project leader
Chere D
2509 Harvard Ave
latest update rss

the project

A sculpture garden and memorial to the city’s homicide victims.

The project:

Every year, scores of Memphian are killed in our city, victims of homicide. Your donation will help us honor those victims, create a sanctified space for those who mourn their deaths and raise awareness of senseless violence that plagues our city.

The Memorial Sculpture Garden at Caritas Village will be the only memorial to our community’s homicide victims. The garden, depicted in the rendering above, will include a leaf-like sculpture as well as landscaping, outdoor seating and a wall bearing the victim’s names.

We want to thank all our supporters for your donations and encourage others to join this effort. Our goal is to bring the victim’s families, perpetrators and members of the Memphis community together to build and maintain this meditative space on the Caritas Village lawn. We plan to bring buckets of soil from neighborhoods throughout Memphis to the site as a symbol of our connectedness and the citywide nature of this memorial.

Caritas Annual Vigil:

Caritas Village is a safe haven, a community center, a coffee shop and culture arts center in the Binghamton neighborhood. Every year since 2006, Caritas Village has hosted an annual vigil and a series of prayer services that memorialize the city’s homicide victims — by calling out their names, their ages and the cause of these deaths. To mark each death, a simple wire sculpture tagged with the victim’s name was placed on the Caritas lawn. Our hope is to preserve this annual ritual by creating a dedicated space for solace and healing, and a permanent memorial to the victims.

Calling Community Members

As part of this effort, community leaders will be working to bring together the victims’ families, perpetrators, and friends and neighbors from throughout the city to create and maintain this garden — in what we hope will serve as both a healing process and an active protest.

About Caritas Village

Founded in 2006 by Onie Johns, Caritas Village is a safe haven in the Binghamton neighborhood whose mission is to break down walls of hostility between cultures, to build bridges of love and trust between rich and those made poor, and to provide a positive alternative to the street corners for the neighborhood children. Today, the Village includes a restaurant and offers a theater, art studio, free health clinic, after-school programs, tutoring and ESL programs.

Preservation Memphis (PM) is leading the fundraising effort for the Memorial Sculpture Garden at Caritas Village. PM is a group of individuals that undertakes small-scale preservation and construction projects to preserve our city’s landmarks and support Memphis communities. To contact PM, visit

the steps

Image of leaf sculpture

When a family member is killed, it’s as if a tree has lost a limb. We are commissioning a leaf sculpture by Tylur French of the Youngblood Studio in Memphis for the sculpture garden.

- Remove existing grass & provide for drainage
- Install 4' concrete winding walks
- Place large boulders, specimen trees, hardy plantings, and furnishings
- Create a covered outdoor eating space
- Fill in beds with crushed limestone for low-maintenance
- Create space for a proposed sculpture



why we're doing it

For many years the Village has hosted a commemorative ceremony for the Memphis Martyrs, those who have been murdered in the prior year in our community.  This project will create a physical place of memory and gathering for friends and families, as well as for the neighborhood.  The project will also feature a bronze plaque with the names of each of the individuals lost during that year.  A new plaque will be placed on the building each year.

We hope to bring to attention the necessity of building love and trust, to advocate for justice through non-violent means and to provide support for the victims, their offenders, families and friends.


Large Stones    1000
Short Fence      2000
Plants/trees       1000
Crushed stone  1500
Covered Patio  1000
Concrete           1000
Labor                1500
Contingency     1000
Sculpture          8000
Total                18000

An itemized estimate will be produced upon final design of the project.

The sculpture mentioned in the project will be funded separately from this effort.  It has an estimated budget of $8,000 and will be fabricated by Memphis sculptor, Tyler French.

SUBTOTAL = $18,000
ioby Platform Fee $35
Donation Processing Fee of 3%  $540
TOTAL TO RAISE = $18,575




Progress for me is waking in the morning to the ever present challenge of change.  Sometimes, a lot of time,  the change is stuff I don't want to do.  Since I live by experience as my teacher, I decided to do my best with this fundraiser idea, even though I would really prefer to eat dirt. But in humbling myself, I figure I can do that for Caritas Village.

When I think about real places that impact the lives of others with love, I think of the Village.

The Sanctuary on the Lawn at Caritas Village is a love driven project, an extension of space to remember those who died at the hand of violence, a place to meet over lunch, or to enjoy the sunshine, watch kids play or just to remember.

Fletcher Golden, an sculptor and educator, is a powerhouse of joy and energy around this project.   He has worked with professionals to design the space, both beautiful, simple and practical, and is salvaging materials already!  We are scheduling volunteers.

Help us make his happen with a $20 gift!



$20 to Get Started

As the spring is with this, we are hopeful and excited about the Sanctuary on the Lawn at the Village.  When you visit the Village, you may notice that people are often seated out in the front yard.  With our fabulous friend, Fletcher Golden, we are excited about a design which provides a communal space for the front lawn of the Village.  It is an extension of what goes on INSIDE the Village, a message of hope, tolerance and support.  Help us out with a small donation of $20.

We won't let you down!  Your support of the Village  helps us to provide love and support to others!

You are awsome!



This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • Anonymous
  • JT Malasri
  • Anonymous
  • Simone Jambor
  • Anonymous
  • Sarah + Dean
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • frank d. robinson, jr.
  • Sandra U.
  • Dara Davis
  • Elaine Blanchard
  • Mary Jo G.
  • big evie
  • diana R.
  • richard lou l.
  • Yvonne L.
  • Andrew S.
  • Martha Boyd
  • Peggy Veeser
  • G. Sawyer
  • Mary Jo Karimnia
  • Blake Burr
  • C. Brehm
  • Kenny Latta
  • Jim & Stacy Hinkle
  • Peter H.
  • Barbara H.
  • Maria
  • Dave Lewis & Julia Hanebrink
  • Kristin
  • Anonymous
  • Sara Swisher
  • Emily
  • One Johns
  • John Day
  • Chere Doiron
  • Karen C.