Every Memphian should know about the work New Memphis Institute is doing to make our city a better place. New Memphis works to develop and retain talented professionals, but their work doesn’t stop there. If you aren’t familiar with New Memphis, I would like to tell you a little about them and highly recommend you visit their website and support this awesome, local organization.
I first heard about New Memphis when I came across an event called, Memphis 101. Over three hours, they gave a brief, but comprehensive, history of our city in order to better understand Memphis’ identity and all that we’ve overcome Even though I’ve called Memphis home for many years, I was surprised by how much I didn’t know! I talked for weeks about all that I’d learned and even made a few stops afterward at some of the historical landmarks mentioned in the presentation.
A few weeks after this seminar, I was nominated to participate in the Fellows program by Eclectic Eye owners. This is another way they are supporting the success of Memphis. Since I had gained so much from the “Memphis 101” experience, I was immediately intrigued. I went to the website and learned that New Memphis does so much more than host presentations on how Memphis was made. They also work to develop talent of all ages with Memphis’ success in mind. I knew I wanted to be a part of this and embarked on an application process that brought me back to my college application days. I hadn’t written an assigned essay in YEARS, but found that when talking about why I love and support Memphis, I had plenty to say. Fast forward a few weeks and I had been accepted to take on a year-long leadership development journey and, just three months in, have already gained so much knowledge about our city and personal perspective of how I can make a difference in Memphis.
My Involvement with the New Memphis Institute
The group is very diverse, which makes the process that much more rewarding. Some of the Fellows in my class are new to Memphis and some, like me, have lived here and loved this city for most of their lives. The group also provides individuals from all walks of life and professional experience. One of our first activities was to drill into our Meyers-Briggs results and work as a group and individually on how to use this information to become a better leader, and how to work and communicate with those that might fall into an opposite category. Let’s face it, we’ve all done a personality test at some point in our lives or careers, but I had never dug in this deep. Some of it was uncomfortable and some of it was fun, but all of the exercises we shared were beneficial in the scope of growth. Once I allowed myself to sink in and trust the people around me, I learned a lot about myself and almost immediately felt a connection to the other participants.
Since then, we’ve discussed topics like community awareness, public leadership and inclusion. One of my favorite topics was a recent group task called, “Real Deal Government.” We learned a little bit about the makeup of local government and then were given an assigned topic directly affecting local government to prepare and debate. This gave us a chance to get better acquainted in a small group and learn more about real issues affecting our city today. I had a great group of people to work with and learned about what initiatives like The Economic Development, Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County (EDGE) are doing for our city. EDGE is providing great work to attract businesses to our city. They work to identify deserving businesses and make their move to Memphis a reality, while focusing on industries that can bring jobs, educational opportunities, and ultimately, growth. EDGE works to create an attractive landscape and offers specific support to guarantee that residents choose Memphis as home over other, similar cities like Birmingham, Austin and locations in North Mississippi. If you are unfamiliar with EDGE, I encourage you to visit their website to see some of the projects they have completed to get an idea of the hard work they are doing for Memphis.
The Fellows program will last until March of 2019, and I know that I have so much more to learn, but I’m amazed at what we’ve already accomplished. This program has given me an opportunity to be an ambassador for Memphis in ways I never could before, and to create momentum in my personal and professional journey. I encourage you to get involved with New Memphis. They have an awesome weekly email that is short, but delivers important information about what is happening in our city. They have a number of leadership development programs, but they also offer opportunities to get to know Memphis better in order to continue on the path of making it better.
In order to keep Memphis’ purpose and soul alive, we have to have organizations like New Memphis quietly cultivating greatness behind the scenes. They deserve your support!
To learn more about Lindy Faulkner and other members of the Eclectic Eye staff, head over to our team page!