The Mississippi Rapid Response Coalition (The Coalition), led by the People's Advocacy Institute, the Mississippi Poor People’s Campaign, Immigrant Alliance for Justice and Equity, One Voice, MS, Alternate ROOTS, Mississippi Moves, Operation Good, Strong Arms of Mississippi and over thirty partner organizations, are working diligently to meet the clean water needs of the communities directly impacted by the deteriorating infrastructure in Jackson, Mississippi. After more than five decades of neglect by the State, residents in older cities, like Jackson, have been forced to carry the financial burden of fragile infrastructure and have been exposed regularly to the health risks associated with the need for constant repair. In 2021, residents were under a boil water alert for at least 225 days. In 2022, boil water requirements continue to plague an already resource constrained population. These water woes not only impact the quality of life for Jacksons residents, they also impact Jacksons economy (schools, businesses, etc.), further strangling an already under-resourced city.
The Coalition has a goal of raising a minimum of $2 million dollars to provide clean water to residents. We know that these rapid response funds are only a fraction of what will be needed to fix the infrastructure problems in Jackson. A lasting and long-term solution requires that the State government provide the investments they have willfully neglected to provide. In the meantime, The Coalition, which is made up of over 30 Mississippi- based organizations, is providing water relief to reduce the harm.
The People’s Advocacy Institute (PAI) is a non-profit community resource, training and capacity-building incubator for transformation justice in the South. PAI serves as a vehicle for true democracy, harnessing the collective wisdom of southern communities that have been directly impacted by a divestment from key community systems such as mass criminalization and incarceration and economic inequality. By engaging communities in electoral justice efforts, People's Assemblies, Alternatives to Incarceration Initiatives, and an intentional grassroots process for cultivating ideas and developing solutions PAI, builds community capacity, inspires self-determination and community-driven solutions to violence, punitive legal systems and social injustice facing far too many communities. We believe that community agency is what architects robust systems change and is what is needed to build new institutional power that paves the way for a more just system rooted in restoration, resilience and self-determination.
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