Attendees of the "Great Heights: National Street and Beyond" photo exhibit hosted by High Ground News and Heights CDC. (Markus Mueller) <span class='image-credits'></span> Residents cross in front of the U.S. Post Office on National Street. (Ziggy Mack) <span class='image-credits'></span> Family plays at Tom Lee Park near the Mississippi River.  <span class='image-credits'>Ziggy Mack</span> As part of the Brooks Outing project, artist Julien de Casabianca pasted "characters" from earlier artworks in suprising places across Memphis. This snippet of "Au pied de la falaise" can be seen on Crump Boulevard. (Ziggy Mack) <span class='image-credits'></span> Heights resident Ethel McBride drives to work in front of a community mural near Treadwell Elementary and Middle School grounds.  <span class='image-credits'>Ziggy Mack</span> Members of the Real South Wrestling Federation demonstrate their skills to a packed house. <span class='image-credits'>Brandon Dahlberg</span> Explore Bike Share cyclists set out along Keel Avenue.  <span class='image-credits'>Brandon Dahlberg</span> Tes Herman, left, and her cousin Leslie Herman look at a book of Freida Hamm paintings at Novel bookstore in East Memphis. <span class='image-credits'>Brandon Dill</span> Summer Avenue in September.  <span class='image-credits'>Ziggy Mack</span> Construction takes place at the former Wonder Bread factory at 400 Monroe Avenue. (Brandon Dill) <span class='image-credits'></span> A nighttime view of the I Am A Man plaza outside of Clayborn Temple, near Downtown Memphis.  <span class='image-credits'>Ziggy Mack</span> Visitors to Hattie B's Hot Chicken restaurant in Midtown.  <span class='image-credits'>Ziggy Mack</span>
Hey from High Ground News!
We believe that Memphis deserves sidewalk-level journalism that covers neighborhoods with nuance and centers the experience of residents. We seek to rebalance the news so that Memphians are exposed to stories that help them wrap around the city's challenges and better understand that there are people in every neighborhood across the city innovating for solutions.


Feature StoryShelby County Mayor Lee Harris high-fives Elmo at a December 4 press conference to announce a new partnership with Sesame Street in Communities. (Ziggy Mack)

Sesame Street partners with Memphis nonprofits to reduce childhood trauma, improve early education

Sesame Street is more than a show - it’s backed by a nonprofit that helps improve the lives of children around the world through early childhood education. It’s also Porter-Leath and ACE Awareness Foundation’s newest partner in the fight to reduce childhood trauma and improve early education in Memphis.

Feature StoryThe vacant barber shop at 769 National Street was topped with a sign made from repurposed Christmas lights and the boards that once shuttered the windows. (Markus Mueller)

Vacant barbershop reopens as space for art and community

In the 1930s a barbershop opened on National Street in The Heights. On November 29, it was activated as a venue for a High Ground News community photography exhibit. Now, Heights residents will decide how the space serves them in the future.

Feature StoryHusband and wife Nancy and Patricio Gonzalez carry equipment to the Gaisman Community Center at the end of game day. They are the directors and coaches of Illegal Arts Memphis soccer league. (Natalie Eddings)

What smart neighborhoods can learn from The Heights

Our four months of embedded coverage of The Heights area of Memphis is coming to a close. As we pick up the temporary office and move to the University District for our next On The Ground program, we're drawn to spotlight five aspects of The Heights that make it a dynamic place to live and work. 

Feature Storyfood this one

Video: A taste of the world from Summer Avenue

Join the High Ground News team and local writer Aylen Mercado for a tour of Summer Avenue restaurants and a look inside some hidden gems.   

Feature Storyfood this one

En video: Un sabor del mundo de Summer Avenue

The Heights y el vecino Berclair son destinos para una increíble comida internacional. Con solo un rápido viaje en carro por la avenida Summer Avenue, cualquier persona con hambre puede escoger que platos exclusivos de diferentes países quieran comer , no se necesita un boleto de avión.

Feature StoryJohn Young, a JIFF graduate and now full time employee for Sweet LaLa's, earned the nickname "Dr. Sprinkles". (Submitted)

Bakery that employs at-risk youth expands to East Memphis storefront

Since 2014, Sweet LaLa's bakery has employed youth leaving the juvenile justice system as part of a re-entry program. The bakery has grown substantially and is moving out of its South City commercial kitchen to a storefront in East Memphis. 

Feature StoryA view of the renovated Garden Flats apartment complex. (Submitted)

Turnaround tale: Memphis resident purchases and renovates run-down apartment building

Kevin Crutcher took on a complicated real estate project in a disadvantaged neighborhood. Securing financing for the apartment renovation was a challenge that paid off as residents began moving into the building in October. 

Feature StoryJunior Challengers are seen participating in a team building activity at their November 2018 workshop centered around what it means to be politically engaged as a teen in their community. (Submitted)

Memphis Challenge celebrates 30 years of supporting students of color in Memphis

In 1989, AutoZone founder Pitt Hyde created a pipeline program to open up opportunities for talented students of color in Memphis. Fast forward three decades, the academic and leadership nonprofit celebrates its growth in reach, programming and talent retention with a jazz performance and master class.

Feature StoryA sign on Davis Circle in the Nutbush area of Memphis. The entrance to the landfill would be located at the end of this street. (Cole Bradley)

Nutbush fights proposed landfill near homes, school and Wolf River

A proposed landfill in Nutbush has residents rallying against what they say would be a blight on their community and a risk to Memphis' greatest natural asset — its water. 

Feature StoryBrooks Museum of Art (Submitted by POP)

What’s the future of Overton Park? Memphians have their say in final public forum

Memphis College of Art will be shuttering its main building, Rust Hall, in 2020 when the school closes its doors. The Brooks plans to relocate Downtown by 2024. Combined, the adjacent buildings offer 186,000 square feet of space, including gallery, classroom, food service, auditorium and event spaces.

Feature StoryChildren pick out a book at Desayuno Con Libros held monthly at Gaisman Community Center. (Desayuno Con Libros)

Desayuno Con Libros connects Latino families over books and breakfast

Desayuno Con Libros is a monthly meeting that pairs breakfast, books, music and more to encourage Spanish-speaking families to spend time reading and celebrating the language. High school journalist Jonathan Rosales explores this fun and important event in his neighborhood.

Feature Story Los niños buscan libros en Desayuno Con Libros en el Centro Comunitario de Gaisman. (Desayuno Con Libros)

Desayuno Con Libros conecta a las familias latinas con libros y desayunos

Desayuno Con Libros es una reunión mensual que combina desayuno, libros, música y más para alentar a las familias de habla hispana a pasar el tiempo leyendo y celebrando el idioma. El periodista de secundaria Jonathan Rosales explora este evento divertido e importante en su vecindario.

Feature StoryBaptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis is training emergency room personnel to better assess, identify and respond to elder abuse through a curriculum it plans to share with all Shelby County hospitals. (Submitted)

Baptist-Memphis uses ER visits to assess and respond to elder abuse

Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis is training emergency room personnel to better assess, identify and respond to elder abuse through a curriculum it plans to share with all Shelby County hospitals.

Feature StorySteven McKinney teaches math class to his students at Booker T. Washington High School. (Ziggy Mack)

Advocates of trauma-informed teaching call for greater support in Memphis schools

The loss of students to death and criminal activity brings a heavy toll to teachers who work in some of the poorest and under-resourced communities in Memphis. Students who grow up in these communities face adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, which can affect their behavior and educational outcomes. Groups close to this local issue are advocating for trauma-informed training for teachers and a district-wide culture of self-care to support teacher retention.

Feature StoryTrey Easter

"The people are the heart": Memphis transplants reflect on life in a new city

Memphis transplants who came to the city later in life bring a fresh perspective about the city's place in civil rights history, its faith community and what moves Memphis forward as a "big-small" city in Mid-South.

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On the Ground:
The Heights

Read the latest in our embedded 16-week community reporting series on The Heights area of Memphis. If you are a resident, join us for a weekly community newsroom.

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