Our relationships and grantmaking in Mississippi date back nearly 60 years, and are rooted in eliminating the educational disparities, poor health outcomes, pockets of poverty and enduring racial inequity that limit opportunities for children, parents and communities.
Why This Work Matters
The circumstances that limit opportunities for children to succeed in Mississippi create cycles of poverty and vulnerability that also limit opportunities for future generations. These realities underscored the foundation’s entry into the state nearly six decades ago and even with notable progress, they are and will remain targets for our work in the future.
By a similar token, our long presence in the state and the relationships we’ve developed there over the years have left us with a strong belief in Mississippi’s possibilities and potential, and in the promise of its children and communities.
In 2007 we formally designated Mississippi as one of our priority places. And – recognizing that change doesn’t happen overnight – we made a commitment to support local communities for at least a generation. In 2013 we cemented that commitment by opening a regional office in Jackson, the state capitol.
What We Support
Our work in Mississippi is carried out by grantee partners working to improve the lives of children and families throughout the state, with grants concentrated in the geographic areas of East Biloxi, Sunflower County and the city of Jackson.
We support efforts to improve the quality and delivery of education, including access to and funding for early education; to improve nutrition and health care; to improve birth outcomes; and to create sustainable economic security for children and their families.
Of particular concern and relevance to our work are the often inequitable outcomes for young children and for males of color. Through efforts such as Young Males of Color – a network of organizations working to create a system of support from birth to adulthood – we work across generations to ensure that future parents are equipped to support their children’s optimal growth and development. And through all of these efforts, we work with grantee partners to create an environment that supports racial equity and racial healing and that helps to build the next generation of leaders vital to the future success of Mississippi.