Wolf Earns State PR Award For Friendsgiving

Sophie McNeil Wolf holds her PRism Award.The Community Foundation for Mississippi’s Director of Communications and Insights, Sophie McNeil Wolf, was recently awarded a PRism Award (Short Term: Special Events) by the Public Relations Association of Mississippi for her contributions to CFM’s inaugural Friendsgiving event. The awards ceremony, held on May 20 in Ridgeland, recognizes outstanding work by Mississippians in public relations and celebrates select individuals for their contributions to the profession. The PRism Award is the top award for each category.

The PRism Awards program allows PRAM members to receive an unbiased evaluation of their work in various categories from campaigns to individual tactics. Award-winning entries are scored on their own merits, demonstrating knowledge and application of the four-step PR process, emphasizing research, planning, implementation and evaluation.

CFM was one of five organizations earning PRism Awards, placing them in the top 10 percent of projects as judged by the outside panel of PR professionals. Wolf’s work joins the ranks of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, Jones Companies and others, also honored with PRism Awards.

Wolf also serves this year as the President of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi, Central Chapter.

“As a first year event, you are never sure how things will unfold. This team effort allowed us to visually show how CFM builds a bigger table and connect people from all walks of life together,” said Wolf. “We are looking forward to an even bigger celebration this year.”

Friendsgiving will return again this fall in November.

LGBTQ Fund of Mississippi 2024 – 2025 Grant Cycle Now Open

LGBTQ Fund of Mississippi at the Community Foundation for Mississippi 2024 – 2025 Grant Cycle is now accepting submissions through June 28.

LGBTQ Fund of Mississippi Grant Information Overview:

The LGBTQ Fund of Mississippi at the Community Foundation for Mississippi transforms donations into action by providing grants that support organizations across the state. These grants aim to improve the lives of LGBTQ Mississippians.

Entry Deadline:

  • June 28

Funding Focus: Grants are available to support:

  • Planning
  • Research
  • General operations

These funds address the priority needs of LGBTQ Mississippians striving to live safely, openly, and without alienation, isolation, prejudice, or discrimination.

Special Consideration: Priority will be given to proposals that:

  • Address the needs of underserved LGBTQ communities, including but not limited to:
    • Communities of color
    • Youth
    • Seniors
    • Rural communities
  • Focus on intersectional programs addressing faith and acceptance.
  • Serve transgender and gender non-conforming persons.

Eligible Applicants: Grants are available to the following:

  • Nonprofit organizations with current tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code, compliant with Mississippi Secretary of State’s charity registration, fee payment, audit (if required), and reporting requirements.
  • Units of local government (including schools, school districts, public-private partnerships, and quasi-governmental entities).
  • Research centers (independent and university-affiliated).
  • Public and private institutions of higher learning.
  • Federally recognized Indian tribes.

Note: Small grant funds may be considered for non-501(c)(3) organizations on a case-by-case basis, with special expenditure responsibility requirements.

Geographic Area:

Applicants must be based in Mississippi or provide services that have a positive, direct impact on Mississippi’s LGBTQ population.

Contact Information:

For questions about the entry process, please contact Michael Martella by email at michael.martella@alliancems.org.

Additional Information:

Learn more about the 2023 grant recipients here.

For more details, please refer to the LGBTQ Fund of Mississippi Small Grants Program Guidelines and Information for Applicants, effective as of June 2023.

LGBTQ Fund of Mississippi grant timeline

Andrew Bucci Art Supply Grant Round Now Open

The Friends of Andrew Bucci Fund at the Community Foundation for Mississippi was created to honor the memory of the late Andrew Bucci, one of Mississippi’s most celebrated and prolific visual artists. The fund’s purpose is to help Mississippi public, parochial, and private school art teachers acquire supplies that support visual arts instruction for grades PreK-12.

“Andrew Bucci always credited his early art teachers for recognizing and encouraging his talent, namely Mary Clare Sherwood in Vicksburg and Marie Hull in Jackson,” said Margaret Bucci, Bucci’s niece and manager of his estate. “To cultivate new generations of artists in Mississippi, it’s important to increase access to arts education and make sure teachers have the tools and resources they need to provide enriching learning experiences for students.”

Learn more about the 2022 recipients of the grant here.

Requirements

Applicants must be an art teacher actively working in any public, parochial, or private school in the state of Mississippi. Funds are administered by fund advisors and the Community Foundation for Mississippi.

Grant awards of up to $500 each will be given to art teachers for the acquisition of art supplies.

Eligible Supplies

Examples of eligible supplies include paper, paint, paintbrushes, pencils, markers, clay and other materials that provide hands-on opportunities for students to create visual artworks using a variety of media. Grant awards are NOT intended to fund: Equipment purchases such as cameras, computers, copiers, kilns, etc., entry fees and dues, field trips and transportation, awards, food, incentives or t-shirts.

Awards will be announced in fall 2024.

Successful applicants will be asked to provide a final report documenting how they used the funds and how the grant impacted students alongside photos and/or videos that may be used to promote the Friends of Andrew Bucci Fund at the Community Foundation for Mississippi. All questions regarding this application can be directed to info@andrewbucci.com. The deadline to apply is July 31, 2024. Support for these grants can be made to the Friends of Andrew Bucci Fund here.

Samuel Eric Storm Memorial Scholarship Fund

Robert Malouf Jr. Memorial Fund at CFM Makes First Grant to Mississippi Harm Reduction

View inside Robert's House.
View inside Robert’s House.

The Robert Malouf Jr. Memorial Fund at the Community Foundation for Mississippi has made its first grant from the fund, which is benefitting the lives of individuals participating in the Mississippi Harm Reduction Initiative‘s (MHRI) Recovery Housing Program.

With the grant support, MHRI was able to create Robert’s House, a safe haven for men transitioning out of a 30-day residential treatment program. The program offers a holistic approach to recovery, providing essential support and resources to individuals on their journey toward sobriety.

Through the program, participants are connected with certified peer specialists who offer guidance and support and attend twelve-step meetings. Additionally, individuals can pursue educational goals, including obtaining their GED or returning to community college. Upon arrival, participants receive comprehensive wellness visits to address their physical and mental health needs.

Jason McCarty, Executive Director of the Mississippi Harm Reduction Initiative, expressed gratitude, saying, “Mississippi Harm Reduction is grateful for the generous gift from the Robert Malouf Jr. Memorial Fund at CFM. To turn a tragedy into kindness is a significant sign of compassion and a lasting gift that will honor Robert’s name for generations to come.”

Recognizing gaps in the substance abuse disorder community, Lee Malouf opened the Robert Malouf, Jr. Memorial Fund at CFM to honor the legacy of her son, Robert Malouf, Jr., who died from an accidental opioid overdose, and to assist many struggling with addiction. Learn more about the fund here.

Honoring Bootjack and Red: Talamieka Brice

View of Talamieka Brice overlooking the historical marker for Bootjack and Red erected in the Duck Hill town square. Photo courtesy of Rory Doyle.
View of Talamieka Brice overlooking the historical marker for Bootjack and Red erected in the Duck Hill town square. Photo courtesy of Rory Doyle.

“It’s kind of funny, the Community Foundation was sort of involved in this (film) process from the beginning,” Talamieka Brice chuckles, reflecting.  What started as a story told by her grandmother as a young child has now blossomed into a film project about the brutal lynching of two men in Mississippi seen around the world and the process of honoring their legacy.

Several years ago, Brice was a featured speaker during the Mississippi Department of Archives and History’s History is Lunch program with Kiese Laymon, sponsored by CFM, about her documentary “5, A Mother’s Journey.” As part of this film, Brice shared the story handed down from generation to generation about Roosevelt “Red” Townes and Robert “Bootjack” McDaniels, two black men who were lynched in Duck Hill, Mississippi in 1937 by a white mob after being labeled murders of a white storekeeper. Their lynchings, distributed in photographs around the world, became the catalyst for an anti-lynching law that ultimately failed in the United States Senate.

At the end of the program, MDAH’s Chris Goodwin shared more historical documents with Brice and the idea of pursuing a historical marker for the two men.

“When he said that, my heart just lit up—to finally acknowledge this community. My grandmother told me that story, but she’s not the only one who relayed that information. I just thought of that whole community that was silent about it. They heard it and had been forced into silence about what happened. So, when Chris said that, it really meant a lot to me as a little girl just hearing that story. I felt so burdened with it.”

It would be a shame, Brice thought at the time, for the work towards the marker to not be documented. As a filmmaker, she knew she needed to dive deeper into the arc of the deaths of these men and the effect the lynching had on the local community while also documenting the process of creating a historical marker for Bootjack and Red. To help get this project to the finish line, Brice has created the Mississippi 2: Bookjack and Red Project Fund at the Community Foundation for Mississippi.

“I’m an independent filmmaker, so a lot of stuff has come out of my pocket. I am so grateful for the support I have already received. To start the process of restoring dignity back to these men, I don’t have those funds, but in community, I feel like together, we’re acknowledging what happened and starting the process of healing for us all,” Brice said.

“My 501c3 only allows me to take things so far,” she continued. “Partnering with the Community Foundation allows me to take the next step. CFM has a documented history of doing the work that works in the community. It allows me to move forward in telling these stories.”

Brice says funds raised will help with production costs, including the reenactment portion of the film. While the lynching photos of the men were widely distributed around the world, most do not know about their lives. As time passes, there are only a few left who were alive during that time to tell their recollections firsthand. Reenactments will help bring those memories to life.

“When you’re studying ancient civilizations, one of the main things that people look at is the art that was left around. Art tells a story – like the pottery pieces, the written words. I feel like my purpose at this time in my life is to be one of those scribes, in a sense, who writes down that this is the story of the people,” said Brice. “Partnering with the Community Foundation for Mississippi makes sense for the work that I’ve done because it allows me to be able to tell a beautiful story of the people.”

Mississippi 2/Bootjack & Red Memorial Project Fund