The Apex Institute Announces Civic Fellows Program Spring Class of 2019

May 09, 2019

The Inaugural Class Reflects Student Leaders Who Are Ready to Elevate Innovative Civic Engagement and Advance Equity and Equality

Memphis, Tenn., May 9, 2019 —The Apex Institute, whose objective is to equip future generations with the capacity to develop innovative ideas and new approaches for addressing age-old problems of injustice, inequity, and inequality, is proud to announce the Civic Fellows Program Spring Class of 2019. The inaugural group is comprised of eight undergraduate students from four Memphis-area colleges and universities who will develop creative ideas, encourage conversations, and cultivate original approaches for advancing equality in Memphis. For more information about the Civic Fellows Program, visit

“We are excited to announce the members of our first Civic Fellows Program and look forward to providing them with educational enrichment opportunities to address and examine Memphis’ most pressing civil rights challenges,” said A C Wharton. Jr., founding board member of the Apex Institute and former Mayor of Memphis. “Our goal is to engage a new generation and develop opportunities to promote policy and create an accessible repository of innovative ideas and strategies that can serve as a dynamic resource hub for the community.”

The Civic Fellows Program is Apex Institute’s flagship and was designed for students who have an interest in promoting broader civic responsibility and engagement as well as sharing new practical approaches for addressing inequity and inequality. The program trains individuals to drive positive change in Memphis and across the Mid-South by inspiring them to develop actionable policy recommendations and create research-based whitepapers of their choice from three impact areas: Criminal Justice, Housing, and Healthcare.

2019 Civil Rights Fellows Program Spring Class:

First Name
Last Name
Brandon D.
University of Memphis
LeMoyne-Owen College
Christian Brothers University
University of Memphis
Rhodes College
Tarus L.
Dukes Jr.
Christian Brothers University
LeMoyne-Owen College
Christian Brothers University

During the course of their 10-month fellowship, the cohort of eight students is charged with focusing on a current topic of obvious and chronic injustice in our community. Fellows thoroughly research their chosen topic to become subject-matter experts. Using their expertise, they develop solutions to create positive, productive, and innovative change.

Students apply for the Civic Fellows Program through on-campus coordinators at the partner colleges and universities. To ensure that the Institute’s impact is felt broadly throughout all sectors of society, cohorts are recruited from diverse fields of study and academic departments of partner colleges. Applications are vetted by a committee of Apex Institute leadership, partners, and supporters.



(Left to Right): Dr. Anthony C. Siracusa, Co-Founder of The Apex Institute; Gabrielle Morgan, Civic Fellow; Martha M. Jackson, Program Director of The Apex Institute; Tyquavious Noland, Civic Fellow; Jada Watson, Civic Fellow; Tarus L. Dukes Jr., Civic Fellow; Ethele S. Hillard, Executive Director of The Apex Institute; William Foner, Civic Fellow; Itzel Gomez, Civic Fellow; Brandon D. Golliday, Civic Fellow; Nithila Ramesh, Civic Fellow; A C Wharton, Jr., Founder and President of The Apex Institute and Former Memphis City and Shelby County Mayor

About The Apex Institute:

A Memphis-based nonprofit organization offering a Civic Fellows Program for college level juniors, founded in 2017, The Apex Institute is inspired by the civil rights struggles of Memphis Past. Motivated by the reality that too many Memphians still lack the power to fundamentally change the circumstances of their lives, The Apex Institute is aimed at becoming the center for promoting fresh perspective and unique approaches for dealing with some of the most intractable challenges of injustice, inequity, and inequality. The Apex Institute’s objective is to prepare for the future by training the next generation of student leaders for effective civic action informed by history, law, politics and contemporary socio-economic conditions. For more information visit:

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