WELCOME TO UPGRADE MISSISSIPPI
To promote the significance of education, self-cultural and ethical awareness through establishing and enhancing youth empowerment, unity, professional development, and social cohesion.
upGrade MS is a non-profit organization whose focus is on enhancing youth and uplifting the cultural awareness of society by promoting creative and professional development workshops, accessing and addressing the various social and economic detriments in the community, obtaining and maintaining social cohesion by unifying those of diverse cultural backgrounds, and through communal fundraising and advocacy, intend to progress from being a localized organization to one on a global scale.
upGrade Mississippi to upGrade Colombia
upGrade Mississippi is a nonprofit 501c3 organization with the mission of promoting the significance of education, self-cultural and ethical awareness through the establishment and enhancement of youth empowerment, unity, professional development, and social cohesion. This past week, upGrade Mississippi was pleased to host Gabriel Corredor, an activist and graduate assistant from the University of the Los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. Gabriel reached out to us via social media, asking if members of upGrade would be willing to allow him to stay with us while he toured the state of Mississippi. Gabriel had been honored with the Award of Excellence from the the College of Photography for the series that he did on the displacement of thousands of Afro-Colombians to Bogotá and localities nearby. Instead of staying in a hotel, he decided to reach out to local activists and youth leaders throughout the states which he would be touring, which were; Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Illinois, Missouri, and Philadelphia. Our objective is to upgrade the quality of life for people living in Mississippi while modeling selfless leadership, and Gabriel allowed us to introduce him to our movement. Gabriel’s objective was to travel across the Mississippi Delta region to get a close look at the social life, people, culture and lands of Mississippi. During the time that he was here, he was able to meet with different organizations and talk to a vast variety of people. His goal was to capture Mississippi life and culture through his photos, so that he may be able to translate our society through visual storytelling.
The Habit of Giving
Here at Upgrade Mississippi, we know that sometimes all it takes to change the world is a little support. We're here to lend a hand, offer assistance, and be a voice of reason for those who need it. Since the beginning of our Non-Profit Organization in 2014, we’ve worked hard to take care of the neediest members of our community. Join us and get into the habit of giving, because it truly does make the world a better place.
UPGRADE EXECUTIVE BOARD
upGrade Mississippi executive board is compiled with energetic and hard working individuals who are ready to serve. We realize at upGrade MS that the greatest way to help your community is through service.
Mr. McKay-West was born and reared in Tunica in the Mississippi Delta. He moved to Jackson to attend Tougaloo College and graduated in 2014. He is a born activist, and his parents and grandfather were involved heavily with the community. Both he and his family have worked with Southern Echo, an organization that develops grassroots leadership in African American communities in Mississippi, and strives to end the school-to-prison pipeline.
McKay-West began his career as an intern at Southern Echo and later served as the special assistant to the Director of Advocacy at the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi, which protects, supports and extends civil liberties to Mississippians. He wants to improve public education because, he says, "Knowledge is power." He believes it is an essential part of life.
MAYA L. MAY
Director of Finance
Maya Lynette May was born in Monroe, LA and relocated to Mississippi in 2009 to attend Tougaloo College, where she received her B.S. degree in Biology. She also has a M.S. in Sport Science/Strength & Conditioning from Jackson State University. Although Jackson, Mississippi is not her birthplace, she has grown to call it home, volunteering countless hours to the community. As a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and community leader for The Gap at Dogwood Festival Market, she has worked closely with numerous service entities around the city, from Stewpot Community Services to The McCoy House for Sober Living. Her passion and drive for service and the well-being of others is why she brings a healthy living/nutritional aspect to the organization, working to reduce the high rate of obesity amongst children in the state.
DETRICE L. ROBERTS
Director of Creative Arts
Detrice L. Roberts, was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago. Detrice attended John Hope College Preparatory High School, where she graduated at the top of her class. She went on to attend the Historic Tougaloo College, where she was a partial presidential scholar, Poetic Laureate, Miss Pre-Law and a three-year WATAC Scholar recipient. While at Tougaloo, Detrice was a member of the NAACP, Unconsciously Creative People organization, Pre-Alumni Council, Pre-Law Society, and served two and a half years as president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Gamma Omicron Chapter. Currently Detrice is working on her Master degree in History at Jackson State University, where she also serves as a TA for the Art department. Detrice believes and lives by the idea that, “the only way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others, “ so she has dedicated her life to giving to others.
We are the future because we understand that outcomes grow out of inputs. We begin with the end in mind, knowledgeable of where we’re going. Always eager 2learn, inspired 2earn, and innovatively returning. Forever adjourning in peace so that the motivation never cease.
WHAT WE DO
UPGRADE CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
Come join us in some of our fun and exciting events. We have so many new and exciting events happening in the future. All of our events are a great way to get involved with our Non-Profit Organization, and meet other passionate supporters in the community. Interested to see what we have coming up? See below for more details.
VETERANS OF THE MISSISSIPPI CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT CONFERENCE
PHOTOS AND VIDEOS
The photos in our gallery are a clear testament to the impact we have on the organizations and individuals we work with. Take a look at the warm memories from our past events. Each picture serves to remind us of our goals for a transformation of humanity as we know it. Browse through our gallery now.
LOOK WHAT UPGRADE HAS BEEN UP TO
upGraders collaborating with Tougaloo College encouraging young voters to participate in elections.
DORIE LADNER WELL BEHAVED WOMEN DON'T MAKE HERSTORY
A Documentary honoring Veteran of the Civil Rights Moment Dorie Ladner.
MAKE A DONATION, CHANGE OUR COMMUNITY
We Can’t Do it Without You
We rely on substantial aid from generous people like yourself who care to make a difference in the way their community is run. Our Non-Profit Organization depends on the generosity of benefactors like you. Thanks for helping us raise funds, every cent you decide to contribute makes a big difference in the world.