Empower Mississippi



Ridgeland, MS

Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2017):

Revenue: $77,105
Expenses: $60,265
Assets: $207,659



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Empower Mississippi is a right-of-center advocacy organization focused on education, criminal justice, and labor policy issues in Mississippi. 1 Founded in 2014 by conservative activist Grant Callen, Empower Mississippi is a member of the right-of-center State Policy Network.


Empower Mississippi focuses its policy efforts on expanding education choices, supporting released criminals’ efforts to find gainful legal employment, and increasing labor force participation within the state.

In 2019, Empower Mississippi supported legislative changes to the justice system that helped Mississippians rejoin the workforce after being released from prison. 2 Empower Mississippi celebrated the passage of the state’s 2019 Criminal Justice Reform Act,3 legislation that expands intervention courts to also include mental health and veterans’ courts, ends the suspension of driver’s licenses for drug offenses unrelated to driving, and enlarges expungement eligibility, among other changes. 4

Empower Mississippi also focuses on removing barriers to education. In 2019, the organization sponsored the largest National School Choice Week at which students, parents, and educators could interact with their state legislators. Empower Mississippi’s “Waitlisted” campaign shared stories of families across the state who would benefit from an extension to the Special Needs Education Scholarship Account program, as the program was set to expire in 2020. 5

In an effort to expand economic power for Mississippi residents, Empower Mississippi supports phasing out the state’s income tax in an effort to keep more money in workers’ pockets and their communities. 6


Empower Mississippi’s tax returns for 2018 reported over $228,000 in total revenue and over $226,000 in total expenses. The previous year, the organization reported only $77,105 in total revenue and more than $60,000 in total expenses,7 a downtick from 2016 when it reported more than $153,000 in total revenue. 8


Grant Callen is the founder and CEO of Empower Mississippi. Before founding Empower Mississippi, Callen worked at the Mississippi Center for Public Policy as the Director of Development. Callen was selected for the Top 50 Most Influential Mississippians list by Y’all Politics and SuperTalk Mississippi in 2016. 9

Russ Latino, the president of Empower Mississippi, previously worked as an attorney at Wells Marble and Hurst. He has also worked closely with a number of right-of-center organizations, as he founded the Mississippi chapter of Americans for Prosperity and also served as the president of the Mississippi chapter of the Federalist Society before joining Empower Mississippi. 10

Empower Mississippi’s affiliated organizations include Empower PAC, a political action committee, and the 501(c)(3) arm of the organization, the Empower Mississippi Foundation. 11


  1. “About Empower.” Empower Mississippi, January 19, 2021.
  2. Holbert, Joanna. “Empower Mississippi Continues the Fight to Remove Barriers so All Mississippians Can Flourish.” State Policy Network, March 22, 2019.
  3. “Families Waitlisted No More.” State Policy Network, July 23, 2019.
  4. Robertson, J. “The 2019 Criminal Justice Reform Bill: What’s in It?” Empower Mississippi, April 1, 2019.
  5. Holbert, Joanna. “Empower Mississippi Continues the Fight to Remove Barriers so All Mississippians Can Flourish.” State Policy Network, March 22, 2019.
  6. “Analysis: No Clear Path to Erasing Mississippi Income Tax.” WJTV. WJTV, January 4, 2021.
  7. Empower Mississippi, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2018
  8. Empower Mississippi, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2016
  9. “Grant Callen.” Empower Mississippi. Accessed January 28, 2021.
  10. “Russ Latino.” Empower Mississippi. Accessed January 28, 2021.
  11. Dreher, Arielle. “’Empower’ PAC Helps Oust Anti-Charter Republicans.” ‘Empower’ PAC Helps Oust Anti-Charter Republicans | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS, August 12, 2015.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: July 1, 2014

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2017 Dec Form 990 $77,105 $60,265 $207,659 $30,542 N $77,105 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $153,225 $78,319 $184,263 $23,983 N $153,225 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2015 Dec Form 990 $158,748 $212,008 $100,087 $14,712 N $158,748 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990EZ $172,686 $58,993 $158,694 $20,059 $0 $0 $0 $0

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Empower Mississippi

    Ridgeland, MS 39157-5299