Families all over Memphis will soon be inviting people to join them for special meals, for parties and celebrations, and for gift-giving. It’s the season when nothing seems more important than friends and families engaging in holiday and cultural traditions that remind us of who we are, how we belong, and what we mean to each other.
October is not only the month we celebrate Halloween; it is also National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Trick or treat means little to Memphis children being raised in families with domestic violence. A cruel trick of birth has placed them in home environments where they must face the effects of anger, violence, and toxic stress.
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.
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.
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.
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.