The NEW MS Legislative Fellowship was launched as a pilot program in 2022 with a grant from the Ascend Fund, an initiative of Panorama Global dedicated to accelerating the pace of change toward gender parity in U.S. politics. The collaborative fund pools philanthropic capital to support nonpartisan, non-profit organizations that are working to ensure women have access to the resources and support they need to run for office, and that are breaking down the barriers that prevent women from running and winning.
Fellows served as legislative aides to the bipartisan Mississippi Senate Study Group on Women, Children, and Families. They summarized and synthesized public comments and submissions received during the Study Group’s summer hearings and conducted policy research on the needs of women, children, and families in Mississippi, working with Senator Nicole Boyd—Chair of the Senate Study Group—and the Lt. Governor's legal staff to conduct their research and assist the Study Group in its efforts to improve various state policies. Fellows set their own schedules and conducted most work remotely, though they were required to travel to Jackson for the Study Group's formal report, which included their research, and were encouraged to attend legislative committee hearings as often as possible. Working November through January 31 (the last day for committees to report legislation originating in their chamber), fellows received a stipend of $3,000 and a travel allowance of up to $2,000.
The CWRPP hopes to make the legislative fellowship a permanent program. Check back for updates!