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November 11, 2022

The Ally: We Are Grateful for Our Village


I've felt many different emotions this week, but all of them are accompanied by hope. I appreciate your continued kindness and caring toward my family and me. I've said it many times these past few weeks (and probably months and years, too), but I still mean it from the bottom of my heart: we are grateful for our village. Thank you for being a part of it.

I was sad to miss the National Federation of Families conference this year but delighted to experience it through the eyes of Coreaner Price and Jacquelynn Taylor. Please take a few minutes to listen to them share their thoughts about the conference. I was touched by their sincerity, openness and commitment to standing side by side with families. I think you will be too.

And speaking of sharing thoughts, please share your thoughts on what kinds of school-based mental health support you want for your child and family by responding to this survey from the National Center for School Mental Health.

I am delighted to share with you that we have rescheduled our Community Partnership Celebration for January 23 from 5 - 7:30 p.m. at BRAVO! Italian Restaurant and Bar. We hope to see all of you there. If you bought tickets for the original Celebration scheduled for November 7, we will automatically transfer those to the January date. Please share the word. We have lots to celebrate together!

My heart hurts that the world has lost a true disability rights champion. Lois Curtis was institutionalized in Georgia and took her battle to live in the community to the United States Supreme Court—and won in 1999. She died last week. Lois never gave up or stopped being positive. She lived a meaningful life in the community. 

Because Lois never gave up, mental health systems across the country changed, and thousands of people now have the opportunity to live and work in the community. You can read more about the trail she blazed and the person she was in our Resource section this week. 

Next week we will explore in more depth what Lois's courage means for the state of Mississippi as it responds to a lawsuit that could undo many of the gains she brought about. May we all work together to honor her life and continue down the trail that she blazed. Let's make it shine bright for all the people currently on it and for all those who may follow. 

Joy Hogge signature


Jacquelynn Taylor and Coreaner Price attended the National Federation of Families conference in Oklahoma City, OK in early November 2022, and afterward they visited on a video call to tell us more about their experience attending informative sessions and meeting peers in family support and advocacy roles.
We've rescheduled the Community Partnership Celebration-and we thank you for your patience and understanding of our need to reschedule our Ninth Annual CPC. If you already purchased tickets for the November 7 event, those tickets will be automatically transferred to this event.
The National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH) asks for input via a survey that we at Families as Allies encourage you to fill out. The survey encourages families to provide feedback on how families should be engaged in mental health at school.


Are you a parent or caregiver raising or raising a child aged 0-21 who has mental health or behavioral health challenges? Would you like to use your lived experience to help another parent who is on the same journey? Then being a parent peer supporter may be for you!
The Mississippi Autism Advisory Committee (MAAC) was created by House Bill 11252 (2011 Regular Session) as the Legislature recognized an urgent need for strategies on how to best identify, treat, educate, accommodate and employ people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and assist their families.
The National Action Network Western Regional Education Taskforce in Coalition with Black Student Advocate, Black Men & Black Women United, and The Las Vegas Alliance of Black School Educators, MLK commUNITY & Circle of Life Development Foundation are proud to host and support this empowering...
This hour is open for any family member to drop in for all or some of the time to ask questions or get feedback about IEP issues and other school situations. We ask anyone who stops by to respect the confidentiality of the group and not share anything discussed in the group outside of the group.
The Mississippi Department of Education will hold a public hearing on proposed changes to the Mississippi College and Career Readiness Standards for Social Studies 2022. Friday, November 18 | 9:00 am Woolfolk State Office Building Room 145 501 N West Street Jackson, MS All Mississippi residents...
Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Advisory Committee The Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Advisory Committee (EHDI-AC), established by state statute (MS Code 41-90-7), is an advisory committee appointed by the State Health Officer to advise and assist the Mississippi State Department...
This group focuses on understanding current policy issues and also opportunities for leadership training graduates to serve on decision-making committees. Leadership training graduates are strongly encouraged to attend, but the meetings are open to anyone who is interested in learning more about...


Attorney Sue Jamieson was touring a grim state hospital in Georgia three decades ago when she was introduced to a young woman, Lois Curtis, who'd spent much of her teen years and early 20's in state institutions. "As we always say, 'What is it you think we could do for you?
Frequently Asked Questions about Rights of Children in Homeless Situations
Olmstead, or Olmstead v. LC, is the name of the most important civil rights decision for people with disabilities in our country's history. This 1999 United States Supreme Court decision was based on the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Lois Curtis is an African American artist with intellectual and developmental disabilities and schizophrenia. Curtis paved the way for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities to get out of institutional settings and live within communities.