Memphis Churches Form Coalition for Social Activism

Episcopal News Service. May 10, 1990 [90028K]

On the 22nd anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination in Memphis, thousands of church members joined to form the Shelby County Interfaith Association to tackle some of the city's social problems. The group's first campaign will attempt to create a "universal system of adult education," fighting the county's high illiteracy rate, low voter turnout, and a sense of powerlessness over deteriorating neighborhoods. The group will be affiliated with Industrial Areas Foundation, a national community-organizing group already working in 25 cities. Bishop Alex Dickson of West Tennessee said at the meeting that people who love God "can do so by joining together with their neighbor to influence the way decisions are made about people in this city and in this county."