News Briefs

Operation Shoestring announces annual event

To highlight and raise funds for its work with children and families in central Jackson, nonprofit Operation Shoestring will host its annual Conversation About Community Nov. 1, at the Jackson Convention Complex Auditorium. The panel discussion will take place 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and a buffet lunch will be served immediately following. With the theme “Fear and Loving in Mississippi: An Exploration of the Mississippi Mindset,” this year’s event will bring a fresh approach to the question of how we can change the trajectory of our state’s future for the better. The event will feature two panelists from very different backgrounds, both powerful voices in their respective fields. Rev. Ed Bacon, a regular guest on Oprah’s Soul Series on Oprah & Friends Radio and author of 8 Habits of Love: Overcome Fear and Transform Your Life, will bring his unique focus on mindset, and heartset, to the question of how our thinking impacts our actions as individuals and as a society. Natalie Collier, of the Children’s Defense Fund, organizes, trains and helps women break out of poverty in impoverished rural counties in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, and has an incredible depth of experience and insight to bring to the conversation about the realities that emerge as a result of our choices on the state level. Dan Jones, former Chancellor of University of Mississippi, will serve as moderator. Operation Shoestring’s signature annual fundraiser, A Conversation About Community was created as a way to put into action its mantra that “we all rise together.” The idea is to create a safe space for people and organizations from across the larger Jackson area, from all walks of life, to be a part of a candid conversation about the critical issues that impact the children and families Operation Shoestring serves in central Jackson and, ultimately, everyone in Jackson and Mississippi.  Tickets are $50 and will be available online at and at the door until sold out. Sponsorship packages are available. Contact Stacey Jordan for more information at (601) 353-6336 x 27 or

Community Links to host conference on caregiving Nov. 3

Community Links, Inc, will host the second annual MS CARE Conference from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 3, at the Mississippi E-Center@ Jackson State University. The Mississippi E-Center is located at 1230 Raymond Road in Jackson. Taking Care to Give Care is the theme of this year’s conference. The purpose of the conference is to recognize and reflect on the importance of caregiving; promoting a healthy mind, body and spirit. Dynamic speakers from a variety of backgrounds will share their expertise and experiences relating to the need for respite care across a lifespan. The keynote speaker during the Awards Luncheon is Ron Mumbower, Ph.D. LMHT. Mumbower will focus on the growing importance of family caregiving from a male caregiver’s perspective, why respite care is so crucial and how to best advocate for caregivers in Mississippi. The conference will include an awards luncheon, caregiver’s panel and an opportunity to learn and network from caregivers and professionals in the field. Social Work CEs will be available. The conference is free. To attend the luncheon only, the fee is $25. If interested in sponsoring or exhibiting or for more information email or call Community Links, Inc. at (601) 963-0613.  To register go to

Disability Awareness Conference set for Oct. 24-25 in Jackson

October marks more than 70 years since the first observance of National Disability Employment Awareness. To showcase and celebrate the many contributions of workers with disabilities, the city of Jackson, in a new partnership with The Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services, will host a Disability Awareness Conference from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Oct. 24-25, at the Jackson Marriott, located at 200 East Amite St., in Jackson. The two-day event will feature keynote addresses from U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson and Antonio Wright, whose nonprofit organization, Metro Area Community Empowerment, serves people with disabilities. This year’s theme is “Inclusion Works: Improving Opportunities, Changing Lives.” The conference also will feature numerous exhibitors and vendors, sharing information regarding the latest equipment, resources, and services available to help make more independent the lives of individuals with disabilities. The event is open to the public.  The history of National Disability Employment Awareness Month traces back to 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1962, the word “physically” was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month. For more information, contact Sam Gleese, ADA Compliance Coordinator, at (601) 960-1863 or email

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