Surrounded by a panoramic view of the city lights from the 33rd floor of the Clark Tower, 300 Memphians gathered Friday night to honor outstanding young minority professionals during the inaugural MULYP Agents of Change Awards Gala.
Here’s what several of the attendees had to say about the event and about Memphis Urban League Young Professionals’ plans for 2011.
“I think it bodes well for our future. It means that they have not fallen into the ‘Memphis is not going to change; let’s just get out of here.’ They’re saying it is going to change and we have as much responsibility as our elders do. It’s just great. I recognize full well I am not in office for the sake of longevity…what it means to me is that I could leave today and know that our city is in great hands.”
– Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, Jr.
“The 2010 Inaugural Agents of Change Awards Gala was truly a humbling experience for me because I was in a room among the many unsung heroes of our city. This year, MULYP’s retiring board decided to step outside our norm and present an event that captured the successes of young, minority professionals in the city of Memphis. MULYP saw a void and took the initiative to do something that has never been done in our city before and the outcome was an overwhelming success. The event will only continue to grow and bring more recognition to the efforts of our city’s most valuable asset – young professionals – and I look forward to the continued support of this community.”
– Lori Spicer, MULYP President – Elect, Community Affairs Manager at The MED
“I’d like to see the organization grow, not only in memberships, but in its efforts of things we’re doing outside in the community. We have a lot of members with excellent ideas. Because of the size of the group right now, we don’t have all the support we’d like sometimes, but with increased membership, you have an opportunity to see other people join and people’s passions come alive. Mine is health care.”
– Jonathan Watkins, MULYP Member, Methodist Hospital North Assistant Administrator
“For our initiatives going into 2011, we’re going to focus more on youth development and addressing the educational challenges that we face. We’re very focused on health literacy and advocacy for young professionals – particularly in the African American community – and workforce and economic development.”
– Tarrin McGhee, MULYP President, Common Ground Director
“The position that I’m taking on is the chair of the youth mentoring and development committee, and in doing that, we’ll work with students who go to the Urban League and get assistance, and we’ll also be working with Project Ready. Some of my goals for the upcoming year are to go out and have a certain amount of volunteer service hours for the students and to definitely incorporate some kind of mentoring component with other young professionals throughout the community.”
– Christina Watkins, Incoming MULYP Board Member, Le Bonheur Community Outreach Specialist