(New Albany, MS, October, 2018)
The M Partner Initiative, in conjunction with the McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement and Insight Park at the University of Mississippi, as well as the Mississippi Development Authority will be in New Albany to host an M Partner-Business Forum Webinar on Wednesday, October 17 at 12pm.
The webinar will be held at the Union County Heritage Museum and will highlight several local business owners, including Dan and Elizabeth Skinner, Tom and DeAnn Massengill, and Calrenease Cook, allowing them to share their stories about starting and owning businesses in New Albany and the services they provide.
The webinar will be broadcast throughout the state of MS and will have a live audience of around 50 people made up of University of Mississippi staff, faculty, and students along with community members and leaders. The webinar will have a brief introduction and time for the businesses owners to talk that will follow with a short Q&A session.
Billye Jean Stroud, Director of both New Albany Community Development and Main Street Association stated, “We are thrilled to be working with the University, its staff and students through the M Partner Initiative. The exchange of ideas and projects that have come from discussions will assist New Albany to enhance its assets and create opportunities that will benefit all of the members of our community.”
M Partner is a community engagement effort that was formed with the City of New Albany in the spring of this year. The partnership seeks to improve quality of life in Mississippi communities. This initiative offers a framework through which community and university representatives can cultivate mutually beneficial partnerships that will lead to the co-creation of knowledge and ideas to enhance community wellbeing. M Partner is one of the pillars outlined in the university’s comprehensive strategic plan, Flagship Forward, and underpins institutional efforts to promote healthy and vibrant communities.
City officials have expressed an interest in partnering with the university to create branding and marketing materials to drive tourism and community involvement along with elevating educational initiatives such as grade-level reading. Community organizations and leaders in New Albany have identified several beautification projects, as well as grant writing opportunities, that can engage University of Mississippi faculty, staff, and students alongside community residents.
“We are grateful to New Albany city officials and community leaders for begin a part of the pilot phase of M Partner,” stated Laura Martin, M Partner Director and Associate Director of the McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement. “This initiative offers an opportunity to create sustainable and substantial results in our partner communities while enhancing experiential learning for our students and driving university research and community engagement.”
To learn more about the M Partner Initiative, please visit mpartner.olemiss.edu/get-involved or contact Billy Jean Stroud at (662) 534-3438.
Tracy Vainisi, New Albany Main Street and Community Development