Each year, when the calendar rolls to August, my mind inevitably goes back to school days. Back-to-school season conjures the smell of burning leaves, football games, band practice, new teachers, new books, and newly sharpened pencils. In Mississippi, autumnal weather comes a bit later, but the images persist of crisp fall air during those first weeks of school.
Here at the Alliance, we’ve sharpened our pencils and refined our programs to make learning more accessible than ever, more interesting, more appropriate to your needs, and easier to track. As you read the articles in this Ally, maybe you will be inspired to go “back to school” to learn about establishing excellence in your young organization or get certified in Excellence in Action© for more established groups. You may decide to join an affinity group to meet like-minded people to help improve the lives of Mississippians through systems and policy change.
Whatever your interest, remember that the Alliance is your home team. The people that power the sector in Mississippi are always more effective together. We are here to support you, help build your capacity, and make your big ideas real.
As we move through this seemingly never-ending pandemic, please know that your friends at the MS Alliance and Volunteer MS are here to support you through the Volunteer Hub Network. The eight Volunteer Hubs across the state responded to the first wave of Covid-19 in short order and can do so again wherever they are needed. You can read about all they have accomplished in a few short years in this edition of the Ally.
As the autumn equinox looms and the days are getting shorter, I hope you’ll join the member family if you have not already done so. You will make new friends, acquire new mentors, and watch your organization grow and flourish.
All my best,
The Alliance enters this season of reflection and gratitude, deeply appreciative of the support from our many members, supporters, and friends.
The Phil Hardin Foundation in Meridian was chartered in 1964 with the charge to “improve the education of Mississippians.” For nearly six decades, we have strived to be a catalyst for educational opportunity and community improvement in Mississippi through innovative leadership and productive partnerships.
This summer, I joined thought leaders from Mississippi and across the country in the FutureGood Studio’s futurism training program. It was transformational. This experience redefined my outlook, both professionally as a nonprofit leader and on a personal level. It fundamentally altered the way I approach work and staff engagement and envision the future for both myself and the clients we serve.