To Top

Hidden Gems: Meet Dewayne Murrell of The PAIGE Incorporated

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dewayne Murrell.

Hi Dewayne, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
At the age of 22 in 2003, I began my journey in the LGBTQ community in Memphis, Tennessee. As a single father and then-boyfriend, I started my work in the community with HIV Prevention to just satisfy volunteer hours for my social work degree.

However, in that experience, I learned the importance of the work I was doing and the personal connection that it has to the sub-community (Black LGBTQ folk) in the south-eastern United States. Programming in the Memphis area for HIV prevention had begun to close due to funding shortfalls.

I had witnessed the prime successes of the programs and services. Thereafter, I found myself living the disparity of their absence with increasing social and health service needs in Memphis. That’s what inspired the idea of The PAIGE Incorporated which wasn’t actualized until 2017.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Absolutely not! I began The PAIGE Inc. as a grassroots organization with one program and service offered to the immediate Memphis area.

In just 5 years, The PAIGE has been able secure recognition as a registered 501c3 organization that offers volunteer opportunities, advocacy, Black LGBT+ cultural curation, mental health, sexual health, and emergency housing services to Black LGBTQ+ in the Greater Midsouth area in and surrounding Memphis, TN.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
The PAIGE is an acronym that stands for “The Program of Advancement in Gays’ Efforts”. We are a Black LGBTQIA social justice organization that focuses on health and wellness, leadership development, and community building in the Greater Memphis area.

Addressing the issues that affect our youth and community while providing resources in preparation for a better tomorrow. The PAIGE seeks to instill the liberty of acceptance and freedom to those who may struggle with mental health while also fighting on the front line with leaders in support of HIV decriminalization and education on better sexual health.

What sets us apart is the approach in which we engage the community members and tailor support and address the needs that each individual requires from our agency. We are most proud of our ability to jump into action during the height of the covid pandemic. We were able to offer gift cards for essentials and food, offer utility assistance, and rental assistance for those with housing insecurities.

In 2020, our efforts assisted 1,700 LGBTQ+ households in the Greater Memphis area. We would like the readers to know that we have increased our capacity to serve and look forward to doing so on a mission to develop Memphis’ first Black Gayborhood. This area will be developed as mixed-use property to encompass the needs of business owners and shoppers alike.

We believe that LGBTQ+ buying power and voter equity are ideas that could strengthen our political representation. In turn, improving the quality of life for those that patron and receive services from businesses in the area. We hope that by introducing this idea to the community we can encourage all Black LGBTQ+ Memphians and others to “Turn the PAIGE on their Life”.

Risk-taking is a topic that people have widely differing views on – we’d love to hear your thoughts.
Yes, I can. I am an advent risk-taker through the lens of innovation. I am naturally a person that observes and reports in trade. However, the advantage of being an observer is being able to report the opportunities not yet been attempted.

This principle has what made me successful in the development of programming and services for the often forgotten population. Even in my other business efforts, I have been able to offer DM Notary services, It’s Sunny in the Shade podcast, and my most recent business, DM Digital Media Group to the world.

All of these business ventures were risks that could have broken me while still working a 9 to 5 job to support my family. Thus, I was able to build every business with success using innovative approaches to services and products without recreating the wheel.

Contact Info:

Suggest a Story: VoyageMemphis is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Local Stories