Individuals and organizations can access a range of tools to support Mississippi community empowerment initiatives. From job training and employment preparation services to community benefit agreements, there are a variety of resources available to help strengthen communities and promote social change. Organizations in the arts industry can use their platforms to enrich the lives of their audiences, providing entertainment and learning opportunities that expand the role of the arts in Mississippi communities. Community benefit agreements are an important tool for project developers, as they identify the benefits that developers agree to offer in exchange for community support or labor force availability.
The Mississippi Low-Income Child Care Initiative (MLICCI) is using grant funds from the Mississippi Women's Foundation to support its Employment Equity for Single Mothers (EESM) project. These grants are being used to provide child care assistance to mothers enrolled in adult education, CTE, or workforce programs at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (MGCCC). By working with local health organizations and increasing access to maternal health resources, this program aims to reduce the risk of maternal and child mortality, improve access to care, and promote reproductive health and family planning services. Teen Health Mississippi is another organization that is working to improve the sexual health of Mississippi adolescents through training that builds community capacity and access to resources.
After-school programs, public artworks, and music festivals are just a few examples of successful arts-based community development programs that use community-driven planning and the power of the arts to create stronger communities. The University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) was able to improve its service program focused on improving postpartum outcomes for women in Mississippi thanks to grants from the Women's Foundation. Grants focused on rapid response are also available to help build community capacity and address local needs. United Way of South Mississippi is dedicated to improving the quality of life in Southern Mississippi by focusing on creating measurable outcomes in the areas of education, health, and financial stability. To help individuals achieve financial empowerment and freedom, United Way provides them with the tools and resources needed. The Department of Energy (DOE) supports the negotiation of agreements with the workforce and the community because these agreements help resolve disputes before projects are deployed, strengthen civic participation, increase worker empowerment, ensure the required workforce, and equitably align resources with benefits.
The DOE's Community Benefit Agreement Toolkit web page provides more information about these agreements.