Mississippi Rising Coalition holds the view that the quality of life and well-being of Mississippi citizens and the progress of our state are directly related to social, political and environmental factors, and these factors can be directly and positively impacted by our efforts.
As a guide to direct MRC’s organizational focus and actions, we have chosen to use the indicators of social progress as outlined and measured by the Social Progress Imperative in its Social Progress Index: Basic Human Needs, Foundations of Well-being and Opportunity.
Basic Human Needs
- Nutrition and basic medical care
- Personal safety
- Water and sanitation
Foundations of Well-being
- Access to basic knowledge
- Access to communications and information
- Health and wellness
- Ecosystem sustainability
- Personal rights
- Personal freedom and choice
- Tolerance and inclusion
- Access to education
For more information on the individual dimensions of well-being, visit the Social Progress Imperative website:
“When we come together to lift the least of us, all of Mississippi will rise.”
MRC is partnering with other social justice advocacy organizations to advocate for removal of the Confederate battle flag emblem from the Mississippi state flag. The Confederate emblem has been used since the Civil War to represent various groups, including the army and government of the Confederate States of America and numerous white supremacist groups, as a symbol of white supremacy. Unspeakable acts of terror and violence against African Americans, Jews, LGBT citizens, immigrants, Catholics and other minorities have been committed by these groups under the Confederate emblem, and it is unacceptable that the flag representing our state enshrines the symbol of hate and flies on tax-payer funded public properties. The flag is a barrier to the social and economic progress of Mississippi, and as we are committed to lifting ALL the citizens of our state, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity, we are committed to growing the momentum toward a new state flag that is a symbol of equality, unity and Southern pride.
We’re providing grassroots education on the history of the Confederacy and its symbols, post-Civil war history in Mississippi including the period of Reconstruction and post-Reconstruction, the Jim Crow era and the US Civil Rights movement in Mississippi; current neo-Confederate and white supremacist organizations in Mississippi including their ideologies, symbols, political agendas and impacts on social justice in our state; the role of racial diversity and racial reconciliation in social progress and the impacts of government use of hate symbols as a barrier to social and economic progress; and the importance of voter registration and participation in democratic processes as means of facilitating social progress.
You can let your Mississippi elected officials and the world know why removal of the Confederate emblem from the state flag matters to YOU by participating in our #Takeitdown4me project. We’re talking REAL TALK with REAL MISSISSIPPIANS about why changing the state flag matters to them, and we’re videotaping their answers to share with the world on our MRC YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwNzH9ULr7koe5g_GC2TmFQ
We’ll also share them on our Facebook page and Twitter account with the hashtag #Takeitdown4me. You can join the discussion by filming yourself, your friends or your family talking about why changing the state flag matters, and then post it with the hashtag #Takeitdown4me. Here’s MRC volunteer Jocelyn Bays of Biloxi on why removal of the Confederate emblem from the state flag matters to her:
Since the beginning of the campaign for flag change in 2015, the momentum and support for change has grown steadily and includes religious leaders, institutions and organizations; academic leaders and institutions; business and economic leaders and organizations; notable civic, political and cultural leaders; coaches and athletic directors from the various major Mississippi university athletic programs; media organizations and numerous cities and counties throughout the state. See the current list of flag change supporters here:
If your organization or business would like to endorse flag change and join the growing list of individuals, businesses and organizations advocating for change and progress, download the Take It Down endorsement form here then complete the form and submit it to us by mail (PO Box 1077, Ocean Springs, MS 39564) or email (email@example.com). We’ll add you to the list, which will be hand-delivered to our legislators during the next legislative session.
Dialogue on Race in Mississippi (DORM)
Learn how to be a part of making your community stronger and more inclusive! MRC is offering Dialogue on Race in Mississippi (DORM), an educational process modeled after Dialogue on Race Original Series, the core program of an organization called Dialogue on Race Louisiana. Its focus is on education, action and transformation. The program is a six-session weekly series backed by factual materials that is facilitated by a biracial pair of trained race dialogue facilitators and structured to set a safe environment for open, honest and brave conversation about racism. The series is specifically designed to create increased awareness and understanding that leads to informed action and meaningful change around race and institutional racism in our communities. It’s a journey that needs to include all of Mississippi. MRC is offering DORM in Harrison, Hancock and Jackson Counties beginning in 2018. For more information, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“No Hate in Our State” Campaign
In the wake of the passage of HB1523, The “Religious Freedom Accommodations Act,” in the 2016 Mississippi legislative session, and the subsequent controversy surrounding protections for transgender students in Mississippi schools, Mississippi Rising Coalition is partnering with multiple social justice advocacy groups to increase public awareness of the origins and impacts of so-called “religious freedom” legislation; the role of municipal and state level non-discrimination policies in increasing social justice and ensuring equal civil rights for all citizens; the role of the separation of church and state in maintaining a free and equitable society; LGBTQ bullying, abuse and suicide prevention; and the importance of vigorous participation and engagement in the democratic process at the local and state level to ensure equal civil rights protections.
Voter Registration and Education
Leading up to the November 2016 Presidential and US Congressional elections, Mississippi Rising Coalition’s voter registration committee organized a statewide voter registration drive, including the March for Progress from Clarksdale
to Vicksburg, MS, to register voters, educate the public about voting rights and voter ID laws, how and where to obtain voter ID, and other important information about voting in Mississippi. For more information about the March for Progress, see our Facebook event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1735467566666092/
For information about Mississippi voter ID laws, voter registration and the voting process, see our voter information guide here:
We’re also partnering with the Gulf Coast Sisters Solidarity Campaign and the Mississippi ACLU to host a series of Know Your Rights workshops along the Gulf Coast. Each workshop is open and free to the public with curriculum and instruction provided by area civil rights attorneys. Instruction will focus on civil and constitutional rights, voting rights and process, individuals’ rights during interactions with law enforcement and ICE, legal observer training and basic civics. Instructional materials and lunch will be provided to participants.
Our nation and our state is strongest when we embrace the diversity of ideas and contributions from our young people. The Trump administration’s decision to end the deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) policy and our state legislature’s decision to pass anti-sanctuary city legislation in 2017 effectively disrupts the futures of tens of thousands of young people who have called the United States, and Mississippi, home since childhood — and represents an incredible loss for America, undermining the very foundation on which this country of immigrants was built.
This decision, which follows administrative actions on immigration issued earlier this year, reinforces our grave concerns about threats to the well-being of the millions of children who live in immigrant families, many of whom are American citizens.
DACA enabled young people to pursue their passions and dreams and to develop their skills and talents without fear of being ripped from all they know — as we would want for any child — allowing them to become full-fledged contributors to our society. Like generations of immigrants before them, many have already helped to further strengthen America. They are students. They are workers. They are homeowners. They are sons and daughters. They are parents.
We will partner with our immigrant community and advocacy organizations to defend and protect families from being ripped apart.