(Jackson, MS) – MS Women’s Economic Security Initiative (MWESI), a project of the MS Black Women’s Roundtable will host its virtual Advocacy Day at the Capitol on Thursday, Jan. 28, from 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. The event, called the “Power of the Pocketbook: Investing in Women. Investing in Mississippi,” will include a virtual press conference to allow key stakeholders to discuss statewide issues impacting Mississippi women’s economic security – such as wage discrimination, healthcare, childcare and paid leave – along with the associated legislation. It will also include a panel discussion at noon around MS-BWR’s 2021 policy agenda.
One of the featured speakers is Amanda McMillan, a Jackson, MS mother of three who successfully sued her employer in 2011 for sex discrimination after learning she was doing many of the same duties as males at her job, but for lower pay. McMillan will speak to the need for Mississippi to pass Equal Pay legislation. Mississippi has one of the worst wage gaps in the country and is the only state without an equal pay law on the books.
Other key speakers include:
- Cassandra Welchlin, MS-BWR executive and co-convener
- Senator Derrick Simons
- Sen. Tammy Witherspoon
- Rep. Sonya Williams-Barnes
- Kay Brocato, AAUW-MS, president
- MLICCI Executive Director Carol Burnett
“Women’s pocketbooks are directly tied to their economic security,” Welchlin said. “We are using this powerful symbol of the pocketbook to help bring attention to the dire need in Mississippi to prioritize women, particularly Black women. We know that women are using their pocketbooks to care for households and pay for critical needs like rent, childcare and food costs. We want the legislature to prioritize key issues like wage disparities, pregnancy accommodations, paid leave, child care, and other matters that must be improved to improve the state’s overall economic outcomes. Improving key issues and investing in our mothers, daughters and wives is also investing in Mississippi.” Welchlin said supporting MS-BWR’s policy agency around women’s economic security is not only the right thing to do for Mississippi; it’s the smart thing as well. During the press event, other featured speakers will be individuals representing organizations from across the state who will raise their voices to support legislation that supports economic security for women. MS-BWR will also host an online panel discussion immediately following the online press conference featuring Mississippi policy experts. To learn more, visit msblackwomensroundtable.org
Mississippi Black Women’s Roundtable is an inter-generational statewide network dedicated to increasing civic engagement and voter participation among Black women while at the forefront of championing equitable public policy on behalf of Black women and girls. MS-BWR is an affiliate of the National Coalition for Black Civic Participation.