Saturday, February 26, 2011


What an overwhelming night! MemphisISC was thrilled to be a part of such an experience, and we thank everyone for coming out. This is just the beginning!

Please stay in touch with us through our facebook page and this blog; we will have pictures and videos up soon, and more information about the local struggles we can all engage in. Please join us and keep the conversation going--whether we are in Cairo, Memphis or Madison, WI, together, our voices are more powerful than any F-16.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

CALL 2 ACTION: March 1

H.O.P.E. Mobilization @ City Council (Mid-South Peace & Justice Center)
Tuesday, March 1: 3:30 - 6:30pm

City Council Chambers
125 North Main Street
Memphis, TN

From the event page:

For the past year MSPJC has been working with the policy and planning committee for the MAYORS’ Plan to End Homelessness in Memphis and Shelby County. At the core of all of the policy and programs within is an embrace of HOUSING FIRST principles and models and a shift towards rapid rehousing and permanent supportive housing for the unsheltered. This has been a entirely data driven process, identifying best practices from cities
... all over the country and customizing them for maximum positive effect here in Memphis.

You can download a full copy of the report here.

This is the single most significant series of reforms for area homeless in modern history…. but…without your help and support, it’s just pretty words on paper.

On Tuesday, March 1st the Memphis City Council will be formally presented with this plan for approval and we need each and every one of you to join us in council chambers as we raise our voices in support of these badly needed reforms. Funding for these reforms will require some local funding from Memphis and Shelby County government, to augment existing federal and foundation dollars to be a full success. It should be noted that we could accomplish all of the goals of this plan for less than one percent of the annual operating budget of the city. These reforms will also save City and County tax dollars via decreased emergency medical cost to the MED, decreased calls to Memphis Fire and Police services and fewer 911 emergency calls in extreme weather, all of which accounts for tens of millions of dollars in government spending every year. Funding this plan is not simply the moral thing to do but it’s also in all of our long-term fiscal best interests as a community. Join us as we mobilize to support real positive change here in Memphis.

Please read the event page to find out more on why you can't miss this City Council meeting or contact Brad at the MSPJC:


Advancing Equality Day on the Hill (Tennessee Equality Project)
Tuesday, March 1: 8:00am - 3:30pm

Rhymer Gallery then together to Legislative Plaza
233 5th Avenue North Nashville, TN 37219-1901
Nashville, TN

From the event page:

We’re just over a week away from Advancing Equality Day on the Hill in Nashville on Tuesday, March 1. Tennessee Equality Project is already tracking bills like the “Don’t Say Gay in School” bill, a Birth Certificate bill, and a gender identity-inclusive hate crimes bill which are of great interest to the LGBT community.

If you haven't please your State Senator and Representative to request an appointment on March 1. Find contact ...information here: Be sure to schedule one appointment for you and others who reside in your legislative district. Share your appointment time with your County Chair if you have one.

After you've scheduled your appointment with your State Representative and Senator, share your meeting information with Tennessee Equality Project at Contact Michelle at if you have questions.

Please read the event page for detailed information on how to participate in this very well-organized lobby day for LGBTQ rights in Tennessee!

Local Artist Dwyane Butcher interviews Paul Garner about "From Cairo to Memphis"

(reposted from 

Paul Garner is an artist and musician born and bred in Shreveport,
Louisiana, currently residing in Memphis, TN. Paul is preparing to graduate with his BFA from the Memphis College of Art in May 2011. He is an active member in the MemphisISC.

Dwayne Butcher: Can you talk a little bit about the upcoming event, From Cairo 2 Memphis?

Paul Garner: The event is being held Friday, February 25th from 6-9pm in the
Callicott Auditorium at Memphis College of Art (1930 Poplar Ave). We
have several speakers talking on a range of subjects related to the ongoing revolutions across the Mid-East. I’m also really excited, because we’re going to be going LIVE with a few folks in Cairo, to get some perspective and analysis from the Arab world. We are also going to have a panel Q&A. 

Scheduled speakers will include Dr. Rob Canfield, Ahmed Zaafan (via skype),
Zeina Salem (via skype), Saad Kamel (via skype), Neal Gammill, Ahmed
Elnahas, Merci Decker, and Justin Sledge. 

DB: Why did you decide you needed to have such an event?

PG: I was at a group meeting at the (Mid South Peace and Justice Center) to discuss recent FBI raids on peace activist groups. The Uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt had just happened and a lot of folks wanted to do something in solidarity with the people. We established a committee and organized a very successful demonstration at the intersection of Poplar and Highland, calling for the immediate step-down of Mubarak, an end to US funding of dictatorships, and to show solidarity with the Egyptian people. It was great event, but the situation has continued to develop and the spirit of revolution has spread. We felt that we needed to do an event specifically aimed at education, awareness, and hopefully generating a more informed dialogue between members of the Memphis community.

DB: Was MCA open to the idea? Do they have any special requests about
such an event? Are they helping you in any way?

PG: We are happy that MCA has agreed to let us use their space for the
event, and I believe there is an opening for an illustration show
dealing with topics of social justice going on simultaneously that
evening. The Student Alliance at MCA are really the folks responsible
for securing the space for us to use and we’ve had a lot of
co-operation from different faculty members and administrators. I
think it’s really significant to have something like this going on at
the Art College because it’s important that young artists are in tune
with current social/political events, especially with what we’re
seeing develop right now in the Middle-East. I think it’s a really
exciting subject for art-makers.

DB: What would you like to see happen as a result of this event?

PG: I think the main goal of the event is education, awareness, and
continued community participation. We plan to do a call to action and
provide attendees with sources for more information on ways to get
involved. Memphis International Solidarity Committee (the people who
put this thing together) are still getting organized as a group and we
hope that this and other up-coming events will foster participation
from anyone who wishes to be included. Also, more information will be
available at our new blog,

DB: Is it just about Egypt and the Middle East? What about recent
uprising in Wisconsin?

PG: Actually, one of the main focuses of the event is exploring the
various connections between the United States and the Middle East,
which includes the relationship between the struggles taking place in
the Arab World and here at home.

DB: Do you make socially conscious work? Can you talk a little bit
about your own work?

PG: Yes. Most of my work gravitates toward satire or social/political
commentary. Over the past four or five years, I have made
socio-political issues a main focus of my work. I’ve done several
pieces that deal with urban sprawl and homelessness in Memphis, which
is a huge problem here. I feel like the ability to create images is a
powerful gift. I am fascinated by the roles music, poetry and visual
art making have played as means of progressive resistance to
oppression throughout history.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


From Cairo to Memphis: A Public Discussion of Recent Uprisings In the Middle East

The local community and guests from Egypt are gathering to better understand and engage with the ongoing revolutionary activity in the Middle East and North Africa. Memphis's historical struggle with discrimination and poverty allow us to look into the unfolding of these events with inspiration and hope. In this spirit, we will explore how we can enact freedom, justice, equality, and dignity (the slogan of the Egyptian revolution) within our community. 

Panel discussion and Q&A to follow.

Free and open to the public. Everyone is welcome!