Who Are We?

The Lynching Sites Project is part of a growing network of people who want the whole and accurate truth to be told about the history of Shelby County. We believe that we can heal and grow in understanding when we face openly the history of racial violence in our community.

In this work, we join with the national effort of Bryan Stevenson and the Equal Justice Initiative to memorialize over 4,000 known lynchings in our country between 1877 and 1950.

Vision Statement

To create a new legacy of racial equality and justice by turning the light of truth on lynchings in Shelby County, Tennessee.

Mission Statement

The Lynching Sites Project of Memphis collaborates with others to cultivate courageous conversations and programs that uncover the whole truth of racial terror and violence and change the narrative in Shelby County, leading to understanding, compassion, and healing, while working toward racial equality and justice.

Strategic Planning Goals

(1) Identify victims & sites and place markers

(2) Cultivate relationships with community partners

(3) Foster courageous conversations

(4) Build organizational sustainability

(5) Create and implement a marketing plan


Other Goals and Values

  • To remain grounded in prayer, humility and listening.
  • To build relationships of trust and new understanding among all who choose to be a part of this work.
  • To partner with others in Shelby County who are also working for racial healing and truth.
  • To identify the names of victims of lynchings in Shelby County.
  • To locate the sites of these lynchings and place a memorial at each one.
  • To make available written records as well as audio and video recordings of descendants of both lynching victims and of those who were involved in or present at these lynchings.
  • To engage local religious leaders and congregations in this work.
  • To make available to local schools and the public study resources and an interactive website accessible to all.
  • To hold interfaith prayer services.
  • To engage the arts and artists in this work.
  • To make available groups and classes where the deeper, more difficult conversations about race and racism can take place.