Memphis is no stranger to public debate about youth violence. Yet the number of juveniles being tried as adults for major crimes continues to grow, gang membership continues to climb, and the juvenile justice system is handling record numbers of cases.

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And while we don’t have much specific information about the people who committed this crime, we do know this: there is no substitute for loving, engaged parents who become their children’s competitive advantage in life.

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The new video focuses on the future of our children, but it also speaks to the future of Memphis itself. it summarizes a message that matters a great deal for Memphis — the first years of a child’s life predict his future.

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Grit is a word that is now synonymous with Memphis, thanks to the success of our Grizzlies, but it’s a word that should be associated with more than our NBA team. It should also indicate the kind of character we want to develop in our children.

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Spreading the Word

It’s hard to think of a message that is more crucial to the future of Memphis and Shelby County. If we invest in the pivotal first three years of children’s lives, everything about our community gets better.

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This month we celebrated Independence Day, the day when we commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. However, for very young children, every day is a day to celebrate independence.

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