Aisha Nyandoro and Rachel Black

Aisha Nyandoro is the CEO of Springboard to Opportunity, and Rachel Black is an expert on participatory policy design and former co-director of New America’s Family-Centered Social Policy program. Nyandoro and Black came to JFI to present on the Magnolia Mother’s Trust, a one-year basic income pilot in Mississippi built in partnership with the Economic Security Project.

Black spoke about the project’s innovative approach: “We work to change the methodology of how we make policy, so that it originates with the priorities, needs, and experiences of the people impacted. Then figure out that things are actually working in the ways that the people impacted have indicated is best.”

Why give cash? Nyandoro explained the project’s origins: “We’re radically resident driven. We center our families in anything and everything we do. Whenever we have a question, we go to the families. We started the GI pilot from what our residents told us they needed to actualize their dreams.”

A recent article in the New York Times has more about Magnolia Mother’s Trust.