Wednesdays in Mississippi


In 1964, Dorothy Height, President of the National Council of Negro Women, and Jewish volunteer Polly Cowan hatched a plan to fly educated Black and White women activists into Jackson, MS at regular intervals from Northern cities to strategically effect subtle change at the ground level in a violently reactionary climate. Using remarkable archival materials, Wednesdays in Mississippi illuminates the power of ordinary women when they reach past racial, religious, and class divides to collaborate.

Phase of Support: Post-Production

Project Links

Marlene McCurtis

Marlene McCurtis - Director and Producer

Marlene McCurtis is a Firelight Media Documentary Lab and Sundance Sustainability Humanities fellow alum whose short Here I’ll Stay was co-produced by Firelight Media and Field of Vision and premiered at the New Orleans Film Festival. She has produced and directed Emmy-nominated series for A&E, PBS, and NatGeo. Currently, she is in post-production on Wednesdays in Mississippi, her first independent self-directed feature documentary. The film was selected for the Curcalorus Film Festival Work-in-Progress Lab, the Athena Film Festival Work-in-Progress Lab, and the Oxford Film Festival Film Female Directors Retreat. Her latest short, The Circle, a collage of spoken word and movement, written and performed by system-impacted artists, has screened at the Social Justice Film Festival, the Global Peace Festival, the Monologue and Poetry International Film Festival and the Justice on Trial Film Festival. Marlene’s artistry is rooted in identity, human connection, and engagement with our shared community.

Joy Silverman

Joy Silverman - Producer

Joy Silverman is a veteran documentary film and major cultural programs producer who has worked as a consultant to numerous non-profit organizations and independent philanthropists including; philanthropist NEA, LA Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Committee Task Force for the Arts, J. Paul Getty Fund for Visual Arts and Lynda Weinman who has funded many documentaries including Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen. Joy has been involved in social justice activism and art her entire adult life. She was raised in a small Jewish community in Florida during the Jim Crow era and experienced what it was like to be the “other.” She was the Director of Programs and Special Events for the Washington Project for the Arts in Washington, DC, the Executive Director of Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), and Co-Founder and Director of the National Campaign for Freedom of Expression.

Project logline and bios courtesy of the grantees.