Hi from High Ground News
Sidewalk-level journalism for Memphis. 

We cover Memphis neighborhoods with nuance and center the experience of residents. We expose Memphians to stories of their neighbors across the city. We seek to rebalance the news by exploring challenges while focusing on the people and solutions moving Memphis forward.


Feature Story podcast

Podcast: Strategy, Spare Change, and Speaking for Yourself

If there’s no one investing in you, invest in yourself. Britney Thornton, founder of JUICE Orange Mound, is on a mission to mobilize residents to revitalize the neighborhood on their own terms. 

Feature Story At the PRIZM Ensemble workshop, high school students have opportunities to talk with other students who are also considering music scholarships and how music will factor into their college careers and future professions. (PRIZM Ensemble)

College isn't cheap. January workshop will help teens find music scholarships and nail auditions.

On January 4, PRIZM Ensemble will host its second annual College Audition Preparation Workshop for high school seniors. Registration is open to students interested in music scholarship, even if they don't plan to major in music.

Feature Story This the second year teaching kindergarten for The Circle participant Candace Hill. Previously, she taught music for the Gestalt Network. (Ashley Davis)

The Circle sees high-performing teachers as industry experts. It's working to keep them in class.

The Circle is rewarding high-performing teachers and recognizing their expertise as industry leaders. It hopes with respect, recognition, and more tangible support, these stars will stay in the classroom.

Feature Story UrbanArts Commission's Art + Environment Initiative funded a mural in Uptown by artist Khara Woods. Woods cataloged the litter entering the Mississippi River from the Gayoso Bayou in Uptown then depicted it in graphic form. (Cole Bradley)

Litter, Landfills, and Illegal Dumping: New murals tell the story in Uptown and Frayser

New murals in Uptown and Frayser are highlighting serious environmental concerns including litter, landfill siting, and illegal dumping.

Feature Story This choreographed slap between two characters will be a powerful moment in the upcoming Black History Month skit performed by the newly formed Hickory Hill Drama Club. (AJ Dugger)

New Hickory Hill drama club prepares for 2020 Black History Month performance

The newly formed Hickory Hill Senior Drama Club is preparing for its first performance, an original skit for Black History Month in February 2020.

Feature Story Participants of the Memphis Youth Crime Watch at Kirby High School. (AJ Dugger)

Cops and kids come together at Kirby High

Memphis police officers and high school students get together in Hickory Hill each week to build relationships, learn about crime in the community, and work through ways to stay on the straight and narrow. 

Feature Story Memphis Challenge's Dance-A-Thon competitors got down for a cause. Each collected pledges for donations for each minute spent dancing. (Memphis Challenge)

Memphis Challenge gets down for a cause with first ever dance-a-thon fundraiser

For 30 years, Memphis Challenge has helped high-performing students of color by connect them to the nation’s most elite colleges and universities. It's serious business, but there's always time for dancing.   

Feature Story GoDaddy's Made in America docu-series premiered in Memphis on November 22. Its first episodes feature Memphis-area entrepreneurs. Stacy Cline stands at the far left. (Cole Bradley, High Ground News)

GoDaddy supports small business in Memphis, premiers docu-series

Fifty Mid-South entrepreneurs are growing their businesses in the Empowered by GoDaddy program. Some are going global with GoDaddy's new Made in America docu-series streaming worldwide.

Feature Story The light of a claw machine casts an eerie light down the hallway of the former Hickory Ridge Mall. The mall is now owned by World Overcomers Church, who are working to repurpose it as a town center. (Ziggy Mack)

The History of Hickory Hill, Part II: Annexation and Aftermath

Part I took us through the late 1990s. Now we hit the major shifts in Hickory Hill's demographics and economy spurred by its epic battle — and eventual loss — against annexation.

Feature Story HickHill10

The History of Hickory Hill, Part I: Big Booms

Hickory Hill is one of Memphis' newest neighborhoods, but it packs a lot of history in its years.

Feature Story Handler San Chambers and therapy dog Batman are favorite regular visitors at Dorothy's Place. The day house is operated by  Alzheimer's and Dementia Services of Memphis, Inc. (Cat Evans)

Dementia is isolating. In Memphis, Dorothy's Place keeps people connected and helps slow decline.

People with dementia can slow their decline by staying social and keeping their brains active. Dorothy's Place offers 20-plus activities from cooking to music therapy.

Feature Story podcast

Podcast: Refugees are good for Memphis but number of new arrivals is shrinking dramatically

What's life like for refugees resettling in Memphis? How do immigrants help our local economy? Why has the number of new refugees declined so dramatically? World Relief Memphis explains.

Feature Story L to R: Community Contributors Ian Randolph, Ivy Arnold, and Monique Rials listen attentively to a conversation on journalist ethics lead by trainer, Micaela Watts. (Cat Evans)

Who tells the story? High Ground program trains Memphians to report their neighborhoods' news

High Ground's new Community Contributors program takes passionate Memphians and gives them the skills to find and report stories that acknowledge their neighborhoods' struggles but focus on their resilience.  

Feature Story Roshun Austin (L), president/CEO of The Works, Inc., and South Memphis resident Dolores Bateman are featured in the Memphis-based Divides Cities documentary. The short film was produced by The Guardian and gaps food access in Memphis. (The Guardian)

Video series explores worldwide divides, spotlights Memphis for unequal food access

The Guardian's Divided Cities explores what divides humanity. The newest release explores inequities in food access through the experiences of South Memphis residents and community leaders.

Feature Story Community Court Referees John Cameron mediates cases involving common code violations. Community Courts are hosted in Hickory Hill and other communities, which helps residents avoid going Downtown for Environmental Court. (Lisa Harris)

Neighborhood Justice: How Memphis' Community Courts are reducing barriers to court appearances

For many Memphians, a Downtown court appearance is more than inconvenient. It's inaccessible. Community Court lets Memphians resolve minor code violations in their own neighborhoods.

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On the Ground:
Hickory Hill

We're focusing our neighborhood reporting on Hickory Hill through December 2019. 

In January we'll head to North Memphis, covering a dozen distinct communities from Gragg Park to the Mississippi River. 

Have a connection to any of our 12 On the Ground neighborhoods? 
You can help shape the series.
Stop by our weekly community newsroom or email [email protected] with story ideas, feedback, or questions. 
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Madison Heights

Madison Heights is one of several distinct neighborhoods in the larger Medical District. It radiates from the intersection of Madison Avenue and Cleveland Street and includes the many shops, homes and service organizations between McNeil Street and Interstate-240 ...