A native of Jackson, Elta is a former college English instructor, married to Jim, a retired physician turned community activist. She is the mother of two and grandmother of four. She is a long-time community activist, having headed a number of organizations over the years, including the Junior League of Jackson, the St. Andrews School Parents’ Association, the Jackson Friends of the Library, Goodwill Industries Volunteer Services, the University Press Bookfriends, and the Woodland Hills Homeowners’ Association. She and Jim are active members of Northminster Baptist Church, and they live in Fondren with their three Westies. She is extremely proud of the work of the Women’s Foundation and is excited about the current and future work of the WFM!
We asked Elta a couple of questions about her obvious passion for the WFM:
Q: What made you want to become involved with the WFM?
A: I’ve been interested in women’s issues for years, beginning with work I did for the Jackson Shelter for Battered Women in the 80’s. One of the things I learned in those years was how deeply affected the children are when women suffer economically and/or physically. Another is that when women lack the skills/education to enter the workforce, improving their circumstances and that of their families is almost impossible. When there is a lack of quality childcare, all other issues are compounded. The WFM is the only nonprofit in the state working on issues surrounding the economic security of the women and girls of MS. We’ve made enormous progress since our founding! We have a long way to go – but we also have an amazing and totally committed staff and Board. It has truly been an honor to be on this Board.
Q: What is one thing you wish people knew about the work and mission of the WFM?
A: One of the things that’s most impressive to me is the solid research we do before we tackle an issue. I love the process the WFM uses: make sure we have solid research; brainstorm solutions; fund projects that work towards those solutions; share results. It’s a smart, sure approach that maximizes results.