The holiday season is officially upon us! This is always an exciting and busy time of year for Springboard with holiday celebrations in communities, year-end data reports to compile, and working with families to create and finalize Community Blueprints and work plans that will lay the foundation for programming in 2023. But especially as Thanksgiving is fast approaching, we wanted to take some time to center gratitude and reflect on some of the pieces we have been most proud of in the past few months.
At the beginning of 2022, we doubled down on our commitment to center the voices of our families, provide additional advocacy and storytelling support, and offer more spaces and opportunities for our residents to share their stories and advocate for themselves. And we are excited to share some of the amazing ways that has unfolded:
- In October, Brandy, one of our Policy & Systems Change Fellows, had an opportunity to testify at the Mississippi Legislative TANF Hearing held in response to the ongoing investigation of Mississippi’s misspending and theft of at least $77 million of TANF funds. She shared both the undue burdens and frustrations of trying to apply and receive TANF and how receiving the funds could have transformed her family’s life and the lives of many other families. You can view the full video below!
- In partnership with Insight Center, we have launched a new essay series featured in Nonprofit Quarterly. Locked Out: Black Women, Wealth, and Homeownership connects the lived experiences, hopes, and dreams of low-income Black women and their perspectives on homeownership to the historic and current policies that fuel our exclusionary housing market—and its impact on health and wellbeing—to advocate for equitable housing solutions for Black women. While the series features writers and experts across many disciplines, each essay is informed by and centered on the experiences of families, particularly from stories and interviews collected with our own Springboard mothers.
- Another one of our fellows, Roslyn, spoke at a Moral Monday rally held in Jackson in response to the ongoing water crisis, calling on state and local leaders to ensure there is clean and safe drinking water for all people and sharing her own story, alongside her daughter, of trying to care for her family despite years of unsafe drinking water and neglected systems.
- In response to the lack of social safety net benefits and systems to support new mothers in Mississippi, our Policy and Systems Change Fellows also worked together to organize and launch Springboard’s own diaper bank. After a kick-off event where 837 diapers were distributed to mothers, additional diapers are now being housed in the Springboard office and on-site at communities, so mothers can access as needed and know that they have support to care for their young children.
We still have big plans for 2023 and look forward to building upon and expanding this work that has just begun. But for now, we will take a moment to celebrate and be thankful for all that has happened. We look forward to sharing more joy from 2022 with you throughout the last part of this year!