Mississippi’s population declined by more than 11,000 residents last year, continuing the trend of being one of only two states in the Southeast to shed population. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Mississippi’s population has declined to 2,966,786. This is similar to the official data from 2010, meaning the state will experience essentially…

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Empower Mississippi’s commitment to advancing economic opportunity is centered around two primary objectives. First, improvement to Mississippi’s labor force participation rate — the measure of how many Mississippians over the age of 16 have jobs or are looking jobs. Right now, Mississippi has the third lowest rate in the country. Second, improvement in income levels…

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Americans have been drowning in a sea of COVID-19, social unrest, and election turmoil. The waves have not yet calmed, but shore is in sight. A day is approaching when vaccines will be distributed, election contests cease, and we can take stock of frayed lines across the country. Leadership can come from unlikely places. Mississippi…

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Seven years ago, Russ Latino and I worked together to get Empower Mississippi off the ground.  Russ was a founding board member who traveled the state with me, talking to community leaders and donors about the vision for an advocacy organization that tackled the biggest challenges facing Mississippi. In the years that followed, he would…

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Empower Mississippi promoted its senior vice president, Russ Latino, to president of the nonprofit organization. Grant Callen will remain CEO of Empower. Callen, who founded Empower in 2014, will now be charged with casting the organization’s vision, defining the focus of the work, overseeing operations and culture, and developing key relationships across Mississippi and beyond.…

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Last week, the United States Department of Justice filed a federal lawsuit against the state of Alabama and their Department of Corrections, citing high incidences of violence and unconstitutional conditions in the state’s prisons. This latest lawsuit is an additional blow to the state, who’s been dealing with federal investigations into its prison system for…

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Empower Mississippi focuses its energy on transformative policy related to education, work, and justice. But you cannot talk about any of these subject areas without recognizing the profound impact technology plays in modern society. As Empower Chairman of the Board Gerard Gibert wrote in a recent opinion editorial, “the era of COVID-19 has only accelerated the trend…

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When Mississippi policymakers first considered a slate of criminal justice reforms in 2014, their stated goals were twofold: reduce the size and cost of Mississippi’s prison system while protecting public safety and keeping crime low. The latest data available in 2020 show that these reforms are doing just that. Data published by the Mississippi Department…

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