Board Vice President

Iris Love Scott is a native Memphian, attended Overton High school and is a graduate of the University of Memphis.  Iris’s work has been embedded in the Memphis community for over 25 years as she has worked tirelessly as a community advocate and grassroots efforts for the better part of her professional career.  

Iris came to LSP quite by accident after researching lynching victims in the south. This interest was piqued when a friend suggested going to Birmingham, Alabama to participate in a soil collection project with the Equal Justice Initiative and Bryan Steven. It was such a moving experience that she connected with the Lynching Site Project of Memphis.

Iris is a mother of one son, four grandchildren and three fur babies (two cats and one dog). Her hobbies are sewing, gardening, good cooking, picture taking and reading.

Treasurer

I am active in the LSP through my work as the treasurer, and also I occasionally assist with legal issues.  As I am unable to attend many meetings because of work obligations, I hope that I can continue to contribute by handling the treasurer's duties and any legal issues as they arise.  I have no particular vision for that work, it tends to be somewhat "nuts and bolts" - but am always amazed and impressed with the collective vision and work of all who are involved with the LSP.

I have been involved with the LSP since its inception.  I strongly believe in the mission, having worked in various capacities in various organizations working to better our city, with an emphasis on the racial issues and disparities that we live with as a result of our history.  I have come to believe that nothing may matter as much, or contribute to progress on those fronts as much, as grappling with the history of racial terror in America.

I am a graduate of Leadership Memphis, Class of 2010, have served on the board of directors of the Community Legal Center and the advisory board of the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change and was a Corporate Fellow there in 2014.  I am currently Pro Bono Legal Counsel to Community LIFT and River City Capital. I am a shareholder with the law firm of Baker Donelson, where I have worked for 34 years.

I have been married for 38 years to Holmes Peacher-Ryan, who is a math professor at Christian Brothers University.  We have 2 kids - Molly, who works and lives here in Memphis, and Anna, who is a sophomore in college. I don't have hobbies, per se, but love to read and am developing a love of cooking.

Board Secretary

I believe each lynching site is an opportunity for us to take responsibility for racial violence and injustice, to remember the lives of victims and to reconcile with their relatives and descendants.  By calling out the names of those lynched and telling their stories we place them in God's House; and there, in atonement and forgiveness and with respect and dignity, we can begin work to heal our divides and realize a Beloved Community.   

I grew up in small town in Oklahoma where one lived in specific sections of town according to one's race, the blacks lived in "Dixie Hill," and the Indians lived off of Fifth street or at the reservation.  Because of the town's size there was only one high school, and it was integrated. I saw differences in opportunity, but really didn't understand the context and experiences of my non-white, non-protestant friends. 

Throughout college and early career I lived in my own world, focused on advancement. I worked for the Department of Defense and NASA, developing flight simulations of fighter aircraft and the space shuttle. It was not until I joined a program to mature organizations which developed software that I turned to social issues and learned about collaboration, leadership and organizational change. While at the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, we brought people together to find common ground, to define good practice and to break down barriers to adoption. I learned about non-profit management in a masters of public administration program.   

These skills were subsequently applied in a couple web application and consulting companies.  Fed Ex hired me to help remedy the churn caused by the dynamics of marketing and software development divisions.  Since then I have been exploring ways for digital maps to bring human stories in the past to life, thus expanding our understanding of humanity, the processes of myth-making and the narratives we live into. Through storied places we can re-interpret the past, revitalize the present, and activate the future.  

I want to be part of the growth and success of LSP, helping it normalize its programs for racial healing. I would like to apply technology where it can fit to improve collaboration, deep listening and reflection, truth-telling, commemorative events and fundraising.

At-Large Board Member

From educating with Teach for America in New Orleans, lobbying for human rights in Washington, D.C., serving those with HIV/AIDS in East Africa, and working as an Episcopal priest in three states, Laura Getty's’ passion for urban ministry and social justice has been a continuous part of her journey. A Memphis native, Laura studied English and Religious Studies at Rhodes College and received a Master’s in Divinity from Virginia Theological Seminary.

Laura currently serves as Canon Pastor for Parish Life at St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Memphis, Tennessee where she oversees pastoral care and neighborhood outreach. Laura’s work is guided by the belief that holy ground is everywhere, and she is passionate about creating opportunities for others to experience that reality by partnering with community action groups to educate, worship, and have a little fun. A few such efforts include joining with Moms Demand Action to host an interfaith vigil for those killed as a result of gun violence; coordinating the 125th Anniversary of People’s Grocery Lynching; hosting the Memphis School of Servant Leadership “Listen for a Change: Sacred Conversations of Race”; and leading a Lenten field trip tour to Slave Haven Museum and lynching sites. Laura has worked with and served on boards for the Memphis Christian Pastors Network, The Memphis Interfaith Coalition for Action and Hope, and Overton Park Roots since listening to others’ sacred stories is one way to find solutions for human divisions.

With two boys aged five and seven, Laura and her husband Josh find life full of loving laughter and little toy cars. A little known fact about Laura: she once had a skydiving venture she would describe as “jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.” Having recovered from her daredevil ways, a few of her current favorite things include good poetry, stargazing, the color green, and whales.

At-Large Board Member

If you heard the story already I found LSP by accident. And now I'm here on purpose. With intent and purpose. This is a unique time and subject that we undertake. This Mission will take courageous and introspective people to accomplish it. I think I found them. My vision is to Shine the Light Of Truth on lynchings in America and help create a space of healing and compassion for those who bear this Lantern.

I am a member of Inward Journey a community of African American people that are about self-healing and racial Justice. Been a member of this community for 24 years serving on its board. I am also a member of MKp , mankind project serving on this board as well before moving on.

I am a father one son, grandfather / granddaddy of two girls 13 and eight that keep my time cover and accounted for. I am a widower after 30 years of marriage. A journey all of its own. I like music, travel, and chess when I get the time.

At-Large Board Member

Fred is native of Memphis having grown up in the Highland Heights neighborhood and attended Treadwell HS. Active in Scouting, he attained rank of Eagle Scout and was president of student government at Treadwell High School.

He took his undergraduate schooling at Princeton University (in History), married his high school sweetheart Shirley Nolen, matriculated at Duke Divinity School and was ordained in Memphis Conference in 1968. He served on staff at Whitehaven and St. Luke's churches as well as campus minister at Murray State. His final appointment was head of counseling at Christ Methodist Church from 1986-2005.

His wife Shirley passed away in 2009. He has two grown children--Gregory and Dana and two grandchildren, John Morton Watson and Catherine Watson. For the past seven years, he has led the Corners Shalom Community in Highland Heights, as well as being involved in the Lynching Sites Project in Memphis. An avid writer and chronicler, he has written a biography of his deceased older brother who was killed in action in Vietnam as well as an extensive historical essay on the founding of the American Republic: Zion America: The Christian Roots of Our American Republic.

At-Large Board Member

I was introduced to LSP by a friend from Chicago, organizer and historian Doria Johnson, whose great-grandfather was lynched. Doria was on a panel at Rhodes College with Timothy B. Tyson, author of The Blood of Emmett Till.  Since becoming an LSP member I have participated in the commemoration of Ell Persons, attended the lecture given by Dr. Andre Johnson, Assistant Professor of Communication at the University of Memphis, the Indie Memphis film festival, and the most recent LSP retreat. I would like to see the LSP mission embraced by members of the academic community at the Memphis Theological Seminary.

I grew up in a family of passionate civil rights and social justice advocates, and continued advocacy through my work as a pastor in the AME Church (retired).  I have been selected as one of the speakers for the 2018 Samuel DeWitt Proctor conference, themed “The Struggle Continues.”   

I am a graduate of the 1985 executive class of Leadership Memphis, and a charter member of the Starks Institute for Faith, Race and Social Justice at the Memphis Theological Seminary. I am a Golden Life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.  

I have one daughter who is a school psychologist in the Colorado Springs School District.  Since the 7th grade, I have been a church musician and presently serve as the organist at White's Chapel AME Church.  I enjoy listening to Audible and reading The Atlantic magazine. I do not subscribe to cable TV and I am an avid viewer of PBS television.