• Prof. Margaret Vandiver, Retired Professor of Criminology at the U of M, did major  research on lynchings in West Tennessee published in her book Lethal Punishment in 2006.
  • Bryan Stevenson came to town on Nov. 1, 2015 and challenged over 700 local folks to memorialize the victims of the twenty-five plus lynchings in Shelby County.
  • David Waters wrote a number of articles in the Commercial Appeal that touched many. 
  • An estimated 150 attended an Interfaith Prayer Service on Dec. 10, 2015 with broad local media coverage.
  • Sharon Pavelda was interviewed about the Project on “Here and Now,” broadcast nationally on NPR on December 10, 2015.
  • A Research Team began work with Prof. Tom Carlson as Convener and Prof. Margaret Vandiver a member.
  • The creation of a public, interactive website on lynchings in Shelby County has begun under the direction of Anthony Siracusa, Prof. Margaret Vandiver, and Prof. Tom Carlson. The Benjamin Hooks Institute for Social Change at the UofM has agreed to be a permanent home for this website.
  • Four sites of known lynchings in Shelby County have been specifically identified and visited.
  • Meetings were held with Facing History and Ourselves to explore collaboration with local high school teachers and students.
  • Conversations with city officials have begun toward converting the former Columbus Park downtown at BB King and Adams into a place of prayer and a memorial to victims of racial violence.
  • Carl Awsumb and Tom Carlson have begun conversations with the Wolf River Conservancy regarding developing the lynching site of Ell Persons in concert with the opening of a new leg of the Wolf River trail in 2019.
  • Martha Park wrote and the Memphis Flyer published (2/4/16 issue) a major article on the Ell Persons Lynching of 1917.
  • An estimated 120 attended a public Interfaith Prayer Service on May 22, 2016 near the Ell Persons lynching site on the 99th Anniversary of the lynching.
  • Conversations have occurred with Madeleine Taylor, Executive Director, Memphis Branch of the NAACP, Professors Richard Lou and Ernestine Jenkins of the UofM and with Professors Beverly Bond and Susan O’Donovan, Coordinators of the Memphis Massacre Commemoration Project.
  • Plans are under way for  May, 2017 the 100th Anniversary of the Ell Persons Lynching which led to the founding of the Memphis Branch of the NAACP in June 1917.