Sunflower County United for Children is a partnership of community contributors working together to create equitable opportunities and improved systems, where all children and families can thrive. The unique capacity building project is empowering the more than 29,000 residents of Sunflower County to set their community’s agenda and enrichment. The collective expertise as advocates, educators, policymakers and thought leaders is creating sustainable resources where they are needed most. Using this locally-sourced knowledge, the group focuses on five key areas: community engagement, economic security, education, health & well-being and neighborhood vitality; the building blocks to sustainable change.

Members use their familiarity of the Delta’s rich heritage to explore the most viable solutions to issues concerning Sunflower County. The networked dialogue is galvanized through outreach within civic empowerment sessions, education toolkits and neighborhood wellness programs, which all help to weave together tangible resources.

The partnership is led by anchor organization, Mississippi Center for Justice and funded with the generous support from W.K. Kellogg Foundation. From the Center’s Indianola, Miss. office, in the heart of the Delta, Program Director Melanie Powell works hand-in-hand with local politicians, school administrators and civic-minded residents, creating links where there were gaps, to ensure each Sunflower County voice has a platform to share their thoughts about the county’s future.

In 2014, the program has started out strong, with more than 20 partners, which helped amplify the success of pilot programs like the 2014 Sunflower County Summer Jobs Initiative, which provided 50 youth a chance to learn job skills, benefit from financial literacy training and save money ahead of the next school year. Read more about our work, or visit the events page to find out how you can become a part of the evolution.

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