jessie mosley

Dr. Jessie Mosley worked tirelessly to help Mississippi women and developed a close relationship with Wednesdays in Mississippi.

In 1965, WIMS continued to work on building bridges of understanding, but it employed new methods appropriate to the political and social changes that had taken place as compliance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 became more widespread. Eight teams of forty-seven women went to Jackson and other communities, including Philadelphia, Greenville, Greenwood, Mt. Beulah, Lexington, Edwards, and Oxford. Polly Cowan arranged “professional interchanges,” again between northern and southern, black and white women of various faiths, matching them by occupation. Most were teachers, but the teams also included social workers, librarians, psychologists, and a doctor. Additionally, WIMS helped track compliance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by reporting abuses to national enforcement agencies.

The women did not maintain the same schedules as their fellow teammates because each group had different needs, but they did meet to hold debriefing sessions together upon their return. In 1965 all of the team members were welcomed into southern women’s homes.

The Demographics of the 1965 Team Members:

  • 31 were white, 16 were black
  • 10 were southern born: 3 black, 7 white
  • 31 were Protestant, 9 were Jewish, 4 were Catholic, 3 were undesignated
  • 10 held bachelor’s degrees
  • 11 had earned master’s degrees
  • 2 had earned Doctor of Philosophy degrees
  • 1 had earned her degree as a medical doctor
  • 37 were employed at the time. Of those:
    14 ere teachers or professors
    4 were community relations or inter-group specialists
    4 were social workers
    2 were researchers
    2 were psychologists
    1 was a librarian
    1 worked in business
    1 was a pediatrician
    1 was a beautician
    1 was an author
    1 was a household worker
    1 was a consultant
    1 worked in a state penal system
  • 11 served on state and local Human Rights or Civil Rights Councils

 The memberships of these team members included:

  • Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA)
  • Delta Sigma Theta
  • Hadassah
  • League of Women Voters
  • Medical and Nursing Associations
  • National Association for Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
  • National Council of Catholic Women (NCCW)
  • National Council of Churches (NCC)
  • National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW)
  • National Council of Negro Women (NCNW)
  • National Urban League
  • Phi Delta Kappa
  • United Church Women
  • United Jewish Appeal
  • United Nations Association
  • Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
  • Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA)
savage - fundraiser 1965

A 1965 fundraiser for WIMS.

1965 WIMS Team Members
From “Wednesdays in Mississippi 1964-1965 Final Report”

Special Team of Art Teachers – Cambridge

Rita Delisi
Artist, Teacher, Director of PROJECT, Inc.

Mary Austin
Artist, Teacher, Teacher at PROJECT, Inc.

Laura Avery
Teacher, Teacher at PROJECT, Inc.

Marla Higgins
Art Teacher

Team #1 – New York City

Polly Cowan
Chairman, Wednesday in Mississippi Project

Ellen Dammond
Training Supervisor, B. Altman & Company

Carol Guyer
Chairman, Contemporary Arts Committee, Asia Society Trustee,
Experiment in International Living

Dr. Molly Harrower
Psychologist and Author

Ellen Tarry
Intergroup Relations Specialist with Federal Houston and Home Finance Agency

Gladys Zales
Chairman on the Purchasing Department of Hadassah

Team #2 – Philadelphia

Jean Dillinger
Chairman, Christian World Missions, United Church Women

Margery Gross
Assistant Director, Wednesdays in Mississippi

Dr. Anne Keller
Associate, Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania

Marjorie Penney
Director, Fellowship House and Fellowship Farm

Henrietta Smith
Social Worker

Helen P. Stanford
Psychiatric Social Worker, Planned Parenthood

Team #3 – New Jersey

Esther Higgs Cooke
Elementary Teacher, Special Service School, New York City

Blanche Goldstein
Beautician, Teacher

Josie Harbison
Wife of Professor of Economics, Dir. of Industrial Relations Princeton University

Dr. Hannah Levin
Associate Professor of Psychology, Rutgers University

Sue Miller
Remedial Reading Teacher

Loran Scheibe
Wife of Director of the Bach Aria Group

Team #4 – Chicago

Marguerite Cassell
Wife of an Executive at Inland Stell company

Dorothy Dawson
Teacher in the Chicago Public High Schools

Diana Guyer
Wife of the Assistant to the President of the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange

Elizabeth Haselden
Teacher, National Chairman of Christian Social Relations, United Church Women

Buddy Mayer
Wife of President of Rothschild Enterprises

Dorothy Jones Singleton
Pre-school Director at Firman Houston

Selma Taub
Teacher in Pre-school Center for Disadvantaged Children

Team #5 – Washington/Virginia

Virginia Bushrod
Household Worker

Bee Foster
Chairman, Christian Education Episcopal Churchwomen, Diocese of Virginia

Jean Frey
Chairman of Resolutions Committee, National Assembly United Church Women

Jane McClary

Flaxie Pinkett
President, John R. Pinkett, Inc., Real Estate and Insurance Firm

Mildred Pitt
Community Relations Service, Department of Commerce

Team #6 – Philadelphia

Ruth Bacon
Nursery School Teacher

Gertrude Barnes
Teacher of Retarded Educable Children

Rae Cohn
National Board Member, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

Marjorie Duckery
Social Worker, President, Citizen’s Committee on Public Educcation

Shirley Lipsey
Teacher, Omaha Project AID

Team #7 – Boston

Betty Barnes
Freelance Researcher and Writer

Mary Cannady
Social Worker, Director of District Office of Family Service of Philadelphia

Rae Dudley
Teacher; Wife of Honorable Edward Dudley, Judge, Supreme Court of New York

Faith Griefen
Wife of Senior Vice President of Cabot, Cabot and Forbes

Frances Perkins
Lecturer on Pre-school Education at Tufts and Brandeis Universities

Guest Perry

Frances Tillson
Wife of Treasurer, Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts