project leader
Amy M
590 Jennette Place
(South Memphis)
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the project

The South Memphis Shalom Zone is teaming up with Crossroads to Freedom at Rhodes College to train youth archivists from South Memphis to interview the elders in their neighborhood.  Over an eight week summer program, high school students will be mentored by college interns with the Crossroads project.  While on the Rhodes campus, youth will learn interviewing techniques that will allow them to discover positive memories and valuable wisdom from their neighborhood elders.  The youth will get hands on experience with video, audio, lighting, editing and other technology skills needed to capture oral histories in South Memphis and preserve the interviews on the archive.  At the end of the summer, the youth will present the highlights of the oral histories and what they have learned back to the community.   Through this project, the youth claim their own voice and power to be change agents that build an even stronger South Memphis…just like their elders did and continue to do today.

This project was piloted during the summer of 2013.  You can see the video presentation that the youth, along with their college mentors, created at the end of the summer below. 

The community presentation had about 100 in attendance who excitedly declared this the first annual event of many to come.

With your help, we are eager to see this project continue and expand.  For 2014, the Neighborhood History Project of the South Memphis Shalom Zone will be inviting the youth to come back from summer 2013 and serve as additional mentors and role models to the 2014 youth.  In addition, the returning youth will have a second day each week at Rhodes to get even more hands on experience with editing and archiving the video interviews.

This project exemplifies collaboration at its best as it brings together youth, college students and elders.  It leverages churches and other nonprofits in the community as well as institutions, such as Rhodes, from outside the neighborhood.  In addition, youth meet college interns from colleges across the south including Vanderbilt, Morehouse and others. 

The greatest power of this project happens as young people sit across from older people and rediscover how much each cares.  Anytime we gather to reconnect and reassemble the members -- and the memories -- of a community, amazing things happen.

the steps

  • Spring 2014 – Recruit youth archivist and interview subjects
  • June 2014 (1st week) – Training and orientation
  • June-July 2014 – Youth spend 1 day/week on the Rhodes Campus learning interview techniques and technology skills.  Youth spend 1 day/week in South Memphis conducting interviews (approximately 3 interviews per day at 45 minutes each).  2nd year youth will spend an additional day on campus each week editing and archiving interviews.
  • July 2014 (last week) – Youth presentation to the community

Crossroads to Freedom at Rhodes provides great support to this project.  College students will continue to work on the project during the fall of 2014 ensuring that all interviews are archived, along with transcripts, permanently at the website  

why we're doing it

South Memphis is a place rich in history. It’s a history often unknown to its youth: the very youth who are needed to re-claim this neighborhood’s positive legacy on the national landscape, including music and civil rights; the very youth who, building on the memories, experience and wisdom of their elders, will leave their own, very important legacy on their neighborhood and beyond.


Youth Stipends ($25/each/week): $1,400

Local Coordinator: $1,500

Transportation of youth to Rhodes: $188

Hand-held video cameras for taking footage in South Memphis ($300ea): $600

End of year presentation (food, space, publicity): $400

Miscellaneous: $500  

All donors will receive an invitation to the final presentation!

SUBTOTAL = $4,588
ioby Platform Fee  waived
3rd Party Credit Card Processing Fee (3%) $138

Budget Update, 3/21/2014

100% of the money raised on ioby will go to fund the youth stipend part of our program. We are continuing to fundraise for the remainder of our goal via our website and grant applications. Several grants are pending decision. Our partner, Rhodes College, is also fundraising for their portion of the program (a separate budget), and as appropriate, they will be including our budget needs in their 'asks' and proposals. Finally, last year we ran the program with no additional funding. We used the existing resources within the community. If none of our fundraising efforts beyond the ioby's funds materialize, we will still be running the Neighborhood History Camp this summer, using our collective, existing assets.

RAISED = $920.00
ioby Platform Fee  waived
3rd Party Credit Card Processing Fee (3%) $8.59



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This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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