Grace Jones, Executive Director

I believe in equal opportunity, social and economic justice. These beliefs have caused me to work at Couleecap since 1978. The work of Couleecap is part of a grass roots nationwide community action movement to provide all people an equal opportunity to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” as identified in our nation’s Declaration of Independence.


Over 200 years ago the promises of that Declaration and our Constitution set standards for the ideal behavior of human beings. I believe the next evolutionary step of our country will be the attainment of our ideals, especially equal opportunity for all people regardless of economic status, gender, race, disability, sexual orientation or religion.


Discrimination and the lack of equal opportunity cause poverty. Growing up I saw terrible poverty in Philadelphia; as a teenager, my dad said that I always was a champion of those less fortunate. After all of these years at Couleecap, I still believe in the value of “fighting poverty in the midst of plenty,” founding words of the community action movement. I believe in people having the freedom to achieve their dreams unhampered by discrimination.

We prefer to believe we live in a land of great opportunity equally available to everyone. This is not true. Too much discrimination and poverty still exist, and too many people have talents that are buried under poverty’s crushing weight, never seen, never tapped.


Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.

- Thomas Gray (English Poet, 1716-1771)


We cannot afford to miss or waste the talents of anyone. For these talents to flourish there must be equal opportunity for all. Poverty presents great challenges and hurdles for low income people who are struggling heroically to make ends meet and support their families.

As our country progresses into the future, we need to do better. Our future depends on it. By welcoming the talents of all people and creating equal opportunity we will fulfill the great original promise that America made to its people and to the world. Couleecap is committed to fulfilling that promise.



Grace began her employment with Couleecap in 1978. Previously she was an English teacher in Shillington Pa. She moved to Wisconsin in 1977 as part of the “back to land,” renewable energy and organic gardening movement.



1973 graduate of Albright College, Reading, Pa. Bachelor of Arts: English major, Education minor.


Current activities and involvements:

Scenic Rivers Area Health Education Center Board member
Wisconsin Partnership for Housing Development Board member
Workforce Development Board, Board member; Oversight Committee

  • Coulee Housing Development Corporation Board member

Monroe County Collaboration member

  • La Crosse Area Housing Commission member
  • United Way Executive Directors Group
  • La Crosse Community Collaboration Committee member
  • League of Women Voters member
  • La Crosse Family Policy Board member
  • WISCAP Board member; Housing and Energy Committee
































Social Media




Quick Links


Annual Reports

Community Concerns Paper

Bid Opportunities


Site Map

Contact Us



Sign up for our Newsletter

Stay up to date on our initiatives to fight poverty in our community.