Iori Araya enjoys the cherry blossom trees outside of the Memphis Botanic Garden. (Ziggy Mack) <span class='image-credits'></span> Residents and business owners of the University District speak at a panel hosted by High Ground News as part of its On The Ground neighborhood coverage. (Ziggy Mack) <span class='image-credits'></span> Members of Memphis' homeless population attend the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Memphis Ozanam Food Mission. The service provides free daily meals from its site at 1306 Monroe Street. (Ziggy Mack) <span class='image-credits'></span> Children at play in Tom Lee Park. (Ziggy Mack) <span class='image-credits'></span> DJs with K97-FM spin records at the Hi-Tone Cafe. (Ziggy Mack) <span class='image-credits'></span> A sunny view of neighborhood bar Newby's located in the University District. (Ziggy Mack) <span class='image-credits'></span> Swing dance lessons at the Rumba Room in Downtown Memphis. (Ziggy Mack) <span class='image-credits'></span> A construction worker crosses the railroad tracks at the University of Memphis with the pending pedestrian under construction in the far background. (Ziggy Mack) <span class='image-credits'></span> Kids participate in an afterschool program at Emmanuel Center. (Andrea Morales) <span class='image-credits'></span> A family overlooks the Mississippi River in Downtown Memphis. (Ziggy Mack) <span class='image-credits'></span> Knights joust at the 2018 Mid-South Renaissance Faire, held at the USA Baseball Stadium and Park in Millington, Tennessee. (Ziggy Mack)  <span class='image-credits'></span>  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>
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.

Features

Feature StoryA packed house listens to a panel discussion after the screening of ‘How Did We Get Here.’ (Cole Bradley)

Film series documenting Memphis' housing challenges premiers to packed house

Neighborhood Preservation, Inc. partners with two local filmmakers to tell the story of Memphis’ biggest housing challenges and the people and solutions addressing them. It premiered to a packed house April 15 at The CMPLX in Orange Mound. 

Feature StoryA shopper at Viet Hoa Food Market on Cleveland Street in the Madison Heights neighborhood. (Averell Mondie)

Memphis Medical District Collaborative hires artists as researchers to guide development

What is next for the Madison Heights neighborhood? With the help of journalists and artists, this nonprofit developer wants to illustrate the identity of this emerging community.

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On The Ground Podcast: The power of neighborhood stories

In S1E15 of the On The Ground podcast, High Ground News hosts Josh Campbell from Spillit Memphis for a discussion about storytelling and its power to build community and elevate resident voices in Memphis neighborhoods.  

Feature StoryA young girl plays hide and seek in front of shuttered apartment buildings on Tate Street. The area was once part of the epicenter of Memphis' Black society until 90 years of housing policies gutted investment. (Andrea Morales)

Seeing Red I: Mapping 90 years of redlining in Memphis

This two part series explores how race built Memphis. From a newly discovered 1930s redlining map to recent lawsuits, discriminatory housing policies have kept Black families from home ownership and Black neighborhoods from thriving. 

Feature StoryRoshun Austin, president and CEO of The Works, Inc. holds a redlining map created in the 1930s. (Ziggy Mack)

Seeing Red II: South Memphis CDC brings investment back to Memphis' formerly redlined communities

The Works, Inc., with partner Pinnacle Financial Partners, is issuing loans from a $2 million mortgage pool. The twist? These loans are issued to folks who may be considered a credit risk by traditional banks and are used to purchase homes in disadvantaged neighborhoods.

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On The Ground Podcast: Is the University District too crowded?

In S1E14 of the On The Ground podcast, the editorial team reflects on our four months of embedded research and reporting in the University District. Neighborhood leader Cody Fletcher shares his thoughts about how the neighborhoods that surround the University of Memphis can adapt to meet a growing student population.

Feature StoryRichie Jarvis, owner of Trilogy Tattoos and Piercing, speaks about the small business community in the University District. (Ziggy Mack)

Graduation day: What we learned from four months of reporting in the University District

High Ground’s On the Ground team looks back on four months of embedded journalism as we wrap up our coverage in the University District. 

Feature StoryBilly Vaughan, center, speaks at the sancutuary of the Commons on Merton, a nonprofit support hub in Binghampton. (Bill Piacesi)

Spillit Memphis brings storytelling event to Binghampton

Spillit Memphis is best known for its live storytelling events in Crosstown. On April 12, the arts organization will partner with High Ground News and the Center for Transforming Communities for its first-ever Binghampton storytelling event.


Feature StoryShamika Williams poses with her four children outside of their home in Raleigh. In fall 2018, Williams fled an abusive relationship and stayed with her kids at the YWCA’s domestic violence shelter. (Cole Bradley)

YWCA celebrates 100 of empowering women and communities

The YWCA is celebrating its centennial and is growing its tutoring services and job training to assist people who are escaping domestic violence.


Feature StoryBelltower Artisans is located at 549 S Highland St. in the University District. (Cole Bradley)

Coffee culture: Four great coffee spots in the University District

For three months our team has met weekly at a University District coffee shop. As we prepare to move to our next neighborhood, we pay homage to the district’s coffee culture with a roundup of the best local places to get great brew.

Feature StoryRon Scott and Chris Clark prepare to install a door at the front of the workshop, as Tyler Parker and and Jared Myers load up a rickety work table that is no longer safe to use. All four are participants in the ad-hoc advisory board. (Scarlet Ponder)

Heights CDC to convert vacant cabinet shop into community woodshop

After purchasing an old cabinetry workshop, Heights CDC is exploring how the space could be used to teach a marketable skill like woodworking to local residents.

Feature StoryLieutenant Mark Johnson with the Memphis Fire Department's Fire Station 18 walks beside the station's pumper truck. (Ziggy Mack)

In photos: A day in the life at Fire Station 18 on Southern Avenue

Photographer Ziggy Mack follows the four-person crew of Fire Station 18 in this intimate look at their daily lives and the bonds created when you live, work, and save the day as a team.

Feature StoryAnyone is allowed to pick and plant at the University of Memphis community garden. (TIGUrS Urban Garden)

Going public: What you can do at University of Memphis as a community member

Sure, they have sporting events and guest speakers, but did you know that the University of Memphis is also home to a community garden, art museums and many other free activities open to the public?

Feature StoryAnthony Braxton waits for his meal at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Memphis Ozanam Food Mission. (Ziggy Mack)

Newly opened health clinic provides free services to the homeless population of Memphis

The Baptist Operation Outreach clinic joins a collection of tight-knit service providers who have concentrated their efforts in the Madison Heights neighborhood. 

Feature Storyspray paint

Video: This anti-graffiti team paints a better future for the University District

When graffiti pops up in the University District, this group of young volunteers work to clean it up. They call themselves the UDistrict Graffiti Ninjas and they've been working for four years to reduce graffiti and blight in the residential neighborhoods that surround the University of Memphis.

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On the Ground:
University District

Join our 16-week community reporting series on the University District area of Memphis. If you're a resident or a stakeholder, help shape the series at a weekly community newsroom. Get caught up on our coverage here. 
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