Women’s FoundationBy BLAKE CASE,
The Women’s Foundation of Mississippi is a public foundation located in the Fondren neighborhood of Jackson, but they design and fund programs that benefit women and girls all across Mississippi. They advance economic security for women through grantmaking, community engagement and empowerment, and research.
The Women’s Foundation has a saying they like to use: When women thrive, Mississippi thrives. It’s hard to argue with that. Investing in Mississippi’s women is like investing in us all. Healthy women mean more healthy families, healthy communities, and a healthy Mississippi. If you would like to get involved with the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi, visit their website at womensfoundationms.org and follow them on social media by searching for the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi.
Originally a fund housed under the Community Foundation for Greater Jackson, the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi became an independent nonprofit in 2008. Since 2003 the Women’s Foundation has awarded nearly $4 million in grants to improve conditions for our state’s women and girls. Both a nonprofit and foundation, the Women’s Foundation is constantly developing new funds in order to support grant programs and original programming.
The foundation has awarded grants to many of the state’s community colleges and other nonprofits and local programs breaking down barriers standing between women and their economic security. Research commissioned by the Foundation showed single mothers were taking an average of seven years to complete a two-year degree. Commonly mentioned barriers? Lack of childcare and early childhood education options, no transportation, inability to pay for tuition and supplies. The Women’s Foundation’s two-generation grant programs, implemented at several of the state’s institutions of higher learning, offer wrap-around social and educational services to mothers while simultaneously providing childcare and early childhood education to their children. Just this year, Women’s Foundation-funded grant programs were launched at Itawamba Community College, Pearl River Community College, and MSU-Meridian Campus to help more women earn degrees and certificates and become economically stable.
In addition to the foundation’s robust grantmaking program, they’ve designed and offer original programming that can positively affect women at any stage of her life. Their annual “Thrive @ Work” program promotes workplace policies positively affecting both women in the workplace and their employers. Thrive @ Work 2019 is coming up on May 7. “She’s on Board” is a board governance training program for women interested in serving on Boards. In their first year, the Women’s Foundation trained more than 130 women to serve in Board positions. The 2019 installment of She’s on Board will be Friday, June 21. The soon-to-be-launched Women’s Policy Institute, another program of the Foundation, will train a new generation of advocates and prepare them to fight for issues that matter most to women.