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City of Memphis hands out $100,00 in grants for MLK 50 programs

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The city of Memphis is handing out $100,000 in hopes of inspiring positive social change during the 50th anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Right now, the city is asking for non-profits and other groups to pitch their ideas on programming and events honoring the life and legacy of King.

One of the people looking to apply is Rosalind Withers, the executive director of the Withers Collection Museum and Gallery.

Her father, Earnest Withers, captured one of the most iconic pictures during the civil rights movement.

It was 1968 when sanitation workers were striking in Memphis over poor pay and dangerous working conditions. The strikers stood with "I Am a Man" signs.

"It defines a period in time the world was struggling for something very strong and said, 'I Am a man,'" said Withers. "I think he would be very moved by having captured something so important, and it being a part of history today."

Withers want to share the picture with children across Shelby County.

WREG told you last month about her campaign through the museum which would allow students to reenact the famous photo.

For $50, they'll get a copy to take home and a t-shirt and also learn the history.

Now, Withers is hoping the city with sponsor 200 children.

The city is handing out $100,000 in grant money to commemorate MLK 50.

"The world will be in Memphis April 4," said the city's marking manager Allison Fouche.

The city plans on handing out at least $10,000 to non-profits, neighborhood associations, businesses and other groups who want to put together a program or project promoting positive social change in honor of MLK 50.

More specifically: poverty, youth, jobs, community empowerment, nonviolence and justice.

"We wanted a way to get the community involved in some of the activities we are doing," said Fouche.

If you'd like to apply:

Applications are due by September 30.

A panel will look over the applications and make decisions November 1.