- Playback’s Fruitful Partnership with MPD
- Memphis Matters: Play It Forward
- Soaring with Kate Schaeffer
- Kids Collaborating — Playback’s Pilot Programs in Frayser Schools
- Playback in the News!
- Giving Tuesday is today!
- Murphy: Allow Yourself to Be Guided
- Playback Memphis adds another stage for kinship, hope in Frayser
- June 23: Playback Partners With UPP For Parenting Workshop
- We Remember Verdell Smith
- Behold the power of Playback
- Fostering togetherness through theater arts
- Playback Memphis Works to Expand Reach
- National organization bringing Playback training to Memphis
- Playback Memphis: Performing the Peace
We Remember Verdell Smith
Playback Friends and Family,
By now you have all heard of the tragic passing of Officer Verdell Smith. This has been a profound loss for all of us as Verdell was a valued part of our family. To say that we are heartbroken, saddened or even shocked would be a gross understatement. With a kind spirit and gentle soul, Verdell cheerfully and diligently gave back to the community in so many ways, not the least of which was being a pioneering member of Playback Memphis via Performing the Peace. Much like us, building bridges was his passion. Not every cop is a bad guy and conversely, not every young man in a hoodie is a bad guy. He understood this well and sought to bring this messaging to the broader community, whether it was ex-offenders and residents in general or his own brothers in blue. He was fair. He was open. He was good.
His impact is transcendent and his work will continue from the other side. Meanwhile Verdell, we will honor your legacy here on Earth.
There is so much to say but words aren’t enough. So we’ll share our sentiments along with photos and video.
Sending warm thoughts, hugs and love from our family to yours. Rest well Verdell.
He (Officer Smith) said even though you went through what you went through and you did what you did, I can see I your eyes that you’re a good person; and I told him I loved him that day. I said I love you. He said he loved me too.
Verdell Smith was an extraordinary human being with a huge, loving heart. He honestly and searchingly sought to now himself and others in a more compassionate way through Performing the Peace. His openness and caring presence brought healing and hope to us all. May his light shine on and on and on!
He was a warm and loving person who made everyone feel safe. His smile lit up the room. We will miss him very much.
Verdell In His Own Words: