Memphis, TN Community Summit

Event Name

Memphis GradNation Summit

Event Description 

The city of Memphis held its GradNation Community Summit September 12, 2014 at Christian Brothers University, bringing together 450 students from four local high schools, and more than 50 leaders including Mayor AC Wharton, Jr., Shelby County Schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson, Achievement School District superintendent Chris Barbic, Data Quality Campaign associate director Chris Kingsley, and National League of Cities principle associate Marjorie Cohen. Several important and consistent messages and themes came out of summit.

  • Important role of the business community. Students need to be exposed to experiences and caring adults that prepares them for a successful future.
  • Authentic community and student engagement. There is a need to listen to young people, challenge young people and affirm them. The space for conversations about college and career readiness can’t take place without including the youth voice in the conversation.
  • Graduation conversation must start in middle school. This is cradle to career work and really starts before a child is born.
  • Post-secondary options and community colleges. There is a need to be thoughtful about the full range of post-secondary opportunities so people can make meaningful decisions. The community can’t talk about 2-year colleges and junior colleges as back up plans. 

Summit Summary

Event Date and Time

Friday, September 12 
9am - 5pm

Event Location

Christian Brothers University

Convening Organization

City of Memphis, Office of Talent & Human Capital

Additional Details 



Local Sponsors & Co-Conveners:
  • Achievement School District
  • Christian Brothers University
  • HRO Partners
  • Lipscomb and Pitts Insurance
  • Memphis Regional Chamber
  • Memphis Talent Dividend
  • PeopleFirst Partnership
  • Seeding Success
  • Shelby County Schools 

Keynote Speakers:

  • Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, Jr.
  • US Department of Education Deputy Secretary Jim Shelton
  • Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson
  • Achievement School District Superintendent Chris Barbic

Featured Sessions:

  • Interactive Memphis Data Workshop with Data Quality Campaign and Seeding Success
  • College and Career Ready Session geared toward the Memphis business community
  • My Brother’s Keep local initiative Inspiring Young Men of Color session geared towards increasing minority male high school completion
  • Maker Memphis, in conjunction with the Obama Administration, enabling more Memphis high school graduates tie into Memphis manufacturing roots and design and build almost anything
  • Local and Collaborative Action for College and Career Readiness where a new Strive network focused on college and career readiness will be started