Orange Mound

Memphis' future is in its past. Pizza with Planners explores why on January 28.

Why is quality of life in North and South Memphis so drastically different than life in Midtown or East Memphis? The answer is in our history.

On January 28, Pizza with Planners will explore how history and historical narratives have shaped Memphis neighborhoods and continue to shape its community development.

‘Looking Back to Look Ahead: Memphis History Empowering Communities’ will be held at The CMPLX, located at 2234 Lamar Avenue in Orange Mound, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Related: 'CMPLX opens to packed house in Orange Mound'

It is free to attend but registration is appreciated to ensure the pizza stays plentiful.

Click here to register.

In addition to short presentations and a brief panel discussion, the event will include a Memphis history trivia game and a historical reenactment by the Blues City Cultural Center.

Topics will include the role history plays today, local projects and initiatives that draw inspiration from the past, and how understanding the past is vital to a more just and vibrant future.

The speakers and presenters for the January 28 event are billed as being “on the front lines of unearthing, lifting up, and sharing the past.”

They include: Dr. Earnestine Jenkins, Professor of Art History at the University of Memphis; G. Wayne Dowdy, History Department Senior Manager with Memphis Public Libraries; and Carolyn Michael-Banks, founder & owner of A Tour of Possibilities.

All are local historians and experts on Memphis’ historic development.

High Ground’s managing editor, Cole Bradley, will also give a short talk on High Ground’s signature On the Ground embedded neighborhood journalism series.

The importance of understanding the history of disinvested neighborhoods to understand their current challenges then develop responsible strategies for equitable reinvestment is a fundamental tenet of the series.

Pizza with Planners is BLDG Memphis’ monthly community engagement series that serves free pizza while exploring a particular issue related to community development.

Each workshop relates to one of BLDG Memphis’ five focus areas within their policy work: transportation and safety, economic and community development, neighborhood and local government relations, reuse and revitalization, and affordable housing.

BLDGing Memphis a nonprofit member organization that supports a coalition of individuals and
other nonprofits and community-based organizations vested in the development of health and sustainable neighborhoods across the Mid-South. Their work includes policy and advocacy; community and civic engagement; and capacity building for local CDCs.
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