Issue 56
May 2020
Hit the WA Legacy Trail for unique summer fun
Summer is coming and we all need ideas for safe, fun outings! It’s a perfect time for a cool driving tour of the Memphis Women’s Legacy Trail.

Load friends and kids in the car and drive in air-conditioned comfort to the various stops and spots you can find in the printed guide or on our website .

Learn history you never knew, see places you never saw and share stories that inspire, empower and entertain. Along the way, see our majestic riverfront, pick up lunch at one of many interesting eateries around the city and relax in the serene environs of Elmwood Cemetery.

To arrange pickup of Trail guides, contact dclubb@memphiswomen.org or jcard1865@gmail.com or librdir@gmail.com for Midtown pickup, or downtowndistrictconsulting@gmail.com for Collierville pickup.
Lesson Learned: Domestic Violence Does Not Drop
National and local reports agree – domestic violence risks are rising as everyone spends more time at home, even if calls for help dropped in some areas.

While some jurisdictions reported stark increases in calls to DV hotlines and shelters, the Memphis Crime Commission “reported domestic violence incidents were down during the first quarter compared to 2019 – by 3% in Memphis and 3.2% countywide. And in March alone, reported domestic violence incidents were down 9.3% in Memphis compared to March of 2019.’

For years local officials tended to equate lower DV incident reports with less violence while we campaigned steadfastly that fewer reports only meant that fewer hurting people were seeking help.

Under the terms of Safer at Home requirements that we shelter in place, advocates worry that victims won’t be able to use their phones to seek help.

In their recent report, Crime Commission president Bill Gibbons reflected his understanding of our concerns about interpreting the numbers:
 
“It is very possible that many victims of domestic violence feel trapped during the COVID-19 crisis, feeling it is unsafe to call 911 with perpetrators remaining close by in the home and with no alternative places to go for safety. Even under difficult circumstances, victims should always try to safely seek help,” Gibbons cautioned.
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Ida B. Wells Earns Posthumous
Pulitzer Prize
African-American journalist, anti-lynching campaigner, social justice warrior and Woman of Achievement honoree Ida B. Wells was honored posthumously this month with a special Pulitzer Prize citation.

The Pulitzer Prize board honored Wells , “For her outstanding and courageous reporting on the horrific and vicious violence against African Americans during the era of lynching.” The recognition comes nearly nine decades after her death in 1931.

Born a slave in Holly Springs, Miss., Wells was a young teacher in Shelby County, Tenn., when she began her fight for civil rights. Writing for a small black Memphis newspaper, she condemned white leadership who condoned lynching. An angry mob burned the press in 1892 and would have lynched Wells who happened to be out of town. She never returned to Memphis but became a leading international speaker and campaigner against lynching.

At a later date, the Pulitzer Board will announce recipients of grants from $50,000 earmarked for those who work in support of carrying out Wells’ mission.

Dwight Lewis, a former columnist for The Tennessean in Nashville, has called for a statue of Wells to be placed in or on the grounds of the state Capitol in appreciation of her work to give voice to the voiceless.
Preserve Our Stories of Pandemic Endurance
Let’s pay attention and take note: Here we share a project by the National Women’s History Museum:

“The National Women's History Museum is pleased to announce the launch of  Women Writing History: A Coronavirus Journaling Project , an initiative designed to ensure that women's and girls' unique voices and experiences are not left out of the telling of the COVID-19 story. This project, the first of its kind to focus exclusively on women's stories, directly aligns with the Museum's mission to record women's history and amplify women's impact. With this initiative, women and girls of all ages can participate through the simple act of recording their daily thoughts and experiences during this time in order to document the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on women's lives.
 
“The Museum invites women and gender non-binary individuals of all ages, backgrounds, cultures, and socio-economic circumstances to be a part of living history by keeping a journal in 30, 60, 90, 120-day, or any longer or shorter increments, and contributing their journalistic efforts to the National Women's History Museum."

Those interested in participating should begin by  filling out the participation form  on the Museum's website.

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