Breaking News
More () »

How a new program at Rhodes College aims to share the diverse history of Memphis

“I think good history helps point the way towards good policy,” Dr. Charles McKinney said.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Rhodes College is using $800,000 in grant money to create a new program that will focus on education and activism involving racial equity, discrimination and justice in Memphis.

The Institute for Race and Social Transformation will be a place where students and faculty will work together to share the untold history of Memphis, train in racial justice research and advocacy and work with social justice organizations.

Dr. Charles McKinney, the Rhodes Chair of Africana Studies, will head up the Neighborhood Narratives Project, which will involve students and faculty traveling to different communities throughout Memphis and listening to the people share their lived experiences.

Dr. McKinney said fully understanding the diverse history and culture of Memphis could help provide the answers to the questions and realities the city faces in the present day.

“I think good history helps point the way towards good policy,” Dr. McKinney said. “I think good history helps to shape conversations about what we need to do in the present, in order to alleviate some of the challenges and some of the conditions in which people find themselves in, which communities find themselves.”

The school will start planning and organizing the initiative in the fall of 2023, with work set to begin the following spring. The three-year grant will also go towards a collaboration between Rhodes and local historically Black colleges and universities on justice-centered research. 

Before You Leave, Check This Out