Wednesdays in Mississippi

A documentary film

We must never lose sight of the quiet revolution that women are involved in. That, in the long run, will make the difference.

Dorothy Height- National Council of Negro Women

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.

Mira behind the camera


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?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.

    Mail to:
    Wednesdays in Mississippi Film Project
    645 Sunnyhill Drive
    Los Angeles, CA 90065

  • 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.

  • 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.

    Interview with Doris
  • 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.

Contact the filmmakers with questions or contributions.


Marlene McCurtis (Producer/Director): is a digital and literary storyteller whose expertise spans directing and writing nonfiction television and documentary films. She has directed and produced documentary series on A&E, Lifetime, PBS, The Discovery Channel, and NatGeo. She is in post-production on Wednesdays in Mississippi her first documentary feature film about a little-known interracial alliance between women during the civil rights movement. 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. Marlene co-directed Here I'll Stay about a powerful coalition between immigrant rights activists and local Civil Rights veterans in Mississippi. A co-production of Firelight Media and Field of Vision, the film premiered at the New Orleans Film Festival. Her latest short, The Circle, a filmic collage of spoken word and movement written and performed by system impacted artists, is currently on the festival circuit and has screened at the Baltimore Microfilm Festival, the Social Justice Film Festival, and the Monologue and Poetry International Film Festival. Marlene is a Sundance institute Humanities Sustainability Fellow, an alum Fellow of the Firelight Media Documentary Lab, and a member of the DGA.

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."

Ellen Raphael (Line Producer): began her career in the theatre becoming a Stage Manager both on and off Broadway. Moving to Los Angeles, she worked as a Line Producer in Film and Television, both scripted and documentary, winning an Academy Award Nomination, two Emmys and a Peabody award. A favorite project is the five seasons she worked on "A Place of Our Own" and "Los Niños en Su Casa": a 44 Blue/PBS series designed to help caregivers prepare preschool children for academic success. Ellen is working on a Documentary about Michelle Stuart the 88 year old artist who has been doing art in an about nature since the 50's. Ellen is thrilled to be working on "Wednesdays in Mississippi" with Marlene McCurtis, a director/producer and friend she has known and worked with spanning 25 years.

NEWS & EVENTSNews and Events

Wednesdays in Mississippi goes to its first film festival!!

National Council of Negro Women

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