Mississippi Votes is an organization of intergenerational synergy centering and led by young people invested in the progression of Mississippi. We do this through our programming and outreach strategies that empowers young people, encourages civic engagement, and educates communities on voting rights through place-based grassroots organizing.
What We're About
Our vision is to cultivate a culture of civic engagement throughout the state of Mississippi.
In 2016, a small group of college students began to research voting trends in Mississippi in correlation with a.) the number of eligible voters in the state and b.) the demographic makeup of the state. Their objective was to register as many Mississippians to vote as possible for what they believed would be the most crucial elections of Mississippi's modern electoral history 2018-2020. They were especially interested in engaging young voters. Armed with the knowledge that approximately 445,000 citizens in Mississippi are unregistered and that many of those voters skew younger, poorer, and include the most marginalized populations in the state, especially black and brown citizens, that group of young people founded what is now known as Mississippi Votes.
Our organizational mission is to cultivate a culture of civic engagement throughout the state of Mississippi. Since its inception, Mississippi Votes has evolved and grown by intentionally incorporating research and evaluation and by deeply listening to the people of Mississippi. We have strengthened our leadership and outreach across the state; tested, updated and deepened our organizing model, and incorporated programming that best reflects the people of Mississippi. We aim to empower people across the state, especially those who are most often unheard.
We are a nonpartisan civic engagement organization composed of intergenerational synergy. We trust, value, and adhere to the leadership of young people and are invested in the forward progression of the state of Mississippi. We believe that holistic civic engagement in our state is the most critical piece in attaining true democracy. It is our belief that Mississippi Votes' programming and approach to place-based community organizing evokes a spirit of self-determination in the hearts of Mississippians that urges them to move beyond the voter registration tables, to the polls, and into positions of power.
We value the place, our people and the context of our sacred work that centers the truth of our past to restoratively and regeneratively create a liveable, sustainable and welcoming state for us and our futures.
- Inclusion: maintaining a board, staff, and volunteer base that reflects Mississippi’s diversity
- Engagement: inspiring Mississippians to take an active interest in their state
- Collaboration: cooperating with organizations and groups to widen our outreach
- Empowerment: equipping Mississippians with the tools to effect change in their communities
- Innovation: developing new methods through organizing, data, and research to find creative solutions to existing problems
- We respect and uphold the identities of all people across cultural, gender, sexual, racial and national lines as we believe in justice.
- We believe in and absolutely support young people and their ability to co-create a meaningful and impactful framework that is driven and led by them.
- We believe in and absolutely support gender equity in our processes.
- We oppose oppressive, violent and dehumanizing language and behaviors.
- We believe that every Mississippian deserves the chance for a quality education, a job that pays a livable wage, decent housing on a safe street, affordable and accessible healthcare, and the right to be treated with dignity and respect.
- We believe persistent poverty, particularly among children, is morally abhorrent and fiscally inefficient. Stopping the intergenerational transmission of poverty must be an economic and humanitarian imperative.
- We believe healthy policymaking processes demand wider engagement in vigorous, data-driven, and constructive public discourse about these and other critical issues facing Mississippians.