Finding Hope in Troubling Times + Book Giveaway

Finding hope in troubling times is essential to our well-being and sustains our energy as we engage  in the long work of resisting oppression and creating sustainable, positive change in the world. This month we want to share with you some of the innovative tools, inspiring events, and uplifting work happening now that gives us hope, heals our hearts, and strengthens our resolve to continue working for a more just, compassionate world. Be sure to enter our book giveaway. Information is at the bottom of the post. 

We want to hear from you! 

What gives you hope right now? Join the conversation in our Facebook group!


Contacting our legislators doesn’t have to be a headache. Built and operated 100% by volunteers, ResistBot is a multi-platform tool that takes the headache out of contacting Congressional offices and other elected officials. If you’re having trouble getting in touch with a Congressional office about your concerns, ResistBot can ensure that your voice is heard by delivering your message on your behalf.

Anyone with a smartphone can text the word RESIST to 50409, and ResistBot identify your senators and representative. You can also connect with ResistBot through Twitter or Facebook messenger.  Type any message, and using simple commands, ResistBot will send your message for you and confirm that it has been delivered. It can remind you to take daily action, give you resources on what topics to write about, and even send your letter to your local paper for publication.

Learn more at

Mississippi Teens Advocating for Better Sexuality Education 

Young people are such an inspiration these days! Current Mississippi law requires sexuality education in public schools, but the quality of that education leaves a lot to be desired. A group of Mississippi teens, organized by our partner Teen Health Mississippi, is working to change the current law to ensure that all sexuality education curricula are medically-accurate, evidence-based, and cover a wide-range of ages.

The teens involved with Mississippi Youth Council, or MY Council, were recently featured in an MTV News segment on their Facebook page. Watch as these young folks organize, strategize, and advocate with their elected officials to change Mississippi law to ensure every young person has the information and support needed to make healthy decisions about their sexuality.

To learn more about MY Council, visit Teen Health Mississippi’s website.

Mississippi Book Festival

Sometimes we need a break from the digital world and just want a good, old-fashioned book. On August 18th at the Mississippi State Capitol hundreds of authors will join thousands of book-readers for a celebration of books, reading, and learning. Launched in 2015 by literary activists the annual Mississippi Book Festival has reached more than 6,400 people. This completely free event will feature panel discussions as well as music events and activities for kids. This year’s speaker line-up includes award-winning novelist Jesmyn Ward, author of Sing, Unburied Sing which won the 2017 National Book Award.

To learn more, visit

In honor of the Book Festival, Faith in Women is hosting a book giveaway

We’d like to help spark a little more joy in the world, so we’re passing on some good reads to our friends. If you’d like to be entered to win a free copy of Cecilie Richard’s Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead–My Life Story or Austin Channing Brown’s I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, please fill out this form by July 31st. The winners will be notified in August.



Sexuality Education Partner Highlight: Teen Health Mississippi

At Faith in Women we know that access to quality sexuality education is critical for ensuring young people have the tools and information they need to lead healthy, happy lives. Mississippi parents know this too–that’s why they overwhelmingly support age-appropriate sexuality education in public schools.

As we continue to work toward universal, comprehensive sexuality education for every young person, we know that faith leaders have an important role to play both in providing and advocating for sex ed. Religious communities are uniquely positioned to minister to the full range of needs that young people have, including questions and concerns about their sexuality and relationships with one another. If you want to learn more about comprehensive sexuality education and get answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about these programs, please visit our past blog posts on these topics here and here.

Faith leaders in our network often ask us, “How do I get trained to provide sexuality education?”

This month we are excited to share about the inspiring work of our partners at Teen Health Mississippi, an organization providing essential training and resources to those who seek to offer research-based, developmentally-appropriate sexuality education in their communities. They offer a wide-range of affordable, accessible trainings for different audiences, including parents, teachers, and health practitioners.

In 2017 Faith in Women had an opportunity to participate in one of their Foundations Core Skills Training for Sex Ed, and last month we partnered up with Teen Health Mississippi to host one in Biloxi. If you couldn’t attend this training and are interested in attending one in the future, please send us an email, and we will be in touch to discuss this further.

The Foundations Core Skills Training is a one-day program designed to bolster participants’ facilitation skills, so that they are better prepared to offer sexuality education in their communities. Some of the components of the training include:

  • climate building in the classroom,
  • understanding state and local sex education policies,
  • facilitation techniques,
  • values clarification,
  • managing personal disclosure, and
  • handling difficult questions and harassing comments.

Those who wish to receive additional training may opt for a supplementary half-day workshop on topics such as:

  • commonly used sex education strategies,
  • LGBTQ inclusive sex education,
  • a trauma-informed approach to sex education, and
  • cultural proficiency in sex education.

Teen Health Mississippi is an essential resource for anyone and everyone invested in the health and well-being of our children and young people. Check out their website and resource page to learn more about all they have to offer. 

Celebrating Our Members

As we kick off this new year at Faith in Women, we first want to take this opportunity to celebrate the amazing contributions of our supporters in 2017.  In December we asked you to participate in a year-end engagement survey to let us know about the work you have done in your communities to advance and advocate for reproductive health and rights in Mississippi–and we were blown away by what we learned from the responses!

Supporter Activities

Over the past year, our supporters have engaged in all kinds of activities, including:

  • Supporting the sexuality education work of Teen Health Mississippi that improves the lives of teens and young adults  
  • Contacting state and federal representatives about issues that impact marginalized communities, including immigration, police violence, Medicaid expansion, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
  • Championing pro-choice women running for elected office  
  • Attending lobby visits coordinated by Planned Parenthood Southeast
  • Conducting and presenting research on advocacy to academic conferences

We are amazed at the breadth and depth of the work you all do on a daily basis to make Mississippi a more just, compassionate place for women and girls.

Partnerships with Organizations 

At Faith in Women we know that working across justice movements is critical for long-term, sustainable social change, so were pleased to learn from all of you about how you support many other like-minded organizations through financial giving and volunteering, including:

About Our Members 

Our survey was helpful in learning more about the individuals who participate in our programs. Here are a few key pieces of data that we thought were most important to share:

  • Nearly all (88%) of our supporters identify with a particular faith tradition or spiritual practice
  • 56% of our membership participates regularly, either as leader or attendee, in a particular faith community
  • 31% of respondents identify as spiritual or religious but do not affiliate with a specific faith community at this time

Why is this important? Because it reinforces what we know to be true–that people of faith, even in Mississippi, want to see a more just world for women and girls. And while the majority of our members identify as people of faith or faith leaders (we are called Faith in Women, after all), we also have some members who do not personally belong to a faith tradition but still support the work we do to create spaces that allow for nuanced conversations and advocacy regarding faith and reproductive health, rights, and justice.

Responding to the Survey

One thing we heard loud and clear–you all want more! More opportunities to connect with each other locally, more in-person events to learn about issues, and more web-based activities to join. We’ll do our best to make this happen!

As we finish our planning for 2018, we will be prioritizing the program and education areas that our members most requested of us in the coming year:

  • Abortion in Mississippi
  • Reproductive Healthcare
  • Prevention of gender-based violence
  • Women’s economic security
  • Networking opportunities

Thanks to all of our members for a justice-focused year. We can’t wait to see what we accomplish together in 2018!