Dozens of Memphis Restaurants, Organizations Show Solidarity With Black Community



In the wake of George Floyd’s death, local organizations, leaders, and businesses have issued their own statements on racial inequality and support for protesters.

University leaders here largely spoke out against injustice in statements to their campus communities. 

Carol Johnson, interim president of LeMoyne-Owen College, a historical black college, said this week that the struggle to achieve racial and economic equity is why HBCUs (historically black colleges and universities) exist.

“There is more important work before us than reimagining our college community as a place where students are academically and socially prepared to confront injustice and lead the revolution of ideas, research, and policies that will eliminate racism and senseless harm,” Johnson wrote in a letter to students and faculty. “This is certainly beyond a single incident, or police department, but rather what we experience daily is embedded in a set of system structures that transcend multiple sectors and must be dismantled by those we educate. We can no longer ignore or tolerate injustice, if our students are to succeed.”

Read her full letter to the campus community below.

See related PDF June_1_2020_President_Letter_to_LOC_Campus_Community.pdf

Christian Brothers University president Jackson Shannon also sent a letter to CBU’s students and faculty this week. In it, he said the death of Floyd has “compelled us to confront how we, as a nation, continue to fall too short of the goal of a fair, equitable, and inclusive society in America.”

Shannon said any attempt to make sense of Floyd’s death is a “futile exercise, as it was both utterly senseless and totally unjustifiable.”

CBU has long been committed to advocating for equity, Shannon said, as “fostering a supportive, inclusive, and equitable community is at the very core of who we are as Lasallians.”

Shannon said as president, it is his role to facilitate a deeper and broader campus conversation about the issues raised by the senseless deaths of Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and others.

Read Shannon’s full letter here.

M. David Rudd, president of the University of Memphis, said in a statement this week that the recent national events have revealed “some ugly and enduring inequalities in American society, sparking anxiety, upset, and outrage.”

“As an institution of higher education in one of the most diverse communities in America, our university is committed to being part of the solution,” Rudd said. “We are a place of hope, healing, and healthy debate, We have an identified set of core values that embrace fairness, equity, and justice, and we are committed to living those on a daily basis, particularly when they are most needed.”

Rhodes College president Marjorie Hass released this message of solidarity on Sunday.

Shelby County Schools superintendent Joris Ray also spoke out. 

The Memphis Grizzlies said in a statement that the organization "stands squarely in opposition to racism and injustice," condemning "all acts of violence.

"It is ingrained in our culture and part of our ethos, and we are going to build on established initiatives in our community," the statement reads.

Memphis-based businesses International Paper and FedEx also joined the conversation.

More than a dozen local restaurants also shared messages of solidarity and black screens for #blackoutTuesday, a social media movement meant to bring awareness to injustice and police brutality.

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Black Lives Matter

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And others...

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