The event, which local nonprofit For Brown Girls Inc. hosted with Miss Black Mississippi USA 2017, is part of For Brown Girls Chief Executive Officer Kia Jones' mission to empower women and help them
effect change in their communities.
For Brown Girls, which became an official 501c3 nonprofit organization in 2015, helps girls and women of color throughout Mississippi learn together and advocate the state's disadvantaged.
"I wanted to create an organization that would allow me to serve my community and to provide a vehicle for girls who look like me to start giving back to their own community, not waiting for others to what I could do on my own with the help of brown girls like me," Jones says.
She received her bachelor's degree in biology from Jackson State University and her master's in public administration from Belhaven University in 2015. She is currently working on her doctorate degree in epidemiology at JSU, which she expects to receive in 2019, and is a clinical research assistant at My Brother's Keeper.
For Brown Girls operates on a membership basis. Girls ages 14 to 17 have to have sponsorships from parents or legal guardians. Membership is $30 for women 18 years old and up.
The organization's monthly meetings are at the Jackson State University library on Sundays when everyone is available.
"Our members know the needs of their community better than anyone else therefore," Jones says. "They can address issues and make changes for people with whom they already have a relationship with because they have actually laid eyes on their neighbors and are familiar with them on a personal level.
"... These women have the ground-level knowledge of what works and what doesn't in their community. If we utilize women and girls that are a part of their community, we don't have to go in and introduce ourselves because the person offering help has been there working already in some capacity with or without notoriety."
For more information, visit forbrowngirlsinc.org or find the organization on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.