Courageous Spaces

“Every time you wake up with a breath, you should consider that a blessing. And one of the reasons it's a blessing is because it’s an opportunity to try again.Unfortunately, people have grown weary. There’s no refuge from collective pain. We’re in that moment now. The fires that are burning in our country, in our communities are fires of helplessness and hopelessness and despair and fear and anger. But we have the opportunity to come together to create fires of warmth – and energy. The most critical thing, the most immediate and important thing for Jacksonians and Mississippians to do in this time period is to be quiet and to listen. Listen intently, like our collective lives depend on what you hear. It's one thing to see that a person is in pain, and want to help. But you can’t really help until you have heard what is hurting. One of the things I want to believe most about our leaders is that their hearts are in the right place. My hope for those leaders is that they will have the courage to go to where the smoke and the hurt and the pain is, and then they will use what they learn to inform their decision making. And bring everyone to the table.I recognize there has been an intentional stripping of agency. But every day presents a new opportunity to go out and connect our intentions and whatever power we have with others. As the scripture says, the three-strand chord is not easily broken. We are able to multiply our strengths when we find others who are of similar mind.That’s the way it happens. ALL of us have a power. We should search our lives for those instances, because those are the ways that we are most effective.” – Vondaris Gordon, husband, father of three young black women in Jackson MS; Founding Board Member and current Youth Engagement Manager of William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation; former VP of Operation Shoestring Board and former Founding Board Member of Refill Cafe Jackson InitiativeAt the Community Foundation for Mississippi, we are engaged in world building, imagining what is possible for public life, education, community development, arts and culture, and other areas of charitable philanthropy in Jackson and Mississippi, with our partners and investors. If you would like to explore a new civic covenant and a shared vision for our Capital City, volunteer or nominate someone to participate in our upcoming Public Innovators Virtual Lab with #TheHarwoodInstitute #turnoutward involved with volunteer opportunities through our statewide partner Volunteer Mississippi MSHUBNETWORK.COMAt the Community Foundation for Mississippi, we imagine a Mississippi where every community is connected to the resources, knowledge, and tools to create meaningful and lasting change – for Mississippi, for good. Forever. For more, visit

Posted by Community Foundation for Mississippi on Sunday, May 31, 2020

Von Gordon: ‘Creating Courageous Spaces’

We're very proud of our very own Von Gordon, youth engagement manager for the William Winter Institute and a determined community leader in the state of Mississippi. As a former…

Continue ReadingVon Gordon: ‘Creating Courageous Spaces’