VOL. 132 | NO. 119 | Thursday, June 15, 2017
By Bill Dries
It’s been 10 months since Rev. Earle Fisher was among those turned away from Graceland’s annual candlelight vigil by Memphis Police in a reaction to possible protests at the vigil commemorating the anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death.
It’s been about a year since the dormant Whitehaven Economic Development Corp. seemed on the verge of being revived and a full-time director hired to pursue a coordinated economic development plan for the area.
Those two very different movements intersected Wednesday, June 14, when the earlier revival of the 27-year old economic development group gave way to the unveiling of a new nonprofit Greater Whitehaven Economic Redevelopment Corp. with Fisher, the pastor of Abyssinian Missionary Baptist Church of Whitehaven, as president of the 17-member board.
“Whitehaven has been the epicenter of economic growth in Memphis, especially for people of color,” Fisher said in a written statement announcing the board. “Recently, many of the economic initiatives have not equitably benefited the residents and corporations alike. GWERC intends to be an ally to corporations and community partners.”
Those corporations include Graceland, which is represented on the board.
Fisher is a plaintiff in a pending federal lawsuit over how police and Graceland handled the protest.
Graceland opened its 450-room hotel-resort Guest House at Graceland this…
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