Persuaders Help Memphis Youth Find Their Purpose

If you look online, it can be difficult to find a lot of information about John Payne and his organization the Persuaders.

“I’m not trying to advertise. It’s just the need, ”Payne said.

I see the need and I am a person who is just trying to do something in our community.

The hard work does not go unnoticed within the walls of the church and deep in the neighborhoods of Memphis.

“Your why is doing the heavy lifting for the family because you’re not a little boy anymore,” Payne said.

For 18 years, Payne’s efforts have had a tremendous impact. With the help of volunteers and law enforcement, they are changing the lives of the younger generations. He calls them: the Persuasers.

“They need genuine attention,” manager John Payne told us. “They don’t get it from home. We buy things for them and I see it. I see it more and more. ”

Payne uses music to hold children’s attention. He creates his own production company and opens a recording studio.

Through his musical relationship with his former vocal group “The Persuaders”, Payne guides young men on a better path.

“So you go to school to learn in order to gain knowledge,” Payne said. “I felt that all young men are asking this question. What would your father do? What were the answers and questions? So I started a group and took them through a 12 week course on the transition from childhood to adulthood.

With the help of leaders, mentoring in media programs and workshops, Payne created a television program.

He has conducted extensive interviews through his connections with singing groups and as a youth director at the church.

“We would bring so many people here, artists and I would interview them and teach kids how to do the same,” Payne said.

Gospel artist Rap Yung Titan is both a persuasive and a musician.

“If it hadn’t been for the persuasions, I would never have met my wife,” said Yung Titan.

His wife Lindsay Freeman has been a persuasive since the age of 12. Payne brought young women into the program a few years ago.

Freeman is now a volunteer and mentor for the members of the group.

“From media to entertainment, I’ve learned to do interviews. I learned how to record an interview, ”Freeman said. “I learned how to set up microphones and cameras and it went from that entertainment perspective to music.

The workplace skills she learned years ago here are now skills she uses every day and feeds back into today’s group as a teacher.

When you connect with a local organization, especially people like you, you get cultural education. You can learn who you are, as a black kid in Memphis.

The Persuaders have been to attractions across town, gaining professional knowledge and finding professions they will use for years to come.

As always, if you have someone or something you would like to feature on Bright Spot, let me know.

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