The Need for Unrestricted Cash for Low-Income Families: ‘This Money Allows Families to Thrive’

On July 12, the Work and Welfare Subcommittee of the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means held a hearing “Where Is all the Welfare Money Going? Reclaiming TANF Non-Assistance Dollars to Lift Americans Out of Poverty.” Among those testifying was Aisha Nyandoro, founding CEO of Springboard to Opportunities, a nonprofit that aims to end generational poverty. Her testimony highlights the importance of unrestricted cash assistance for families, including programs founded by Springboard to Opportunities.

“We are blaming the families for their poverty, rather than interrogating the policies that allow these inadequacies to occur. … Ninety percent of Mississippians who apply for TANF do not receive it. … Money allows families to thrive. Yes, they spend it on basic needs such as childcare, groceries and utility bills, but it also allows them to plan for the future.”

Why Black Women Must Remain Front and Center

It’s been just over a year since we launched Front and Center—our series centering the low-income Black women of the Magnolia Mother’s Trust guaranteed income project in Jackson, Miss.

From the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, to the cruelty of Mississippi state legislators who refuse to expand postpartum Medicaid access, the disregard displayed toward Black women shows us that our work here is not done.

The Latest Way Mississippi Lawmakers Are Failing Women

As a Black woman in Mississippi, I know how difficult it is to navigate the road to motherhood. With the recent decision by the state legislature’s House Republicans to deny postpartum care to women, Mississippi continues to demonstrate a lack of regard for the health of mothers—particularly Black women.

Despite the ongoing battles that have been fought to uplift the issues of the maternal health crisis in Mississippi, politicians continuously refuse to center the needs of mothers. And the refusal is cavalier and cruel.

Putting Poor Black Mothers Front and Center

Almost 50 years after its founding, Ms. is continuing its commitment to inclusive feminism with a new series called Front and Center—featuring pieces written by the women of the Magnolia Mother’s Trust. The program provides more than 100 Black mothers living in extreme poverty in Jackson, Miss., a guaranteed income of $1,000 a month for a year.

Beginning Thursday, you’ll hear first-hand about their struggles, their children, their work, their relationships and their dreams for the future.