Women’s Foundation of the South Expands Signature Programming to Mississippi; Additional Expansion Planned for 2023

WŌC @ Rest Will Expand to Texas and Georgia in Addition to Its Work in Louisiana and Mississippi

NEW ORLEANS, March 23, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Women’s Foundation of the South exists to improve futures for women and girls of color in the South by supporting both women-of-color-led nonprofits who do the same and women-of-color entrepreneurs. The organization is pleased to announce that it ended 2022 by expanding its proprietary program, WŌC @ Rest, to Mississippi. WFS hosted 24 women-of-color-leaders at a two-day WŌC @ Rest retreat along the Gulf Coast of MS in December.

This month, in alignment with Women’s History Month, WFS announces the names of the Mississippi-based women-of-color leaders who received $5,000 grants from WFS as part of the WŌC @ Rest programming, disbursing a total of $125k to Mississippi women of color leaders; most direct grass-roots nonprofits in the state. Grantees include Carolyn Jolivette, Jaribu Hill of Mississippi Workers’ Center for Human Rights, Portia Espy of Mississippi Urban League, Inc., Darnella Winston of Mississippi Association of Cooperatives, Rukia Lumumba of People’s Advocacy Institute, Brandi Turner of Mississippi Center for Cultural Production, Mauda Monger of the SHE Project, Inc., Laurie Roberts of the Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund, Oleta Fitzgerald of Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative for Economic and Social Justice, Nsombi Lambright-Haynes of One Voice, Inc., Valencia Robinson of Mississippi in Action, Sandra Melvin of Institute of the Advancement of Minority Health, Nashlie Sephus of Bean Path, Aisha Nyandoro of Springboard to Opportunities, Gloria Dickerson of We2gether Creating Change, Cassandra Welchlin of MS Black Women’s Roundtable, Erica Thompson of Magnolia Medical Foundation, Nakeitra Burse of Six Dimensions, Whitney Hunter-Batteast of Pickles & Popsicles, Inc., Lorena Lewis of Immigrant Alliance for Justice & Equity, Tomika Bell of Mississippi Farm to School Network, Rachel Mayes of Southern Echo Inc., Arekia Bennett-Scott of Mississippi Votes, and Michele Colon of SHERo Mississippi.

Women’s Foundation of the South was launched to address and rectify the many troubling issues faced by women and girls of color in the South, with intersectionality coloring almost all aspects of their lives. Women-of-color-led nonprofits in the South are notoriously under-funded and under-resourced: in spite of the issues faced by women and girls of color in the South, very few philanthropic dollars trickle down to them – in fact, only 0.25% of funding reaches women and girls of color.

WŌC @ Rest addresses three issues that WOC leaders report are their greatest challenges: underfunding of their work; need for self-healing and leadership development support, and assistance with strategic communications. WŌC @ Rest offers hard-working women of color leaders a needed pause from responding to compounding disasters – COVID-19, an eviction crisis, persistent maternal mortality, mental health and safety, joblessness, and environmental disasters. Specifically, the program’s goals are to restore leaders through the two-day retreat, elevate their leadership with a personal development grant, and tell their stories.

WFS shared some quotes from the Mississippi WŌC @ Rest cohort:

  • “I have never been so excited to REST! I have tools I received from the conference that I have started implementing just in my two days back in my work and personal life. Thank you for providing this unique and necessary opportunity to me. I am eternally grateful.” –Erica Q. Thompson MD, MPH, CDFS, Master Trainer, Magnolia Medical Foundation
  • “For Black women, rest is too often a luxury we cannot afford. We are so busy trying to do more with less that we can barely catch our breath. Having the time and space to step away and just exist without any demands is truly invaluable.” –Aisha Nyandoro, CEO, Springboard to Opportunities

Please visit the organization’s website to learn more about the Women’s Foundation of the South.

About Women’s Foundation of the South:

WFS centers and invests in the collective power, health, well-being, economic security, and leadership of women and girls of color in the South. WFS is a permanent institution that serves as a gateway for donors, foundations, corporations, and individual investors to maximize the social impact of their investments in women and girls of color in the South. By transforming the way philanthropy prioritizes its funding, we can effect systemic change in gender and racial injustice when it comes to charitable giving.

Media Contacts:
Tashion Macon,
; 8187498786

SOURCE Women’s Foundation of the South