The Delta Grassroots Caucus (DGC) is a broad coalition of grassroots leaders in the eight-state Delta region. DGC is also a founding partner of the Economic Equality Caucus,
which advocates for economic equality across the USA.

Draft of Agenda for Delta conference in West Memphis, Arkansas, Oct. 23-24, 2012

Posted on October 12, 2012 at 04:56 PM

Delta Grassroots Caucus, AGENDA, Annual Fall Delta Conference

Mid-South Community College, West Memphis, Arkansas,

Oct. 23-24, 2012

Conference Co-Chairmen: Lee Powell, Executive Director, Delta Grassroots Caucus; and Clifton Avant of Marion, Arkansas, President, AvanTech Services and Delta Caucus board member

Delta Heritage Tourism Tables

We encourage you to pick up information about these distinguished examples of Delta Heritage Tourism, which brings tourist dollars into the region while educating people about the rich legacy of the Delta:

· Dyess Colony Project and other east Arkansas Delta heritage sites, Ruth Hawkins, Arkansas State University Heritage Sites Director

· New Madrid, Missouri, Don Lloyd, highlighting the New Madrid earthquake, Civil War sites, river walks

· Delta Heritage Tours, Munnie Jordan, Helena-West Helena, Arkansas; highlighting the King Biscuit Blues Festival, American Queen and steamboating on the Mississippi River; the Delta Gospel choir

· Upper Town Heritage Foundation, Paducah, Kentucky, highlighting the Hotel Metropolitan, African American history, jazz and blues in western Kentucky

MEET JUDGE MARK MCELROY, 3:45 to 4:15 P.M, Tuesday, Oct. 23. Informal gathering at West Memphis Holiday Inn bar and lobby, led by the Hon. Desha County Judge Mark McElroy, before going to Mid-South Community College at 4:15 p.m.

4:15 p.m. Bus will take 30 people at a time to Mid-South Community College’s, but please note–most people will go over in their own cars

OPENING SESSION: Tuesday, 4:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m., Marion Berry Renewable Energy Center, Mid-South Community College, West Memphis, Arkansas

4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.: Reception hosted by President Fenter of Mid-South Community College

4:50 p.m.–Welcome from President Fenter, Mid-South Community College

Lee Powell, Introduction, Executive Director, Delta Grassroots Caucus, Inc.

5:15 p.m.–Shelley Ritter, Executive Director, Delta Blues Museum, Clarksdale, Mississippi

5:25 p.m.–Beverly Robertson, President, National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis, Tennessee

5:35 o 5:45-Rex Nelson, President, Arkansas Independent Colleges and Universities, formerly Alternate Federal Co-Chairman of the Delta Regional Authority

5:45to 5:55 Joe Quinn, Wal-Mart, Senior Director, Issue Management and Strategic Outreach

5:55 to 6:05 p.m..–Delta Regional Authority Alternate Federal Co-Chairman Mike Marshall of Sikeston, Missouri, introduced by Steve Jones, Deputy Director of Arkansas Dept. of Human Services and DRA Designee and Alternate for Arkansas

6:05 p.m. to 6: 35 p.m. US Representative Mike Ross, Fourth District, Arkansas

6:35 to 7:45 p.m.–Nutrition, Small Farmers and Small Business Panel

  1. Tamidra Marable, Heifer International, Program Manager, United States Program; works with Senchel Matthews, Arkansas Project Manager, on Heifer’s east Arkansas Delta project

  2. Mildred Barnes Griggs, former Dean of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Education; consultant to Arkansas East Enterprise Community and USDA “Seeds of Change” project in east Arkansas, and a family farmer in Lee County, Arkansas

  3. Melissa Rice McGowan, Feeding America Southeast Missouri Food Bank, Cape Girardeau, Missouri

  4. Loretta Daniel, Murray State University, Director of Regional Business and Innovation Center, western Kentucky

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 24, 2012, 8:45 A.M. to 3:30 P.M., Marion Berry Renewable Energy Center, Mid-South Community College, West Memphis

8:30 a.m. to to 10 a.m.–Big Picture Panel on Regional Community and Economic Development

8:30 a.m. to to 10 a.m.–Big Picture Panel on Regional Community and Economic Development

  1. Sunny Morris, Speaker and Moderator, Senior Adviser for Special Programs, Mid-South Community College

  2. Albert Nylander, Ole Miss, Director, McLean Institute for Partnerships and Community Engagement, and Professor of Sociology, the University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi

  3. Srikant Gir, University of Memphis, Co-Director for the Center for Biofuels, Energy and Sustainable Technologies

  4. Steve Bares, President and Executive Director, Memphis Bioworks Foundation

  5. Gregory Hall, Vice President, Fed Ex corporation, Memphis, Tennessee

  6. Randy Henderson, Nucor Yamato Steel, Blytheville, Arkansas

10: a.m. to 11: a.m.–Debate–Mid-South Leaders’ Views on the Presidential Election

Rex Nelson and Lee Powell, Moderators

Mayor Carl Redus of Pine Bluff, Arkansas–stating his views as to why President Obama would be more helpful to our region’s economy if elected

State Sen. Missy Irvin, Mountain View–stating her views as to why Gov. Romney would be more helpful to our region’s economy if elected

SPEAKERS: 11 A.M. a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

US Representative Steve Cohen, Memphis, Tennessee

Mayor A. C. Wharton of Memphis, Tennessee

11:30 a.m. to noon.–Prosecutor Scott Ellington, First District Congressional candidate

Rep. Rick Crawford (AR)(Invited)

Luncheon, Noon to 1:20 p.m.:

  1. President Glen Fenter, Mid-South Community College

  2. Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill

  3. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel

Senator John Boozman, Arkansas, 1:30 to 1:50 p.m. (Introduced by Mayor Sheldon Day of Thomasville, Alabama

President Shirley Raines, the University of Memphis, 1:50 p.m. to 2:10 p.m.

Panel : 1:50 p.m. to 3:10 p.m.–Best Practices in Community Development Issues for the Delta Region

  1. Bob Nash, Speaker and Moderator; senior adviser, Witt & Associates, Little Rock, Arkansas, former Director of Presidential Personnel for President Bill Clinton; former USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development

  2. Charita Johnson Burgess, Shiloh Distribution Center, west Tennessee

  3. Alan Gumbel, Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association, Memphis, Tennessee

  4. Shannon Maxwell, Save the Children, Deputy Director for the state of Mississippi

  5. Karama Neal, Southern Bancorp, Arkansas

  6. Janice Simmons, Executive Director, Greater Northern Louisiana Community Development Corporation

  7. Emily Carter, Southern Illinois University, Director of Center for Regional and Economic Development, Carbondale, Illinois

Sponsors for Delta Grassroots Caucus, Oct. 23-24, 2012

Mid-South Community College, West Memphis, Arkansas

Lead Sponsors

Nucor Yamato Steel and Nucor Steel of Arkansas, Blytheville, Arkansas

Major Co-Sponsors

Siemens Industry, Inc.

Heifer International

Mississippi County Economic Opportunity Commission

Housing Assistance Council, Washington, DC

McGehee Industrial Foundation


Southeast Missouri Delta Grassroots Partners

Desha County Judge Mark McElroy

Lincoln County Industrial Development Commission

The City of Earle, Arkansas

East Arkansas Enterprise Community

First State Bank & Trust, Caruthersville, Missouri

Grambling State University, Louisiana

Murray State University, western Kentucky

AvanTech Services, Marion, Arkansas

The City of Pine Bluff, Arkansas

BGACDC Agency, Marvell, Arkansas

Crossroads Coalition

Delta Grassroots Caucus Partners

Last but not least, we would like to thank the hundreds of people who made contributions in the range of $100, $50 or $25 in the form of annual membership dues, registration fees, and other contributions. For a grassroots regional coalition, we need to have a diversified, broad base of financial support from large numbers of relatively modest contributions. The large number of these contributions really adds up to a major part of our budget, and we could not do our work without these donations.

Delta Autumn

A Haiku

Leaves blanket the earth

When the young ones leave our home

Never to return

Off to the Holy Wars

“Beware,” said a wise man to a youth,

“Of the unholy lovers of peace

Who would have us all slain in our beds.

They forget their dead brothers tomorrow

And turn their backs upon God.”

The youth heeded the wise man’s words

And rode gallantly off to the holy wars

Where he slew many an ignorant heathen

And (contrary to popular belief)

Returned alive and well

The next spring

Mind, body and soul