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February 2024

Mid-City Community Development Corporation: Open House on February 28

Ashlee and Akili Kelly hold up a drawing of Horace Kelly outside the "yellow house," home to the Mid-City Community Development Corporation.

Like many people in the Mid-City neighborhood, the yellow house at 1622 Wood Street has always been a connection point for Akili and Dr. Ashlee Kelly. For Akili, it started as a boy helping his father, Horace, take the then-abandoned home and renovate it into a community center. His father had moved back to his old stomping grounds on Pleasant Avenue in the early 1990s and found a need in Mid-City to improve living conditions and quality of life. With this idea in mind and a background as a general contractor, the Mid-City Community Development Corporation (MCCDC) was born.

Over the years, the walls of the yellow house have seen weddings, community meetings, aftercare services, family reunions and many other programs, both from MCCDC and Northminster Baptist Church’s Wider Net Program. Northminster has played a major role in programming and outreach for the community center since the early 2000s, from after-school care and weekday activities to summer camps. Akili said personal connections continued to play a role with the Yellow House throughout the years as he became an adult. In hindsight, they were all leading him back to Wood Street.

The Kellys are relaunching the Mid-City Community Development Corporation and taking a more active role in the yellow house. To support their work, the couple has created The Radiant Community Fund at the Community Foundation for Mississippi. What to learn more about them and the house? MCCDC will host an open house on February 28 at 3 p.m. to reintroduce themselves to the community and hear from residents about ways they think MCCDC can support the neighborhood and help bring ideas to life.

Learn more here

Hal's St. Paddy's Parade is March 23!

Jacksonians are gearing up for one of the biggest and best events of the year, as Hal’s St. Paddy’s Parade & Festival returns on March 23, 2024, in downtown Jackson! The official theme of this year’s event is “Telling the Mississippi Story,” and the parade’s Grand Marshal is Walt Grayson. As in years past, the parade and festival will raise money for Children’s of Mississippi. Often called the best day in Jackson, the parade sees 50,000 spectators, and the festival now spans two weekends with a variety of activities leading up to the parade, including the Run for the Rainbow for Children's on March 16.

In 2019, the Hal’s St. Paddy’s Parade Fund was created at the Community Foundation for Mississippi to allow for charitable giving from parade supporters across the country. Sponsorships, donations and grants to the fund are the sole sources of funding for this beloved event. Want to be a part of the parade with a marching band, krewe or float? Registration is still open!

Learn more about registration here!

Several Scholarship Applications Now Open!

At 19 years old, Blake Coghlan had dreams of building the best farm in the Delta. He grew up in Holly Bluff, MS to a fourth generation Mississippi farm family. Blake was a promising young farmer with a passion for farming. He was an exceptional person with tremendous potential. He was undeniably authentic, unassuming, easy-going, and loved by everyone who met him.

He attended Mississippi Delta Community College pursuing an Ag Science degree and had plans to further his education at Mississippi State University.

The Blake Coghlan Memorial Ag Scholarship Fund was created at the Community Foundation for Mississippi to encourage young people who share his passion for farming and agriculture. The scholarship provides financial assistance to a graduating high school senior from Yazoo County or Sharkey County intending to study Agriculture or Agriculture-related degree at a Mississippi 4-year or 2-year institution. The award is for a period of one academic year.

Recipients will be selected based on academic achievement, leadership qualities, and career objectives in the field of agriculture. The deadline to apply is March 31, 2024.

View the Blake Coghlan Ag Memorial Scholarship criteria and checklist

The JXN Water Scholarship was established at the Community Foundation for Mississippi to provide financial assistance to high school seniors attending a public school in Hinds County interested in pursuing a degree in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) discipline that could lead to a career in water and wastewater operations and management.

Coming on board as the interim third-party manager of the City of Jackson’s water system, Ted Henifin knew he would need to think upstream about the water workforce pipeline. Henifin saw the water system was severely understaffed and struggled with hiring due to a lack of qualified candidates. To help address this challenge, the JXN Water Scholarship Fund at the Community Foundation for Mississippi was created. The scholarship will help ensure more properly trained persons will fill those positions in the future.

Applications are open to seniors currently enrolled at a Jackson Public School District High School, Hinds County School District High School and Clinton High School who will attend Hinds Community College (any campus located in Hinds County) or Jackson State University. The award is for a period of one academic year. The deadline to apply is April 15, 2024.

View JXN Water Scholarship criteria and checklist

Grants From Other Sources

This list is a shared resource. For inquiries about each grant, CFM recommends contacting the grantmaking organization listed for more information.

State Grants

Mississippi Arts Commission's annual grants open on February 1 and close on March 1. Don't miss this opportunity to support your artistic endeavors! Grants include project grants for individuals and organizations, operating grants, Artist Fellowships, Teaching Artist Roster, Apprenticeship, and Whole Schools. Learn more here.

Mississippi Humanities Council's spring Regular Grant deadline is May 1. Grants greater than $2,500 are considered regular grants and are capped at $10,000. Regular grants may be used to support larger public humanities programs, conferences, exhibits and the development of original productions in film, television, radio, podcasts, or online resources. Proposals must be completed via their online portal by midnight to [email protected]. Programs and expenditures may not occur fewer than eight weeks after the deadline date selected. Mini-grants are also available on a rolling basis. Applications must be received at least four weeks before the program. Learn more here.

Regional Grants

South Arts has several grant opportunities available. South Arts Express Grants (rolling deadline) and Presentation Grants (deadline: March 1, 2024) are also available.

National Grants

T-Mobile is investing $25M in 500 rural towns over 5 years to jumpstart projects and build stronger communities. Rural communities can apply for up to $50,000 for a Hometown Grant to bring their community idea to life. Twenty five grants are awarded each quarter. Learn more here.

The AARP Community Challenge provides small grants to fund quick-action projects that can help communities become more livable for people of all ages. There are three areas of grant opportunities. The deadline to apply is March 6. Learn more here.

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