The news can feel heavy and grim, and it’s understandable that many readers want a break. But at MLK50: Justice Through Journalism, we are careful to strike a balance between accountability and abundance.

Yes, we will always hold policymakers and the powerful responsible for the community’s conditions, but we also celebrate those who resist and still find joy.

Sometimes, our growth seems surreal: We started in 2017 as a scrappy project powered by freelancers, and today we’re an award-winning organization of 10.

But our work would not be possible without support from individual donors — people who believe in independent journalism and are willing to give any amount, large or small. 

Nov. 21 marks my 52nd trip around the sun, and in celebration, I’m asking my friends, family and the MLK50 community to contribute $10,000 toward our year-end goal to raise $75,000. 

MLK50 is one of hundreds of nonprofit newsrooms across the country that participate in NewsMatch, a giving campaign that raises millions for independent journalism that strengthens our democracy. 

Wendi C. Thomas

Thanks to our generous partners, any gift you give by Dec. 31 will be tripled. That means that a $100 donation becomes $300. That’s an incredible return on your investment — and I believe the MLK50 team, which in the next week will grow to include a government accountability reporter and will add a public safety and justice reporter early next year —  is worth it.

We try not to bombard you with requests for money, but you’ll be hearing from us more than usual in the coming weeks.

Accountability and abundance can and should travel together. Please join us on this journey by making a donation today.  

Wendi C. Thomas is the founding editor of MLK50: Justice Through Journalism. Contact her at

At MLK50, justice = accountability + abundance. Support our journalism that disrupts the status quo and documents our people’s resistance. Give here and help MLK50 raise $75,000 – your contribution (up to $1,000) will be tripled now through Dec. 31!

In 2023, our reporting continued to target the policies and practices that keep Memphians poor, like developers displacing long-standing Binghampton residents. We also celebrated movement building in our city by honoring the joy, and protest of Memphis hip- hop. Donate to sustain our newsroom today.

This story is brought to you by MLK50: Justice Through Journalism, a nonprofit newsroom focused on poverty, power and policy in Memphis. Support independent journalism by making a tax-deductible donation today. MLK50 is also supported by these generous donors.

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