Frustrated by the gutting of local journalism in Memphis, a group of seasoned journalists, media professionals, and concerned citizens gathered to discuss the need for strong, locally focused, and locally produced daily news. After much research and outreach to local and national media professionals and thought leaders, Memphis Fourth Estate Inc. was formed. A 501(C)3 nonprofit, Memphis Fourth Estate owns and operates The Daily Memphian; however, the newsroom operates independently of Memphis Fourth Estate.
The SOULSVILLE Foundation, a catalyst for the development of SOULSVILLE USA, located in historic South Memphis, TN. The Soulsville Foundation perpetuates the soul of Stax Records by preserving its rich cultural legacy, educating youth to be prepared for life success, and inspiring future artists to achieve their dreams. The organization’s campus consists of three distinct entities, each one working to further the dreams and aspirations of Memphis youth.
Located at the original site of Stax Records, the world’s only soul music museum is a vibrant, educational, and fun experience with interactive exhibits, films, videos, stage costumes, and more than 3,000 items of memorabilia that preserve and promote the legacy of Stax Records and all American soul music.
Internationally renowned music and mentoring center, the Stax Music Academy inspires young people and enhances their academic, cognitive, performance, and leadership skills by utilizing music with an intense focus on the rich legacy and tradition of Stax Records. The Stax Music Academy boasts a 100-percent college acceptance rate since 2008.
The Soulsville Charter School is the Soulsville Foundation’s academic college preparatory school, serving more than 650 students in middle and high school. Its mission is to prepare students for success in college and life in an academically rigorous, music-rich environment. The school boasts a 100-percent college acceptance rate since it began having graduating classes in 2012.
In 1989, a group of prominent Memphis business and community leaders, led by Robert Fogelman, formed a board to guide the president of The University of Memphis in attaining excellence and national recognition for the University. This group, known as the Board of Visitors (BOV), was the first of its kind in the state. They were charged with raising the University’s national stature and enhancing the school’s relationship with the local community.
Among its activities, the BOV works to enhance the image of the University and was supportive of the successful name change to the University of Memphis in 1994. It also was actively involved in the selection of the last two presidents. In addition, the BOV sponsors the Eminent Faculty Award that encourages excellence in research, teaching, and outreach. This prestigious award, which comes with a $20,000 stipend completely funded by the BOV, was renamed in 2006 as the Willard R. Sparks Eminent Faculty Award after former Chairman Willard Sparks. In 1999 the board was restructured and began assisting the University in the areas of programs, fundraising and strategic planning.