Here are some local organizations that are serving the Memphis community

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  • Published on March 7, 2023
  • Last Updated May 15, 2023
  • In Places

Despite not-so-great press around Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant, but here are some organizations putting positivity out into the community.

If you’re a sports fan, then you probably know that Ja Morant is the topic of discussion right now. Morant, who is an All-star point guard for the Memphis Grizzlies, was on the path to being a major face of the NBA. The 23-year-old has a $200 million NBA contract, as well as endorsement deals with Nike and Powerade, and his talent has put the Grizzlies on the map as a team to watch.

Despite his successes, Morant’s recent media attention has been less than positive. Morant has been partaking in questionable and concerning activities as of late. According to The Washington Post, he allegedly punched and flashed a gun at a teenager during a pickup game at Morant’s home last summer. He has since claimed that he was acting in self-defense. On March 4, Morant was on Instagram Live where he brandished a gun while in a nightclub. The incident took place in Denver, Colorado, where the Grizzlies played the day prior. Colorado police announced they were investigating the incident.

Cultural and sports commentators, as well as everyday Twitter users, have given a variety of takes on the situation. When news broke of Morant’s actions in Denver, sports journalist Jemele Hill tweeted, “It doesn’t matter where Ja Morant is from or how he grew up, he’s making truly catastrophic decisions.”

“Let him keep going and the ‘Streets’ will make a correction in this oversight..,” replied a user. Hill quote tweeted this post and replied, “Honestly, that’s my biggest fear. This is the same city that killed one of its most beloved rappers [Young Dolph] and didn’t think twice. You think they give a f— about a NBA star who is moving a little too greasy?”

This response was met with mixed reviews, as some users agreed that Morant should clean up his act before he gets tangled up in even more mess, while others believed Hill’s comments were insensitive to the city of Memphis.

“This is so insensitive to our city and our people,” one user replied. “I hoped a journalist would have the insight to peel layers back. This is not that cut and dry. We still mourn that man.”

“Respectfully, this is callous,” replied another user. “Memphis/Memphians feels the reverberations of every violent impact whether those outside the city recognize it or not. We think twice, four times, twelve times. And we mourn. And we keep working on us while everyone else has moved on. This ain’t it.”

Another user who replied to Hill underscored the importance of having a solid group of people around when public figures reach new heights of fame, and continued to emphasize love for Memphis.

“I’m from Memphis and love my city. Young Dolph wasn’t killed by the city of Memphis and its people that killed him. Just like Dolph you have to move different when you get successful. You have to watch your circle. Ja is young and needs guidance.”

Despite what’s going on with Ja Morant, I think we can all agree that his behavior shouldn’t be a reflection of Memphis and all that it has to offer those who live there and choose to visit. To show some love to Memphis, here are some organizations that are serving and bringing positivity to the Memphis community.

Memphis Humane Society

Memphis’s humane society works to ensure the animals of Memphis are taken care of. They save the lives of animals that have been abused, injured and neglected, as well as aim to prevent animal cruelty.

JUICE Orange Mound

JUICE’s goal is to unite, empower and support those who live in the Orange Mound neighborhood in Memphis. The organization’s mission is to “reclaim the self-sufficiency and prestige of Historic Orange Mound.”

Project Green Fork

Project Green Fork focuses on sustainability and reducing environmental impacts in the mid-South by supporting homegrown restaurants.

Mid-South Peace and Justice Center

This organization’s mission is to organize and mobilize communities through non-violent action. According to their website, they “work to educate and train new community leaders to lead campaigns for racial, economic, environmental and social justice.”

Urban Art Commission

This non-profit, founded in 1997, works to create avenues for artists and neighborhoods to connect and shape spaces through public art. Through their percent-for-art program, the Urban Art Commission collaborates with artists and community stakeholders to create a wide-range of art using different mediums.


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