Three woman and a man wearing orange sweatshirts saying "Straight Outta Memphis" stand singing into microphones with their fists in the air with a blue curtain in the background.

#TFA25: Parents, The Memphis Lift Has Got Your Back

Watch The Memphis Lift—an organization of relentlessly dedicated parents—not ask, not plead, but demand better schools for their children at Teach For America's 25th Anniversary Summit.
Thursday, February 11, 2016

"Who's got my back?"

"I got your back!"

"Who's got my back?"

"I got your back!"

The chorus was loud and clear on the stage at Teach For America's 25th Anniversary Summit in Washington, D.C. As a parent outreach organization, The Memphis Lift's mission is to "educate, engage, and empower" their city's parents—especially those with children enrolled in "Priority Schools" that are performing in Tennessee's bottom 5 percent.

"In our state, there are 81 of these schools, of which 55 are in our city," organizer Elijah Sledge said. "That means we have 1 out of 6 children who can read on grade level. This means in our community we have 3 out of 10 children who perform math on grade level. ...Four percent of the children are college ready.

"This is ridiculous, and we the parents and grandparents of The Lift know that our kids are better than these horrific statistics."

According to fellow organizer Dianechia Fields, The Memphis Lift's team of 20 parents has relentlessly knocked on "10,249 doors" in order to mobilize parents "to demand—not ask, not plead, but demand—better schools in our city for our children."

Learn more about The Memphis Lift in the video below.

Check out all the content from the 25th Anniversary Summit on our event page.

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