In wake of protests, some push for more youth empowerment programs

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Many community members are pushing the city to provide more funding for programs, particularly for young people.

This comes on the heels of a heated community meeting with city leaders Monday night.

Sunday's protest organizer presented the city with some demands, including a spending increase in community programs that support crime prevention and youth empowerment.

Many point to a need for improvements at some community centers.

Strickland touted the recent launch of literacy programs at seven community centers.

"We can unanimously say we've already done that. We have more programming for our youth in our Community Centers and our libraries than we did last summer."

Panelist and Reverend Kia Granberry-Moore said youth, particularly in North Memphis, Raleigh, and Frayser don't have access to the same resources.

"Those Community Centers don't have the literacy programs that he mentioned Those Community Centers lack computer labs and wireless internet that children need to do anything as it relates to literacy in this city."

"We understand that when you provide people with adequate access to good education and gainful employment, it minimizes violence and crime and depravity," said Reverend Earle Fisher.

On Tuesday, the Mayor's Office said it's working to create opportunities at more Community Centers across the city.

"We're moving toward that. We started with seven this summer. We're hoping to get these programs year round and expand to all of our Community Centers."

The other four demands included the following:

  1. Michael Rallings should be immediately hired as the permanent police director
  2. Investigate public works spending and more funding to African American businesses to better reflect city's demographics
  3. More community policing paired with cultural and sensitivity training for officers

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