Taking Back the Future provides technology for studying at home

Taking Back the Future provides technology for studying at home

When COVID-19 brought schools to an abrupt closing in March, thousands of Shelby County Schools students found themselves at home without access to the technology for continuing classwork. As part of Tarik Black Foundation’s launch into Taking Back the Future, we partnered with Urban Strategies to help in filling this crucial need.  

Thanks to generous donors contributing to our Laptop for Students drive, we provided 14 students with digital devices. Urban Strategies delivered this technology and ensured each had access to WiFi. “Access to technology is one of the anchors of our rebrand mission,” said Judith Moore, TBF president. “We were glad that we could make a contribution to this effort.”

Taking Back the Future is about collaborations and partnership to provide programs that give youth access to information and exposure to new ideas. Four anchors drive our mission:

Wealth Creation, Health Awareness, Global Collaborations and Technology Impact.

Our Vision: A world where youth are well informed, well-rounded and well prepared for the future.                                                     

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TBF wants youth to leave the annual multicultural celebration with appreciation for cultural differences and increased global awareness  January 1, 2020

TBF wants youth to leave the annual multicultural celebration with appreciation for cultural differences and increased global awareness January 1, 2020

Tarik Black’s annual multicultural celebration fosters an atmosphere of understanding and appreciation for diversity and different cultural traditions. An idea that started with plans to just show an international basketball game has morphed into an opportunity to teach so much more. “Preparing youth for the future includes teaching them to live, work and thrive in a global society,” says Tarik Black who hosts this event virtually for Tel Aviv each year. The free event for youth features a streamed Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball game in which Tarik is the starting center. “Offering youth the chance to see a professional Euroleague basketball game was the initial point of this party,” said Tarik. However, the concept grew as TBF organizers realized it would also be a good way to bring the youth of different backgrounds together to learn about a variety of cultural traditions. The event features a multi-ethnic menu, traditional games, and activities indicative of various cultures.

“Since it’s been such a success these first two years, we are coming up with ways to better embrace the communities represented in the planning of the event. Our idea is to launch a planning committee to help us assure we are honoring each tradition appropriately. We also want to continue adding traditions so that Memphis youth get to mingle with and make friends across neighborhoods and across zip codes,” said Judith Moore, The event targets youth but adults are welcomed. TBF expects adult celebration-goers to purchase items in the event pop up shop and participate in the silent auction to benefit TBF’s programs. Adults get to play the games, taste the unique dishes, and get involved with the overall festivities too.

Look for announcements about the 2020 multicultural event. Youth groups interested in attending may inquire at info@tarikblackfoundation.org. TBF invites businesses to partner with us in hosting this event by being a corporate sponsor. For details, please send inquiries to judith@tarikblackfoundation.org.

TBF named 2019 Best Community Partner by MPLOY

TBF named 2019 Best Community Partner by MPLOY

The City of Memphis MPLOY Program named the Tarik Black Foundation Best Community Partner for 2019. The award was presented during MPLOY’s closing summer event at the Cannon Center.  

This summer, the Tarik Black Foundation provided summer employment for 50 interns who were hired by MPLOY and assigned to the foundation. This was the largest number of interns assigned to any MPLOY business partner. There were 25 young men and 27 young ladies hired to participate as interns (two former Summer GLAM interns returned as junior counselors).

This was the second year for the Tarik Black Foundation and MPLOY business partnership. “We are honored to have been selected for the Best Community Partner Award. More importantly, we are pleased to have had 50 young people attend either SPORTS CAREERS or Summer GLAM,” said Judith Moore, TBF President. “We had a wonderful group of interns coming from MPLOY. We look forward to continuing this partnership. “

MPLOY provides summer employment for thousands of youth each year. The program is managed by the City of Memphis Office of Youth Services. 

Mentor Awardees

Mentor Awardees

Officer Clayton Turner, Coach William “Woody” Woodruff, Fred Jones, Leonard Draper Sr.

Congratulations to our 2019 Citizen Mentor Honorees. Each year, the Tarik Black Foundation presents four awards to citizens who inspire, encourage, and support youth. This year’s recipients were honored during the closing luncheon for SPORTS CAREERS interns. The awards are named after the inaugural recipients. This year’s honorees are Officer Clayton Turner – Sgt. Byron Johnson Neighborhood Officer Role Model Award Coach William “Woody” Woodruff – Wesley Henning Northern Star Award Fred Jones – Willie Gregory Touchstone Award Leonard Draper Sr. – Leonard Draper Jr. Guiding Hand Award. 


The Citizen Mentor Awards were created to recognize and encourage individuals to take the time to mentor and support youth. The four men for which the awards are named were men that mentored Tarik as he was growing up. “Sgt. Johnson, Coach Henning, Mr. Draper, and Mr. Gregory offered me guidance and wisdom. I owe a lot to these men for helping to shape my values, encouraging me to grow in character, and pushing me to work hard – never give up,” said Tarik. “This year’s honorees share the same qualities and we are pleased to acknowledge how much they have contributed to the community and the hundreds — if not thousands — of young lives they’ve positively touched and continue to touch.”

TRANSFORMATION50 Basketball and Life Skills Camp moving to North Frayser Community Center

TRANSFORMATION50 Basketball and Life Skills Camp moving to North Frayser Community Center

TRANSFORMATION50 Basketball and Life Skills Camp will be held at the North Frayser Community Center 2555 St. Elmo Ave. Campers registering for this year should be aware of this change from the previous location, Gaisman Community Center. New activities added to this year’s program will be better accommodated at the North Frayser location. “We’ve decided to conclude this year’s camp with a combination basketball and life skills tournament,” says Susan Black TRANSFORMATION50 Basketball and Life Skills Camp Director. Black says the North Frayser Community Center’s facility will allow campers more space for TRANSFORMATION50 Life Sessions as well as more bleachers for seating family and friends at the closing day tournament. In the past, the tournament has been only for basketball and was held during the camp day. This year, to better highlight life skills lessons learned, the camp staff have decided to hold an evening tournament featuring more activities and fanfare. “This will be a lot more fun since family and friends will be able to watch the young men play basketball and then watch them demonstrate the life skills they learned while at camp.”

The foundation also saw the opportunity to move to Frayser as a way of hosting an uplifting event in a community that is still struggling to come to terms with tragedy and loss.”We thought about the positive attention we could offer the Frayser community, especially now by relocating the camp to North Frayser Community Center,” said President of the Tarik Black Foundation Judith Moore. “We plan to offer the center first opportunity to fill the remaining spots with campers from the Frayser Community and hope that youth will sign-up.”

Campers who were notified to register for this year’s  TRANSFORMATION50 Basketball and Life Skills Camps are required to register on July 6, 10 am-noon. Registration will be held at the North Frayser Community Center.

For more information about TRANSFORMATION50 registration or camp program please send inquiry to info@tarikblackfoundation.org.

Summer GLAM prepares teens for adulthood

Summer GLAM prepares teens for adulthood

Summer GLAM (Girls’ Life Academy Memphis) is a camp for 25 girls that’s actually a summer job made possible through our  business partnership with the City of Memphis.

The City of Memphis’ Summer Youth MPloy program employs the girls selected for Summer GLAM. The TBF then sponsors and provides the camp site and curriculum which is made up of GLAM Sessions where organizations and professionals share information that prepare campers for making smart life decisions. GLAM Sessions have included interactive workshops on obtaining utility services, preparing a healthy meal, buying a car, understanding an apartment lease, building a professional wardrobe, public speaking, and budget planning. These are just some of the activities provided during the Summer GLAM camp. The camp is six weeks and runs in conjunction with the Mploy program summer employment schedule. To be considered for Summer GLAM, girls 16- 19 must apply for the City of Memphis’ Summer Youth Mploy program (Contact City of Memphis to apply for the Summer Youth Mploy program). During the Summer Youth Mploy job fair in the spring, interested girls can apply specifically for Summer GLAM. Only applicants selected by the City of Memphis’ Mploy program for Summer GLAM can participate.