With more than 200 families waiting for a Special Needs Education Scholarship Account, Empower Mississippi launched the #Waitlisted campaign to tell the stories of those who have been forced onto an ESA waitlist. The message from these families? “We are more than a number in a lottery, and our children deserve the best education possible.” This campaign has gained attention from state policy leaders and national education organizations.

Empower Mississippi’s new initiative focuses on Employability and Criminal Justice Reform. The goal: safely reduce the prison population while removing barriers to employment for those released. Empower team members, joined by advocates including Miss Mississippi 2018 Asya Branch, toured Parchman, Mississippi’s State Penitentiary. Visitors spoke with correctional officers and witnessed living conditions for some of the 19,000 imprisoned in Mississippi.

In 2019 Empower Mississippi has an ambitious legislative agenda, working to ensure every Mississippian can choose a great education and find meaningful work.