It has been said that Mississippi is a flower that refuses to bloom no matter how much you water it… no matter how much you set it in the sun… it still tries to die and sometimes, does wilt to death.
As a daughter of Mississippi and a black woman who is now raising three children in a state that needs pruning, I am committed to influencing and helping Mississippi’s long awaited bloom.
The tools? Arts, education,and culture.
My mother, Jackie, planted a seed fifteen years ago in McComb, Mississippi. That seed was a non-profit organization, Southwest Mississippi Multiplex for Early Innovative Intervention Studies.
For many years, the organization went without the water and light it needed. It was running on stored energy.
It is said that before a seed can grow out, it must first grow down so that it can get anchored in the root. Well, my mom, a twice-retired educator, laid a rich foundation.
With the help of an amazing executive board, members of my family, dear friends, the local community, and partnering organizations/foundations, SMMEIIS is budding!
In three years, we have developed an non-profit identity while implementing a successful fee-based dance education program, a summer arts and entrepreneurship camp, a literary festival and author’s fair, an oral history podcast, and a seminar for aspiring community leaders.
In 2020, we will be do even more pruning– continuing our annual programs and activities while implementing an after school literacy program for elementary students, publishing oral histories, hosting out-of-state guest artists, and planning a fellowship program for community leaders/activists in McComb and surrounding areas.
2019 is our second year participating in Giving Tuesday, a global call for people to pour into non-profit organizations and worthy causes. Our Facebook campaign ends soon and we are far from our goal of $1000…
Consider donating to Southwest Mississippi Multiplex for Early Innovative Intervention Studies. If you have a heart for year-end giving, please have a heart for us. If you can’t give, maybe someone in your circle can.
Another way of contributing to our cause is through sharing our links and bringing awareness to the work we’re doing in Mississippi.
Remember, without water (or light), our local and state community may be able to survive on stored energy, but it can’t grow.
Clinnesha is a writer, wife, mom, meta-artist, and social entrepreneur who feels most accountable to southern, black citizen-artists, elders, children, and families. Her work is at the intersection of arts, culture, innovation, and community.