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'Week of Nonviolence' underway in Memphis

Organized by Campaign Nonviolence Memphis, the week features peace-centered events.

MEMPHIS, Tennessee — This week marks the seventh 'Week of Nonviolence' in Memphis. It's an activist-led week to promote peace through events like concerts, lectures, yoga and meditation.

Campaign Nonviolence Memphis organizes the local events which began on Sunday. Unfortunately, the week also got off to a violent start.

Since Sunday, at least three people have been shot and killed and others injured in those shootings.

As Local 24 News has reported, violent crime is creeping up in Memphis and without a turnaround of events, the city is looking at a record year of homicides. 

“What we hope to convey is there are many facets to nonviolence," Paul Crum, a Campaign Nonviolence Memphis organizer, "It’s not just passiveness and there’s always a lot of work to be done in our city in any number of ways. There’s any number of ways to get involved.”

Crum said the week isn't as simple as saying put the guns down.

“We are always trying to connect the dots between racism and poverty and all of those things that can impact a violence society," he said.

Both Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris signed proclamations naming this week as a 'Week of Nonviolence' and due to the pandemic, all the events are going virtual this year.

Tuesday's event features a former white supremacist, TM Garret, turned human rights advocate.

“Especially given the current political climate, the Black Lives Matter movement, it couldn’t be anymore relevant today," Crum said. "He brings a very unique perspective to those type of issues because he’s been on both sides. He turned his life around."

Remaining schedule of Memphis Nonviolence Week:

Tuesday, Sept. 22nd • 7pm
From white supremacist to human rights advocate: An evening with TM Garret

A KKK member in Germany, Garret tells an amazing story of transformation – how the kindness shown by a Muslim family contradicted his white supremacist beliefs. In a brief time, he also realized that the hate he had for other people and religions was also unfounded. Learn how new found respect for people of races and religions drives his work for peace and social justice.
For more information contact TM Garret at TM@TMGarret.com 

Wednesday, Sept. 23nd • 7pm
Second Concert for a Nonviolent Memphis
Sponsored by South Main Sounds and The Memphis Songwriters Association
Concert will return, joined by singer songwriters to celebrate peace and nonviolence. The Facebook Live performance will originate from South
Main Sounds. Artists will perform from their stage and via Zoom. Don’t miss it! Watch on Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/events/321179362491777
Zoom Link (for performers) https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82201990913?pwd=dzNpcUJ3TzlFUUhYdlMvS2dQQkNzQT09

Thursday, Sept. 24th • 7pm
We all Want a Peace of the Pie
Meet the MICAH Youth Council

A panel of youth activists provide their perspective on peace and justice.
For more information contact Janiece Lee at janiece@micahmemphis.org

Friday, Sept. 25th • 7pm
Meditation for Non-Harming
Hosted by TD Yoga & Meditation
In this 30-minute meditation, participants will first develop a calm and tranquil mind, then do a loving kindness meditation for the Memphis area and beyond.
Join us at the TD Yoga and Meditation Facebook page for a live, online practice.

Saturday, Sept. 26th • 6-7:30pm
Preparing for Good Trouble
Hosted by the Memphis Interfaith Coalition for Action & Hope

Join us for a panel discussion featuring a combination of clergy and lay leaders discussing why justice work is relevant,  important work for all of us, how the work can be done, and what needs to happen during this time. .

For more information contact Janiece Lee at janiece@micahmemphis.org

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