Partner Communities

Partner Communities

The Welcome Table creates a safe space for diverse community stakeholders to form healthy relationships via open, honest communication. Now in more than a dozen communities in Mississippi and beyond, it is one of the Winter Institute’s signature programs, garnering attention and partnerships from reconciliation organizations as far away Northern Ireland and South Africa.

Winter Institute Community Partners in Mississippi

What have communities done?

Here are some examples of projects undertaken by Mississippi communities with support from the Winter Institute:

  • Public ceremonies to acknowledge painful racial histories in ways that encourage the community to learn and grow together
  • Oral history projects on the racial history of the community
  • Civil rights driving tours, memorial highways, and historic markers of significant civil rights or African American history (often done in conjunction with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and the Mississippi Freedom Trail that is part of the Mississippi Development Authority’s Tourism Division)
  • After-school and summer mentoring and tutoring programs for children
  • The creation of a local “Excel by Five” program to support pre-K education of area children
  • Civil and human rights curricula in local schools that include after-school programs and oral history projects. Local student test scores have improved, as have graduation rates
  • The creation of a local integrated community choir to perform at community events
  • Scholarships for local children to enroll in previously unaffordable summer enrichment programs
  • The restoration of a significant civil rights historical landmark, which has also spurred new business in the surrounding area
  • Development of a city/county/university coalition that created affordable housing options and homeowner training
  • Playgrounds in neighborhoods that had none
  • Community gardens
  • A rural youth community center with computer labs, a library, and arts programs
  • The creation of civil rights collections in local libraries
  • Community cleanups and beautification efforts
  • The creation of a coalition of local nonprofits on the MS Gulf Coast that works together to coordinate social justice related programs
  • My Brother’s Keeper programming for mentoring young boys of color
  • Teachers’ summits on how to teach civil rights history and multicultural curriculum development
  • Social events such as ice creams socials and potlucks that make an effort to have large interracial social gatherings