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Cape Toolkit

October 1, 2021

The 2021 CAPE Toolkit provides a comprehensive outline of the process MMA undertook to establish, evolve, and maintain the CAPE initiative. The Toolkit provides guidelines for other institutions looking to create similar initiatives within their own environments. The development of goals, the training of staff, the creation of an Innovation Lab, and the activation of the Community Advisory Council, are just a few of the features detailed in the Toolkit.

Democracy Defended: Findings from the 2020 Election

September 2, 2021

Despite an unprecedented series of challenges—a global pandemic, extreme weather, rampant misinformation, voter intimidation, and coordinated efforts to disenfranchise millions of voters of color—Black voters turned out in record numbers in 2020 to have their voices heard in one of our nation's most important election years.But let's be clear. The election did not go smoothly. Record turnout nationally and in many states was only possible thanks to a Herculean effort on the part of many non-profit organizations and many thousands of individuals and volunteers, as well as the enormous sums of money spent on election security and countering misinformation.

Overcoming the Unprecedented: Southern Voters’ Battle Against Voter Suppression, Intimidation, and a Virus

March 16, 2021

This report describes the 2020 elections in five Southern states—Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi—with a particular emphasis on election administration problems; voter suppression; the efforts of voting rights organizations to mobilize voters and protect their votes; and the actions of extremists who sought to intimidate voters and spread disinformation.As this report shows, it is abundantly clear that our electoral system needs repair. Numerous states have erected new barriers to voting since the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013 gutted a critical component of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Many also cling to Jim Crow-era laws, such as felony disenfranchisement, that were specifically designed to suppress the Black vote—or they refuse to enact commonsense changes that would make voting easier and accessible to all citizens. At the same time, some states maintain archaic administrative systems that are woefully inadequate to meet the needs of voters today and ensure fair elections.This report provides a blueprint for reforming the electoral system. The Biden administration and Congress must act quickly to shore up the stability of the electoral process and put our democracy on a firmer footing. Passage of federal laws, including those that strengthen the Voting Rights Act, are necessary steps forward on the path to reform—toward ensuring that all Americans have easy and equal access to the ballot box.

Our Voices, Our Votes: Felony Disenfranchisement and Re-entry in Mississippi

March 9, 2021

Our Voices, Our Votes: Felony Disenfranchisement and Re-entry in Mississippi analyzes how Mississippi silences those with prior felony convictions and creates reentry barriers for returning citizens. Using statistics, national data, and personal stories from directly impacted Mississippians, the report shines a light on what people with felony convictions are up against. The report details how the state's Jim Crow legacy not only fails to assist returning citizens, but permanently disenfranchise them. With this report, organizers hope to bring change to the Mississippi criminal legal system and restore voting rights for all incarcerated citizens who have served their prison term.

Compassion, Art, People, and Equity: The Story of the Center for Art and Public Exchange at the Mississippi Museum of Art

January 1, 2021

Compassion, Art, People, and Equity: The Story of the Center for Art and Public Exchange at the Mississippi Museum of Art describes the history of CAPE, from its inception in 2018 through 2021. From the establishment the values of equity, transparency, and truth, to the CAPE Lab and artist in residency programs, to community engagement programs, this book provides details on how CAPE came to be and continues to evolve.

Mississippi is America: How Racism and Sexism Sustain a Two-Tiered Labor Market in the US and Constrict the Economic Power of Workers in Mississippi and Beyond

October 1, 2020

In a new report, the Insight Center for Community Economic Development demonstrates the consequences of America's two-tiered labor market in which Black and brown workers and women are denied access to economic security on the job. Channeling the "Black women best" framework coined by Janelle Jones, the "Mississippi Is America" report reveals the economic consequences of racism and sexism in Mississippi—trends that reflect the unequal and unjust reality of being Black, brown, and/or a womxn in the US. The report utilizes labor market data and an occupational crowding analysis to illustrate who is largely excluded from the most-desirable, best-paying jobs and who is crowded into those with the lowest wages and least stability.Findings include:White men have undue advantage in the labor market and are crowded into occupations that pay nearly three times more than what Black women earn. As more women are hired within a given occupation, their pay for that job declines. In Mississippi, Black women are locked out of 62 percent of all jobs, the highest percentage among all groups. "What is happening in Mississippi impacts and reflects America," said Anne Price, the president of the Insight Center. "Across the country, Black workers and other marginalized groups are working day in and day out to keep a roof over their heads while hitting a ceiling when it comes to accessing financial power. This is especially troubling given the COVID-19 crisis, which is disproportionately hurting the livelihoods of people of color and pushing women out of the workforce.""The 'Mississippi Is America' framework is a call to action," said Jhumpa Bhattacharya, Insight's vice president of programs and strategy. "Mississippi is one of the most disregarded states in the US, and it is almost 40 percent Black. Until we empower all of its people and prioritize their economic security, our nation will never achieve true equality. If the COVID-19 recovery—and our government's inept response—continues as is, the state's Black workers will be further left behind, and that's bad for America."

Black Funding Denied: Community Foundation Support for Black Communities

August 1, 2020

In light of the national uprising sparked by the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor (and building on other recent tragic movement moments going back to the 2014 murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri), NCRP is analyzing grantmaking by community foundations across the country to find out exactly how much they are – or are not – investing in Black communities.We started by looking at the latest available grantmaking data (2016-2018) of 25 community foundations (CFs) – from Los Angeles to New Orleans to New York City to St. Paul. These foundations represent a cross section of some of the country's largest community foundations as well as foundations in communities where NCRP has Black-led nonprofit allies.

Impact of COVID-19 on Mississippi Childcare Centers

May 1, 2020

In May 2020 the University of Mississippi's Center for Research Evaluation (CERE) surveyed 1,220 licensed childcare centers. Our goal was to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic affected their operations. Between May 5 and 11,425 (35%) Mississippi-based center directors responded to our online survey. In this report we share their needs and data on how CARES Act funds may be useful.

East Biloxi Needs Assessment

March 10, 2020

OVERVIEWIn 2012, the East Biloxi Community Collaborative (EBCC) was established in an effort to create a platform to develop and implement strategies designed to improve the lives of residents in East Biloxi. The mission of the EBCC is to "create a healthy, vibrant and sustainable East Biloxi with improved outcomes for all children and families by working to develop a better place to live, work, and play." As East Biloxi positions for change, it is imperative that efforts be made to ensure an equitable opportunity for all residents to thrive and reach their full potential.TAKING ACTIONTo begin working on creating a sustainable East Biloxi and breaking down barriers, the EBCC commissioned Mississippi Urban Research Center at Jackson State University to conduct the Community Needs Assessment (CNA). True community buy-in and participation is needed in order to ensure the programmatic focus areas of EBCC meet to capture the needs of residents in the area. The project's major goal was to gather data and input from area residents and other concerned parties regarding key needs, priorities, issues, and other relevant factors impacting the quality of life in East Biloxi. This report presents the findings from the EBCC CNA.THE APPROACHEast Biloxi Community Collaborative conducted a comprehensive needs assessment that considered all aspects of the area between March 2019 and September 2019. The team met with numerous stakeholders from the community to draw on as many perspectives as possible and to confirm trends by collecting multiple data sources including secondary data, surveying residents, community forums, and focus groups. The findings from this report collectively incorporate both quantitative and qualitative data in an effort to provide a rich and meaningful analysis.KEY FINDINGSThe following report integrates the collective input from the community needs assessment survey, Kick-off event, focus groups with residents, business owners (non-residents), and youth, and the youth photovoice project. Focus group participants were recruited and organized into the following categories: (1) Young adults age 18 to 30 years old; (2) Cross-sector of Community Representatives (i.e., Service Providers, Business Owners, Individuals); and (3) Community residents. EBCC's data analysis from 305 surveys and 3 focus groups revealed the top five priorities for the East Biloxi community are: access to healthy foods, health/healthcare, employment, affordable quality housing, and improvements to public infrastructure. Each priority area was then compared with "needs" based on findings from the data.The identified priority areas were also the same as top five "needs," with more programs for youth being an additional need. For each priority area, the report provides an overview of current relevant research, an analysis of the current structure, specific areas for improvement, and detailed recommendations to achieve improvement

Disrupting the Drivers of Inequity in Biloxi: Assessing Federal Opportunity Zones

March 1, 2020

As wages have stagnated for the majority of workers in the U.S. and inequality has skyrocketed, racial inequity has grown. Since the late 1970s, the racial wealth gap has reached critical levels. In Biloxi, Mississippi, the inequities are deep, leaving many Black and Latinx households facing racial and geographic barriers to economic opportunity. Yet, communities of color have been driving the city's population growth and spurring change and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. This diversity can be a tremendous economic asset for the city if people of color are fully included as workers, entrepreneurs, and innovators. Knowing where the city stands in terms of equity—just and fair inclusion into a society in which all can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential—is the first This research brief draws from data in the National Equity Atlas—an online resource for data to track, measure, and make the case for inclusive growth in America's cities, regions, states, and nationwide.The USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) provides forward-looking, actionable research to support community-based organizations, funders, and other stakeholders working towards social, racial, economic and environmental justice. James Crowder Jr. and Justin Scoggins March 2020 2 step in planning for a brighter future for all Biloxians. To that end, the East Biloxi Community Collaborative (EBCC) partnered with the National Equity Atlas, a partnership between PolicyLink and the University of Southern California Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE), to better understand the landscape for inclusive growth in the city, particularly given the new Opportunity Zone program which has the potential to bring a significant amount of private investment into the city. This brief describes Opportunity Zones and how they can be leveraged to promote equitable development in East Biloxi.

Raising the Bar for Infant Well-being: An Overview of Mississippi’s Perinatal High-Risk Management/Infant Services System Program

November 5, 2019

The Mississippi State Department of Health first piloted the Perinatal High Risk Management/Infant Services System program in 1988 in order to address the high rates of negative birth outcomes plaguing the state. While Mississippi has historically reported high rates of negative birth outcomes, including pre-term births, low birth weight, and infant mortality, compared to other states, the prevalence of these issues in the United States as a whole has been a widely recognized on-going public health concern. In response to the high rates of negative birth outcomes nationwide, state agencies and other organizations began implementing programming to address known causes of these outcomes in the 1980s and 1990s. Thus, Mississippi's Perinatal High Risk Management/Infant Services System (PHRM/ISS) program was established.

The Privilege of Plenty: Educational Inequity in Mississippi

November 1, 2019

The Privilege of Plenty: Educational Inequity in Mississippi analyzes the connections between economic and social factors, educational performance, and educational attainment in Mississippi. It is divided into four periods of life: birth to age four, elementary and secondary education, postsecondary education, and the long-term impacts of educational attainment. This report shows that poverty in Mississippi is the greatest detriment to educational performance. This hinders educational attainment and economic security. Moreover, increasing adult educational attainment improves the overall standard of living. Furthermore, this report also shows that communities of color suffer from a level of poverty that harms educational performance and produces lower adult educational attainment rates. This in turn creates more poverty for the next generation of children starting their own educational journey. It concludes that improving adult education attainment requires providing the necessary resources to educate children and alleviate the effects of poverty upon them.