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Gov. Tate Reeves signed a law banning transgender minors from playing on school sports teams that align with their gender identities
In March 2021, Gov. Tate Reeves signed a law banning transgender minors from playing on school sports teams that align with their gender identities. Last week, news editor Ashton Pittman collaborated with our new senior reporter Kayode Crown to cover new legislation to ban treatment for transgender minors. AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

Vital Journalism Work: Covering Fast-Moving Trains at The Capitol

It’s been a busy month in the Mississippi Legislature, and Kayode Crown, in his new role as a senior reporter, is just the person you want covering the fast-moving train that makes such important decisions for our state. 

I’ll take this moment to remind you that the Mississippi Ethics Commission ruled the Mississippi Legislature is not a public body in response to reporter Nick Judin’s complaint demanding access to the House GOP caucus meeting. It seems strange to me that a meeting of elected officials to decide how they will vote on public policy and create laws isn’t a public meeting, but maybe that’s above my pay grade. But I doubt it. And of course we’re appealing.

Kayode’s work is vital because he ensures that Mississippians know what the people they elected are doing to help or hurt them, depending on whom you ask. I watch Kayode’s travels in our team group chat, where he updates us on what committee meeting he’s attending or what vote he’s rushing to. I wish I had better words to use, but it’s a lot.  

Be sure to read Kayode’s story on the proposal to rescue our failing hospital system without expanding Medicaid. You all will remember that our state didn’t expand Medicaid, rejecting huge federal assistance, so it will be interesting to see if this passes and if it stops the collapse of basic health care in Mississippi. As expected, Ashton Pittman is blowing and going in his new role as news editor. However, he’s also still writing. Last week he collaborated with Kayode to cover new legislation to ban treatment for transgender minors. 

On this episode of MFP Live, Donna Ladd and Kimberly Griffin talked to Rhea Williams-Bishop, of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Von Gordon of the Alluvial Collective. If you missed it, click on the image to listen to the podcast now!

Check out freelancer extraordinaire Sherry Lucas’ feature on ​​The Mississippi Arts + Entertainment Experience’s Hall of Fame inductions. The MAX, located in Meridian, celebrates and honors Mississippians like Ida B. Wells, Marty Stuart and W.C. Handy. It’s a great reminder of Mississippi’s impact on the nation. Can you imagine what Mississippi would be if our schools, health systems and infrastructure weren’t crumbling?

This week we celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday.  It’s frustrating that we’re talking about the same inequities that our long-gone civil-rights leaders like Wells and King fought so hard for.  Rhea Williams-Bishop offers a roadmap, a blueprint if you will, in her opinion piece on racial healing. Rhea writes: “Racial equity is far from a reality in Mississippi or the nation. That’s why we need to look beyond racial equity to a different kind of conversation. We need to talk about racial healing.”

MFP VIP Event with Ellen Morris Prewitt
“When you join for $10 a month or $100 a year, you’ll get our very cool MFP sticker, and it’s just in time to join our Ellen Prewitt Morris’ member talk on creativity on Jan. 24,” Kimberly Griffin writes. Click on the image to donate and become MFP VIP today!

“Racial healing is vital—not as a replacement for racial equity, but as a critical component of it,” she continues. “A court or lawmakers imposing racial equity will never work unless we also heal the deep wounds of racism. There is hard work to be done for all of us here, especially in the South.”

Finally, don’t forget this is MFP member month. Recurring donations are vital to our newsroom because they are resources we can count on month after month.  When you join for $10 a month or $100 a year, you’ll get our very cool MFP sticker, and it’s just in time to join our Ellen Prewitt Morris’ member talk on creativity on Jan. 24.

Keep the Faith.

This MFP Voices essay does not necessarily represent the views of the Mississippi Journalism and Education Group, the Mississippi Free Press, its staff or board members. To submit an opinion for the MFP Voices section, send up to 1,200 words and sources fact-checking the included information to [email protected] We welcome a wide variety of viewpoints.

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