Spark authentic dialogue. Demand accountability. Report equitable solutions​.​

MFP-YMP Solution Circles are a platform for a diversity of Mississippians to together address challenges communities face through deep listening and relationship-building across divides. Through respectful dialogue, our neighbors become our best resource and allies for creating sustainable and impactful solutions around urgent public-policy and community issues that can transcend partisan politics. The Crirec and other media outlets can then center oft-ignored communities and people from counties across the state based on the needs, solutions, experience and expertise they bring to these people-led circles.

What happens:

  • You’ll arrive, park and check in! You will get a sticky note to answer this briefly: “What do you want to solve?”
  • The circle team will quickly organize your topics into larger categories 
  • Participants will self-sort into these circles, or create new ones with our guidance. 
  • Each circle will then spend 30 minutes discussing and writing down what you believe the problems and challenges are in your topic area. 
  • Your circle will then spend another 30 minutes discussing possible solutions you’ve seen elsewhere or want to see explored or brainstormed.
  • Your group then will report out to the larger circle on your ideas, which we will document and publish on our new Solutions Circles website.
  • Participants then envision ways to follow up on our ideas from intimate think-tank meetings to other creative solutions they imagine and implement.
  • Outcomes and ideas will appear on this microsite for later discussion.
  • Solutions Circles members talking at the first gathering of 2023
  • Solutions Circles members talking at the first gathering of 2023
  • Solutions Circles members talking at the first gathering of 2023
  • Solutions Circles members talking at the first gathering of 2023
  • Solutions Circles members talking at the first gathering of 2023
  • Solutions Circles members talking at the first gathering of 2023
  • Solutions Circles members talking at the first gathering of 2023
  • Solutions Circles members talking at the first gathering of 2023
  • Solutions Circles members talking at the first gathering of 2023

Circle 1: Nourishing Environment 4 Youth

  • Concerns
    • Single Parent [something]
    • Latchkey kids
    • Lack of quality ECD
    • The outcome of being reared in poverty
    • Lock of quality healthcare
    • Stress/depression/anxiety
    • Pseudo adult concerns (might be different word at the end)
  • What is a nurturing environment?
    • Familial Support
    • Economic Stability
    • Feeling Safe
    • Structure (clear roles)(clear boundaries)
  • Solutions
    • Exposure
    • Allow youth to have a voice/LISTEN!
    • Healthy community support
    • Investment /Involvement
    • Consistency
    • Attentive/be mindful
    • Mentoring
    • Parenting Support Systems
    • Positive Messaging & Connection via social media
    • Improving training and education
    • Community based approach
    • Treat youth w/ dignity & respect
    • Confirming them

Circle 2: Building Community Engagement

  • Churches should get back to being center of a community (but everyone will not go to church (i.e. non-religious))
  • Youth disengaged from all institutions
    • Social Media
    • Too many silos
    • Communication skills lacking(?)(in person vs online)
  • Silos prevent people from meeting in the middle (politics)
  • In-person gatherings vs virtual
  • How to find nuance in conversations today?
    • There are only 2 sides
  • Community-driven Solutions?
    • Don’t talk at people
    • More community based training/education programs
      • Civics lessons in church
      • Talk to children about voting/political engagement
    • Get out and walk the neighborhood
    • Invite all generations into conversations (youth are having their own conversations online)
      • Duplicate successful models
    • Do neighbors know each other today?
    • Meet communities where they are. Everyone is not going to church.
    • Sports bring people together
    • Use the solutions-circles model and talking sticks back in own communities

Circle 3: Reducing Crime & Violence

  • Effecting
    • Schools
    • Community
    • Businesses
    • Lost of Money
    • Livelihood
    • Mental Health
    • Unstable Homes
    • Partying with your kids
    • Childhood trauma
    • The way a parent can parent
    • Access to resources
    • Poverty reality vs Poverty Mindset
    • Continuous Cycles of criminality connected to poverty
    • Gun Access
  • Solutions
    • Train your kids up to follow rules and respect others!!!
    • Prayer works! Put Jesus back in the home
    • Ask the question why!
    • Incentivise Parent Engagement
    • Raise public awareness about resources available
      • Evaluate accessibility
    • Giver everybody stamps
    • Churches & Civic Orgs providing gap assistance
    • More wrap around services
    • *Public Health*
    • Support grass roots orgs doing the work
      • More mentorship programs for Boys & Girls!
    • Relevant Education
    • Parenting Resources
    • Violence Interrupters 
    • Revise Gun Laws

Circle 4: Infrastructure of/in Communities

  • Concerns/Causes:
    • A better tax base
    • White Supremacy
    • Dissemination of info
    • Crime
    • Insurance
    • Schools Collapsing
    • Exercise the right to vote
    • Get involved with youth
    • Create a space to meet young people where they are
    • Build relationships with young people
    • Communities working to tackle issues in community
    • Tackling myths/changing narratives
    • More community talks like this with action
    • Being informed
    • Black Business Class
    • Revitalization

Circle 1: How do we get more information to voters?

  1. Media publishing a detailed list?
  2. How do you get it out? Word of mouth
  3. How will it reach the people? Community organizations
  4. Do pushcards work? Yes
  5. Political action committees do help set the 
  6. Is there a model system to help get news to the community? Community engagement. Civic engagement.
  7. Need more community activities
  8. People get burned out w/o participation from voters.
  9. Different cultures do not speak about religion and politics. Need to have hard conversations.
  10. Be engaged in a political party.
  11. Extended voting hours/early voting.
  12. Open primaries
  13. Ranked choice voting
  14. Should be able to go into any precinct and vote.
  15. Voter rolls being purged.
  16. Elections:
    1. City Council
    2. Judges/City Court/County Court/Circuit Court/Justice Court/School Board
    3. Mayor
    4. County Supervisor
  17. Which seat is the most powerful? Justice Court have to be 18 with High School diploma.
  18. Everyone should run at least once for office.
  19. Many people do not know who their current incumbent is
  20. Lack of local media coverage about upcoming elections
  21. Lack of education about local issues
  22. Local media behind paywalls (Sun Herald)
  23. Lack of information. Corporate consolidation of media
  24. Lack of access to media (People with fixed incomes can’t afford paywalls)
  25. Going to Facebook & TikTok to get
  26. Centrists feel they have no voice the conservative state
  27. Is there a place for moderates in MS? Yes
  28. Stranglehold on elections
  29. Local news rooms being hollowed out.
  30. Not reporting local news/no local journalist
  31. Has to be a solution for local community journalism
  32. Voter suppression is a problem.
    1. No early voting
    2. Strict ID laws
    3. Low voter turnout
    4. How to combat that?
  33. 307
  34. Voter turnout during statewide elections
  35. Polling places are inconsistent
  36. Need to advertise elections/database not available
  37. Media needs to report on qualifying deadlines
  38. Gerrymandering is a problem
  39. Legislature in session so much
  40. No election should go unchallenged

Circle 2: Equitable Housing

  • Problems
    • Affordable housing isn’t available in certain areas
    • Development also affects the environment negatively
    • Cost of insurance is too expensive
    • College housing is also expensive!! Cheaper to live OFF campus!
  • Possible Solutions
    • High rise housing options
    • Possible gov’t regulations
    • Keep an eye on insurance prices
    • Know who is buying the land
    • Redevelop dead retail space
    • VOTE! Get involved in election process

Circle 3: Climate/Environment

  • Problems
    • Car dependent Society
    • Complexities in recycling vs regular trash pick-up
  • Solutions
    • Walkable communities
    • Earth Day
    • More education on environmental products
    • Reusable containers
    • Change corporate culture
    • Drive thru receptacles
    • Enforcement
    • Returnable refunds
    • Government Incentives


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