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Workshops in MS

WIM PhotoBy 1966, the issues concerning Mississippians no longer centered around access to public accommodations and voter registration and many activists had moved on to other areas. SNCC had no programs in Mississippi and only seventeen people working in the state. Black Power advocates began to call for the exclusion of whites from the movement, which caused many whites to distance themselves. Riots in cities across the nation focused attention on needs in other communities. In response to these changes, Wednesdays in Mississippi became Workshops in Mississippi to more specifically target the needs of women in the state. Workshops aided them by addressing basic human needs such as housing, hunger, clothing, and employment. It created a bridge between government agencies and poor black and white Mississippi women, giving them the tools for their own advancement.

Workshops organized classes to teach women how to write their own grant proposals for federal aid and to inform them about the different kinds of help available to them. Projects like Operation Daily Bread instituted pig banks and community gardens to provide food to those who had no money to feed their families, and Turnkey III, which enabled low-income families to purchase a home for the first time. Many of these projects continue today, and in some instances expanded beyond the state of Mississippi under the NCNW’s direction.