In the summer of 1964 a quiet revolution began in Mississippi when a group of Black and White women reached across the chasm of race, class, geography, and religion to end segregation in America. This quiet revolution was called “Wednesdays in Mississippi.” The story of these brave women has never been told. It is a story of courage, danger, and transformation. The one hour documentary film WEDNESDAYS IN MISSISSIPPI will finally tell their story.
The only civil rights project run by a national women’s organization, “Wednesdays in Mississippi” (WIMS) was the brainchild of National Council of Negro Women President, Dorothy Height and her close friend, Polly Cowan. Their plan brought Black and White women from Northern cities like Boston, New York, and Chicago into Mississippi in 1964 during Freedom Summer.
Each week, both interracial and interfaith teams of women known as “Wednesdays Women” traveled to Mississippi on Tuesdays. On Wednesdays, the women brought supplies and much needed support to small rural communities. There, local Black citizens and young civil rights workers from the North faced daily violence and constant harassment as they worked side by side to end legalized segregation. The women experienced first hand the devastating results of racial injustice, but also witnessed the hope and promise of change.
However, it was on Thursdays that the quiet revolution took root. This was when the “Wednesdays Women” put on their white gloves and pearls and secretly met with Black and White Mississippi women. In living rooms over tea and cookies the Southern women openly discussed their fears and suspicions about the civil rights movement. Many, for the first time, voiced their support for change. At that time in Mississippi, mixing with outsiders had dire consequences. Yet the women came, they listened and their hearts and minds began to open. Their clandestine meetings became the catalyst for great change.
In 1965, the Southern women invited the Northern women back to Mississippi. This groundbreaking alliance between Black and White women from the North and South continued until 1967. Working together, the women started economic, health and educational programs, including the well known Fannie Lou Hamer Daycare center, which continues to thrive today.
The film, WEDNESDAYS IN MISSISSIPPI will show how the lives of these women were enriched and transformed by doing what Dorothy Height called, “women’s work…the work of making connections and building community.” At last, the legacy of these courageous women will be shared.
wEDNESDAYS IN MISSISSIPPI is in production. Funds are needed to complete the filming and editing of this film. Join the effort to tell this amazing story before it is too late. Most of the “Wednesdays’ women” are in their 70’s and 80’s. There is an urgent need to capture these unsung heroines’ stories in their own words before they are lost to us forever.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
WEDNESDAYS IN MISSISSIPPI is fiscally sponsored by Women Make Movies, a 501(c) non-profit organization.
All donations to the film are fully tax-deductible. Donate on-line at Women Make Movies.
Tax- deductible contributions can also be made by check and should be made out to Women Make Movies.
Please write "Wednesdays in Mississippi" on the memo line.
Wednesdays in Mississippi Film Project
645 Sunnyhill Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90065
- HOST A FUNDRAISING PARTY
Here’s a way to really get involved, help publicize the “Wednesdays” story and work directly with the filmmakers. We are looking for people to host fundraising house parties. That means you get your friends, colleagues and acquaintances together and host an evening (or afternoon) where we show the fundraising trailer, explain the importance of telling these women’s story and talk about the progress of the film. It’s a time to connect, be inspired and support our fundraising efforts.
- IN-KIND DONATIONS AND SERVICES
Our production team is in need of many goods and services that will help us document this story. We could utilize frequent flyer mileage, production office space, administrative services, legal and accounting services, post production facilities and space, as well as film, digital and video stock. Please contact us if you have any goods or services to donate.
- BE A PART OF HISTORY
Were you a “Wednesday’s Woman” or do you know a “Wednesday’s Woman?” Were you or anyone in your family a part of the Freedom Summer? Did you ever work with a “Wednesdays Woman?” We are looking for personal stories, photographs, audio recordings, letters, and journal entries from anyone who was involved in “Wednesdays in Mississippi” or the Mississippi movement.
Share your story. Be a part of this historic project.
with questions or contributions.
Marlene McCurtis (Producer/Co-director): Conceived the idea of turning the "Wednesdays" story into a documentary after reading an article about the project in the NAACP 's Crisis Magazine. She has over 20 years of documentary production experience. She worked as a producer/writer at Arnold Shapiro Productions for 10 years. There she produced several documentaries including the award winning film "Hidden Victims: Children of Domestic Violence." Recently, she has directed for the Discovery Channel's documentary series "Adoption Stories", for the Peabody awarding winning PBS educational show "A Place of Our/Los Ninos en Su Casa", the National Geographic Channel's "Dog Whisperer", and the A&E' new series "Beyond Scared Straight". On a more personal level, her family roots are in Mississippi.
Dean Schramm (Executive Producer) has been an agent representing writers, directors and producers for the past 15 years and is currently also a manager/producer as the principal of his own entertainment company, The Schramm Group. Prior to opening The Schramm Group in 2007, for ten years Schramm was an agent with the Jim Preminger Agency after having started his career in the entertainment industry with The Artists Agency. Schramm Executive Produced the award winning documentary feature film, "Darfur Now" released theatrically in 2007 by Warner Independent Pictures. As well as being nominated for Best Documentary Film of the Year by the National Board of Review, The Broadcast Film Critics Association, The International Press Academy, The Chicago and San Francisco Film Critics Associations, "Darfur Now" won the 2007 NAACP Image Award for Best Documentary of the Year.
Joy Silverman (Producer): is a Presenter and Producer of nationally recognized cultural programs in the arts, education, and for television. She was the Executive Director of Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions(LACE); founder of onramp@sunset a community computer access center for at risk youth and artists and the Co-Founder and Director of the National Campaign for Freedom of Expression. She co-produced two broadcast programs on artists and Freedom of Expression that included activist toolkits. She has served on many grant making panels, exhibition selection panels, Boards and committees of local, state and national organizations (e.g. National Endowment for the Arts, LA Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Committee Task Force for the Arts, J.Paul Getty Fund for Visual Arts, National Association of Artist’s Organizations).
Cathee Weiss (Producer): is a producer of numerous award-winning projects, her recent credits include television specials for ABC/Disney on school reform entitled "Schools That Work", KCET's award-winning show, "California Connected," the feature documentary "The Hunting of the President," and a series of one hour films for educators entitled, "Creativity in the Classroom" produced in collaboration with Harvard School of Education and the Disney Company. She works extensively with non-profits (Feminist Majority, Para Los Ninos, Alliance for Climate Protection, Exceptional Children's Foundation, After School All-Stars, among others) to create strategic communications viewed across digital platforms. She managed the non-fiction division of Mozark Productions where she oversaw and collaborated on numerous nationally recognized political films, including the 1992, 1996 and 2000 National Democratic Convention films, including "The Man From Hope."
NEWS & EVENTS
Wednesdays in Mississippi goes to its first film festival!!
The film has been invited to be a part of the prestigious Athena Film Festivalís Works in Progress Program. The program starts at 3:00 pm on Sunday, February 9th at Barnard College, in the heart of New York City. The Athena Film Festival is in its fourth year. The festival showcases films that address women leadership in real life and the fictional world. Festival is being held Feb 6-9, 2014.