicago. Fraser was a pump operator, and despite being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at a young age, he hardly ever missed a day of work. Marian stayed home to raise Michelle and her older brother Craig, skillfully managing a busy household filled with love & laughter.

A product of Chicago public schools, Michelle Obama studied sociology and African-American studies at Princeton University. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1988, she joined the Chicago law firm Sidley & Austin, where she later met Barack Obama, the man who would become the love of her life.

After a few years, Mrs. Obama decided her true calling was working with people to serve their communities and their neighbors. She served as assistant commissioner of planning and development in Chicago's City Hall before becoming the founding executive director of the Chicago chapter of Public Allies, an AmeriCorps program that prepares youth for public service.

In 1996, Mrs. Obama joined the University of Chicago with a vision of bringing campus and community together. As Associate Dean of Student Services, she developed the university's first community service program, and under her leadership as Vice President of Community and External Affairs for the University of Chicago Medical Center, volunteerism skyrocketed.

Today, Mrs. Obama continues to support and inspire young people through her many acts of service and through the Obama Foundation.

Biography from



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Timeline photos 03/29/2022

“Mama Nems” - Pearls of wisdom spoken by the beloved mother, Mama, Ma Dear, Big Mama, or Nana in your life. Growing up they were words that came up like rapid-fire in situations that only a “Mama Nem” could define. ⁠

Mothers are our first history makers and women of influence who nurtured and supported us through the good, the bad, and everything in between. Celebrate your Mother, Big Mama, Aunties, Gigi’s, and Abuelas by completing the phrases. Can you solve them?⁠

Share your answers in the comments. Have a story to go along with your “Mama Nem”? Share it in the comments as well! ⁠

Timeline photos 03/29/2022

Shirley Chisholm (1924-2005) was the first African American woman elected to Congress where she served for seven terms beginning in Jan. 31, 1969 through Jan. 31, 1983. The daughter of immigrants from Barbados and Guyana, Chisolm had a significant impact on anti-poverty policy and educational reform. In 1971, she was a founding member of both the Congressional Black Caucus and the National Women’s Political Caucus.

Chisholm was also the first African American woman to campaign for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 1972 with the slogan “Unbought and Unbossed.” Due to both racist and sexist opposition, she failed to win her party’s nomination, losing to anti-Vietnam War candidate Senator George McGovern. Always an advocate for poor, inner-city residents, Chisolm said, “I am and always will be a catalyst for change” and would go on to serve another 11 years in Congress.


Today’s spotlight is on alum Laura Zapata (MC Class ‘07). A White Station High School graduate armed with a BA in government from Dartmouth College. Laura is our History Maker as she defies odds and walks into spaces not typically held by women of color or of Latino heritage.

Laura’s path has been heavily influenced by her experience growing up as an immigrant in the US. When she was ten years old, Laura and her family moved from Colombia, South America, to Memphis, TN. Growing up as a Latino person of color, Laura made it her business to learn the culture and nuances of different communities, and it widened her worldview - particularly around immigration reform. In high school, Laura was involved in immigration reform and traveled to DC to speak with congressional leadership about immigration issues.

Fast forward 2012, this communications czar has crafted communications for high profile politicians such as the late Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as his Deputy Press Secretary from 2011-13. Zapata served as 2016 Ohio Press Secretary for presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and 2018 Communications Director for TN governor Phil Bredesen. She was also Head of Global Communications for Uber Eats from 2017-18. Did I mention she did this all before her 30th birthday?

Today, Laura is the co-founder of Clearloop - a corporation dedicated to expanding access to clean energy by building solar projects that invest in minority and underserved communities. Laura co-founded Clearloop with former TN Governor Phil Bredesen and his former campaign manager, Bob Corney. In 2022, Clearloop’s first solar-powered project, launched in Jackson, TN, will be fully operational. It will produce enough energy to power 200 local homes.

Laura credits her time as a Challenger for making her the leader she is today. “All the different experiences the Memphis Challenge afforded me, from ToastMasters, interview prep, and conversations with leaders across Memphis, has allowed me to have a peek into who I could be and where my dreams could take me.” Laura is armed with a vision and a soul to leave our world a better, cleaner place for generations to come. Congrats, Laura Zapata. We salute your visionary leadership and innovation.

Timeline photos 03/24/2022

Dr. Dorothy Height was born on March 24, 1912, in Richmond, VA. Growing up, Height was an excellent student and speaker and won a college scholarship for her oratorical skills. She is a graduate of New York University, where she received a bachelor's in education and a master's in psychology.

In 1938, Dr. Height was hired by the Harlem Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA). Here she met her mentor and teacher, Mary McLeod Bethune, founder of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW). The two worked closely together until Bethune's death in 1955. Two years later, Height would become the fourth President of the NCNW. Dr. Height served as the 10th National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. from 1946 to 1957. Height brought unsurpassed growth and modernization and carried the sorority to new levels of development, initiation eligibility, and social action through her term.

Height led the NCNW during the civil rights era of the 1950's-'60s and sought to improve the lives of women and families by working to establish affordable housing and homeownership programs, advocating for the desegregation of public schools, and lobbying for the appointment of black women into governmental positions. Dr. Height was an unsung hero like so many women of the movement. She helped organize the March on Washington in 1963 and was on the platform when Martin Luther King delivered his iconic "I Have a Dream" speech. Determined to create more opportunities for women, Dr. Height founded the National Women's Political Caucus alongside Shirley Chisholm and others in 1971.

In 1986, Dr. Height organized the first "Black Family Reunion Celebration" designed to reinforce the strengths and traditions of the black family. Held in 10 cities across the US for more than two decades, the event attracted over 12 million people. For her service, Height was awarded America's two highest civilian awards: the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2004. Height passed away on April 20, 2010, but her impact remains. The Memphis Challenge salutes Dr. Dorothy Height. Godmother of the movement. Your legacy will never be forgotten.

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516 Tennessee St
Memphis, TN

Opening Hours

Monday 9am - 5pm
Tuesday 9am - 5pm
Wednesday 9am - 5pm
Thursday 9am - 5pm
Friday 9am - 5pm

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