Women's Leadership Initiative

Women’s Leadership Initiative

The women’s leadership council aims to bring together leaders to promote education in South Mississippi. 


What We've Been Up To:

We had an awesome time mentoring students at Harrison County Career & Technical Center on December 14th.  Read about it and see pictures here! 

State Senator Brice Wiggins, a National Early Learning Fellow, came and spoke to WLI on November 11th and gave some excellent advice on how we can better advocate to our legislators.  It was an extremely informative session for all who attended.  Check out this page on the event for more info!  

We've got our marching orders, so lets go make it happen!

MAEP Is Being Revised.  Let's Make Our Voices Heard!

1. The conversations are forming around revising the MAEP formula; you can read about it on these links:

What is MAEP?

MAEP Explanation

2. And how to fund early education more widely.  Could that funding be included in MAEP so that districts can decide to add preschool to the curriculum?

The Time Is Now!

What do you think funding for education should look like on a statewide basis?  The legislative session begins in January, so there's no time to waste in making sure that our voices are heard!  Our legislators have given us the opportunity to send them our thoughts and ideas, so contact schoolfinance@ls.ms.gov during the weeks leading up to this session and make sure that Mississippi's leaders know how you want funding to be allocated!


To create a powerful initiative of women united to improve the lives of children through leadership, philanthropy, and advocacy 

WHO we are in 2018 

We are a group brought together by United Way of South MS that will make a difference in our communities. We are establishing a membership level tier ($100 annually or $8.30 monthly) that encourages entry supporters to increase our resources through philanthropic giving. United Way will also enhance our relationship with female Leadership Givers  through a “Lifetime Contribution Level” to honor those that have seen the value of the UWSM  work and chosen to be long-term supporters. 

WHAT are our goals in 2018?

Will 2018 Be The Year Mississippi Prioritizes Child Care?

  • Objective 1: Develop/promote programming around Education focused on early years, continuing through 3rd grade, so that children are successful and on track for graduation.
  • Objective 2:  Identify ways to positively impact the financial stability of families on the coast while connecting  need with resources that can help.
  • Objective 3: Establish this group as an objective, credible source for knowledge of  community resources that extends beyond just services  to  educate, share, and define  issues that will effect education, families, and young children.
  • Objective 4:  Support and engage other organizations established by women of South Missisisippi to partner with and create volunteer opportunities, as well as advocacy..  Ideas include members of Excel by 5, Coast Chamber’s WE (Women Entrepreneurs) org and CYP (Coast Young Professionals org), Lighthouse Business and Professional Women’s group, and Junior Auxiliarie

WHY do we think this is important?

We believe that women are more often the doers, in communities, but they want to know the facts behind a cause before acting. 
  • The Women’s Leadership Initiative will be a credible source of knowledge that will give its members the information they need to form their own fact-based opinions.  
  • The Women’s Leadership Initiative will identify areas of interest, research the issues, identify who else is working on this issue and then determine if and how they want to get involved in creating change.  
United Way of South MS seeks to stay aware of the needs in our community by engaging  individuals, agencies and other organizations to understand issues from all points of view.
The Women’s Leadership Initiative will benefit from this deep understanding of community challenges and will be able to translate this information into concrete action plans.  This a primary reason that the Women’s Leadership Initiative is being offered by UWSM.

HOW will this really work?   

The Women’s Leadership Initiative will not duplicate or replace other women’s groups working in our communities.  It will support and enhance those in existence so that strong programs continue to expand the initiatives already created. 
The Women’s Leadership Initiative will have the ability to become the information arm for existing groups around current voter issues, critical proposed legislation, and community needs that will impact the future of our children and families.  We will not meet monthly – it will be at most quarterly offerings for information.  We will also hold 4 social events for fun and networking  so that we can meet and share with other like-minded women.
Interested in the Women's Leadership Initiative? Purchasing a membership will allow participants to attend all Women’s Leadership events at no cost throughout the year. But there will also be ticketed events throughout the year for those that only want to select specific events to attend without supporting the initiative with the purchase of a membership.


United Way Worldwide ranked number one in the...
Stephanie Mueller of Gulfport is the winner of United Way of South Mississippi’s $50,000 Nifty 50 raffle.
Mueller’s winning ticket was pulled during the raffle drawing on...
Thirteen businesses are serving as pacesetters for the 2019 giving campaign of United Way of South Mississippi, which uses donor dollars to improve the overall quality of life in its service...
United Way of South Mississippi awarded 11 community impact grants during a presentation ceremony at the Knight Nonprofit Center in Gulfport on Wednesday, July 24.
The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading recently recognized the Gulfport community with the Pacesetter Honors for reporting measurable progress on key indicators of early school success.

Top News

Latest News

The Latest