Feb. 11, 2020, Jackson, MS – Springboard to Opportunities will launch the second round of the Magnolia Mother’s Trust guaranteed income project, increasing the size of its recipients from 20 to at least 75 women. Recipients will be selected through a randomized computer process and the first disbursements will be made on March 15, 2020. The program – which provides $1,000 each month for a year to low-income Black mothers living in extreme poverty in Jackson, MS – concluded its first round of annual payments in November of 2019. Both rounds were funded entirely through philanthropic donations, including from the Economic Security Project.
Evaluation results showed extremely promising effects on families, including more than double the amount of households preparing the majority of their food at home and recipients collectively paying off more than $10,000 in predatory debt. A summary of results can be found here.
“It made me realize I wanted to do more,” said Tia Cunningham, a mother in the first round of the program who was able to move out of subsidized housing and into a house during the first round of the program. “This is not it, there is more out there, and I want to push myself to do more.”
The latest round of the program will include an entirely new group of low-income Black mothers living in Jackson’s subsidized housing complexes. In addition to qualitative data, the new round will include a control group and quantitative analysis of the program’s impact.
“This program is a direct result of women living in poverty telling us what they needed to get ahead – from moving to a safer neighborhood, finishing college or simply being able to consistently put food on the table – was cash,” said Springboard to Opportunities CEO Aisha Nyandoro. “My hope is that the Magnolia Mother’s Trust serves as an example to policymakers that the most effective way to craft a solution to a problem is to listen to those experiencing it.”
The Magnolia Mother’s Trust focuses on Black women as their poverty rate is more than twice that of white women. Mississippi has the highest rate of child poverty in the country, with 54 percent of Black children living in poverty compared to 19 percent of white children. Black women in the state make only 56 cents to every dollar a white man makes.