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The Influence1 Foundation (Influence1) was organized exclusively for purposes to include educational management, community engagement and economic empowerment. Initiated as a philanthropic measure of its founder (R. Lemoyne Robinson), Influence1 has grown to serve communities in multiple capacities with varying programs geared for community involvement and youth enrichment through individual change.

The Foundation’s goals are to support and ensure that community stakeholders are the priority in the progression of institutions, neighborhoods and communities. Through components and subsidiaries that include City University Schools; Memphis Starts With Me; The 38106 Collaborative; and 1Urban Gallery, Influence1 achieves its goals while ensuring a collaborative understanding is sustained within the communities it supports.

Primary to its work is that Influence1 understands that school systems across the country are seeking improvements to public education and there is no school that is immune to the lack of resources—both human and financial. Through such an understanding, the Foundation works with educators, schools and systems to improve the quality of public education while understanding the importance of the bottom line—student success. This collaborative approach is bound by reciprocal responsibility, innovative freedom and assessable results.

In addition to its efforts with scholars and community stakeholders, The Influence1 Foundation's headquarters serves as focal point for art and culture.  The interior and exterior of the building are representative of Robinson’s vision and creative design.  Although a once vacant building, his commitment to provide scholars and community stakeholders with a tangible reflection of themselves is revealed within the art collection, memorabilia and the eclectic design approach that is displayed within the headquarters.

With an average senior class of less than 70 scholars, City University School of Liberal Arts has received more than $17 million in academic scholarships over a four-year period—annually taking in at least $3 million in scholarships per class and with at least one scholar earning the recognition of the Million Dollar Scholar.

City University supports many of Tennessee’s colleges and universities, but scholars also receive offers from New York University, Wabash, Amherst, St. Louis University, Boston University, Ithaca College, University of California, Morehouse, Spelman and others.

With only 70 members in the Class of 2011, City University scholars received more than $7 million in academic scholarships.  In addition to the support of the Tennessee schools that believe in the scholars’ commitment to academic achievement, the Class of 2011 garnered scholarships and acceptance letters to colleges and universities all over the United States.


Early in the academic year, one amazing scholar set her mind on the opportunity to reach the furthest point in her search for a college that best fit her current abilities and future aspirations.  Lanell Williams applied to more than 50 colleges and universities across the country and received more than $3 million dollars in scholarships to aid in making her decision of which school to attend.  With so many options and opportunities in front of her, Williams decided to attend Wesleyan University.

This work is possible because City University School of Liberal Arts has an academically rigorous learning environment that is supportive of all scholars and their pursuits of post-secondary education. Through this approach, scholars are provided opportunities that they may have been previously denied. City University’s college preparatory program provides scholars full access to Dual Enrollment courses on the campus of Christian Brothers University, coupled with a curriculum that enables and empowers them with the abilities to achieve success in any environment.

View the 2011 City University Graduation Program

City University School Boys Preparatory meets the need of providing a quality education for boys, as well as, the demand for an institution committed to secondary and college preparation.

As Tennessee’s first public charter school for boys, City University Boys Prep was created as a college preparatory middle school with an emphasis on the educational, social, and psychological development of young male scholars.

The school’s efforts are enhanced by its collaboration with the parent school, City University School of Liberal Arts. This union ensures the efforts to build a curricular foundation to better prepare its scholars for transition into secondary education and later post secondary institutions.

City University Boys Prep provides male scholars access to a diverse offering of courses, coupled with a curriculum that enables and empowers young males with the abilities to achieve success in an academically rigorous environment and within a socially engaging community.

The Influence1 Foundation is initiating an annual program slated as 1Urban Gallery. The program is proposed to encourage exposure to and the exploration of culture by incorporating quality artwork into the daily lives of urban youth.

1Urban Gallery is one of the many projects by The Influence1 Foundation.  This year’s theme is “Education: A Reflection of Life.” We have asked participants to submit works that are congruent with this theme and will help to promote the positive representation of people of color that may be minimized in mainstream galleries and museums.

Artist who have pieces on display by the Gallery include: George Hunt, Danny Broadway, LaShun Beal, Emery, Renee Dickerson, NJ Woods and Kenji.

In order to be properly displayed to the public, all artwork will be preserved by mounting and framing provided through a corporate sponsorship by Frame It Now®. After being displayed at designated locations, the art pieces will rotate among public school sites throughout Memphis. We believe through this rotation process, urban youth and community leaders will warmly receive the art and artist--for it is our belief that education is not just a process, but is about experience and exposure.

The 38106 Joint Agency Collaborative was born from the discontent of homeowners in the 38106 zip code area in conjunction with City of Memphis and Shelby County services.  The Influence1 Foundation is currently collaborating with homeowners and several City and County public service agencies (Police, Sheriff Deptartement, City and Shelby County Code Enforcement and Health Department).

The purpose of the 38106 Joint Agency Collaborative is to organize a community-policing atmosphere, to address crime generators and code infractions in various neighborhoods in the 38106 zip code area.  The objectives of the 38106 Joint Agency Collaborative are:

  • Cooperate with all neighborhood groups to improve the physical and economic landscape of the 38106 zip code.
  • Increase responsiveness of City and County services to residents’ concerns. 

Condemnation status of unsightly Dunnhaven townhome complex demolished March 2011.

Memphis Starts With Me, an initiative of Influence1, provides community service opportunities for individuals who wish to influence change throughout the communities of Memphis. With a diversity of community volunteers and corporate partners, Influence1 supports the efforts of neighborhood associations, governmental agencies and other non-profit organizations that work to positively impact Memphis through neighborhood clean up and revitalization efforts.

Memphis Starts With Me deploys organized cleanup efforts to defined areas, within service-communities, in an effort to change one neighborhood at a time. The program includes volunteer group coordination to assist with manpower for cleanup days and provides the delivery of information on other programs.

All interested community volunteers and corporate partners may call The Influence1 Foundation for more information at (901) 526- 1944 or visit