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.

Washington, DC Martin Luther King Memorial Racial Healing Event, Aug. 30, 2014

Posted on August 29, 2014 at 02:19 PM


August 28, 2014 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Rev. Arthur L. Hunt, Jr., D.D., The College of Aspiring Artists (870) 623-8179; website is OR Lee Powell, Executive Director, Delta Grassroots Caucus (202) 360-6347; website is

“Delta to DC Diversity Tour to Hold Event Featuring Pleas for Racial Healing in Ferguson, Missouri and across the Country at Martin Luther King Memorial on Labor Day Weekend, August 30, 2014”

Washington, DC: The annual Delta to DC Diversity Tour led by Rev. Arthur L. Hunt, Jr., and The College of Aspiring Artists will hold a “Supreme Day of Prayer” at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on Saturday, Aug. 30.


The event is an appeal for racial healing and renewed dedication to the ideals of compassion and nonviolence embodied in the civil rights movement and the War On Poverty. Event participants include many national organizations as well as regional organizations like the Delta Grassroots Caucus, and it will feature a special section highlighting an appeal for racial healing in Ferguson, Missouri.

The Delta Grassroots Caucus will be among the participating organizations for The College of Aspiring Artists’ event, which will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the War On Poverty and of historic civil rights movement accomplishments, and feature a special section praying for racial healing in Ferguson, Missouri.

A pre-gathering ceremony is from 10 a.m. to noon, and the event is from noon to 7 p.m. on Aug. 30 and a schedule is below in the addendum to this message.

This event will include many national and Delta regional organizations including

–the Memorial Foundation that oversaw the creation of the King Memorial from inception to completion,

–The College of Aspiring Artists, led by Rev. Arthur Hunt of Arkansas;

–the Mississippi Delta Grassroots Caucus advocacy organization extending from the St. Louis, Missouri area down the Mississippi River to New Orleans and eastward to Selma, Alabama and the Alabama Black Belt;

–Supreme Day of Prayer Capitol Region Commissioners, Together in Ministries led by Dr. Corinthia Boone, and the National Day of Prayer Task Force led by Vice-Chairman, John Bornschein, which supervises the National Day of Prayer each year created by Congress in 1952.

Group from South Africa: The International Praise and Worship features Kunjalo, a group of ministers, singers and musicians from Cape Town, South Africa who will kick off a musical tour of the USA at this event. Kunjalo will be paying tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela throughout the trip. We are honored to have these talented musicians from so far away as South Africa.

The event is led by Rev. Hunt and others based in the Delta. Delta Grassroots Caucus Director Lee Powell and Caucus board member Martha Ellen Black from Missouri are among the speakers.

In addition to the group coming from the Delta, we will be joined by community leaders in the Washington, DC area and elsewhere, in addition to the South African group.

Attendance is expected to be 300 or more for the earlier sessions beginning in the late morning and at noon. The numbers will vary as some come and go over the course of the day, but total expected attendance is expected to be about 1,000 for those who come to at least parts of it.

Rev. Hunt will speak about the situation in Ferguson, Missouri in the prayer for racial healing in that community in the aftermath of the shooting of Michael Brown. “This is a teachable moment for those who appeal for a renewed dedication to the principles of racial understanding, love and nonviolence championed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the greatest days of the civil rights movement.”

“Dr. King and the movement endured and ultimately rose above the deep controversies of the 1960s through nonviolent methods leading to the historic civil rights legislation. We pray for a rededication to those ideals of peace, racial understanding and nonviolence today for the people in Ferguson, Missouri and across America,” Rev. Hunt said.

Caucus Director Lee Powell will speak at the noon to 1 p.m. session on “Prayers for the President Salute to New My Brothers’ Keeper Initiative.’ Powell will speak about the Delta Caucus’ advocacy work in fighting poverty, promoting racial understanding, and a brighter future in the eight states of our region of over 10 million people.

Powell said, “The War On Poverty made substantial progress in reducing overall poverty rates, although we still have a long journey ahead of us in fighting poverty nationwide and sadly even moreso in the still economically distressed region. We know that we still suffer from racial tensions, but we still acknowledge the major gains since the days of Jim Crow when African Americans in the Delta could not vote, did not have access to a good education, and constantly suffered in the shadows of prejudice and segregation.”

“For a regional grassroots coalition extending from St. Louis to New Orleans along the Mississippi, we especially want to hear our colleagues from Missouri at this time of great duress in Ferguson, Missouri, and at the conference we will hear from our board member and Missouri Delta Caucus coordinator, Dr. Martha Ellen Black, executive director of the Susanna Wesley Family Learning Center in southeast Missouri,” Powell said.

Powell said, “Martha Ellen Black’s sister lived and was a teacher in Ferguson, Missouri for many years, and our Missouri partners are understandably distraught by the violence there.”

Martha Ellen Black will also speak at the noon hour segment as a Missourian who is deeply concerned by the plight of Ferguson, Missouri.

Black said, “We in Missouri are deeply disturbed by this very sad situation. In Missouri we had come so far in racial progress since the days of Martin Luther King, and we must not take backward steps toward those dark days. We won’t comment on the facts and will let the authorities resolve this, but we can make this plea: it should be resolved nonviolently by people of all races, faiths, and philosophies.”

Rev. Hunt and the Delta Caucus leaders want to be sure and emphasize that this event welcomes Muslims, Jews, Christians and people of all faiths and persuasions, as well as people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Rev. Hunt and The College of Aspiring Artists are bringing a group of people from the heart of the Delta in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi to Washington, DC for this day of education, racial understanding, and rededication to the ideals of Dr. King and the civil rights movement.

The College of Aspiring Artists (TCAA) is one of the nations’ premiere organizations that has produced legacy tributes for the past 25 years to Dr. King with and for partners including but not limited to the National Civil Rights Museum, Clinton Presidential Center, McDonalds, Starbucks, etc. Among TCAA’s many activities are mentoring and enhancing educational and career opportunities for young people in the Greater Delta Region.

Last year, the theme was “The Delta to DC Diversity Tour” which captured the mission and vision to move persons in the Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana Delta region who are normally at the bottom of progressive rankings in education and income to take the lead in connecting and continuing the work demonstrated and left in our hand by Rev. Dr. King and the pioneers in his day.

Last year’s event was excellent in quality, but it was hampered by the government shutdown that forced the originally planned October dates to be moved to right after Thanksgiving on a day that unfortunately turned out to be bitterly cold. We are grateful that there was no government shutdown and we are meeting at the time planned and reserved by a permit from the US Dept. of the Interior.

This year the tour again originates in the Delta with the opening of TCAA’s new campus site in Greenville, Mississippi on Monday, August 25 prior to leaving for the Nation’s Capital.

The Kunjalo musical group from South Africa tour of the USA will include stops in include New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Indiana, and the tour will end in the Delta region with performances in Greenville, Mississippi and other Mississippi communities, a performance in Rev. Hunt’s home town of Dumas, Arkansas, and the tour culminates in a performance in Little Rock.

Below is an addendum with the schedule for the Aug. 30 event.

Addendum: August 30, 2014 Itinerary, “2014 Back to School-Back to God-Supreme Day of Prayer, Purpose and Promise” MLK Memorial

Note: Detailed program will be presented on site based on new segments being added daily

Time Activity /Initiative

10am-12noon–Pre-Gathering Ceremony—Pastors, Spiritual Leaders Open with Prayers of Dedication and Rededication to the Principles and Biblical Rights Exemplified by Rev. Dr. King Led by Together in Ministries- DC Capitol Region Leaders with Dr. Corinthia Boone

12noon-1pm— “Prayers for the People in Ferguson, Missouri” and for communities in crisis regarding racial healing and Prayers for the President Salute to New My Brothers Keeper Initiative

The College of Aspiring Artists Offering Prayers of Support for MBK-My Brother’s Keeper White House Initiative and for other Mentoring and After-school Programs aimed to guide the now and next generation of leaders.

Lee Powell, Delta Grassroots Caucus Executive Director, will speak briefly about the Delta Grassroots Caucus’ mission for community and economic progress in the region

Dr. Martha Ellen Black, board member and Missouri coordinator for the eight-state Delta Grassroots Caucus, speaking from Missouri by audio connection about the Ferguson, Missouri situation from the standpoint of Missourians

1pm-2pm— National Day of Prayer Task Force Leaders- Vice Chairman John Bornschein

2pm-3pm—Bridgeway Community Church, Columbia, Maryland


Hour of Reconciliation: “Prayers for the People in Ferguson, Missouri” and for communities in crisis regarding racial healing.

Speakers will include Wilson Golden, a Presidential appointee at US Dept. of Transportation during the Clinton administration under US Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater, speaking from the standpoint of a native of Mississippi about the progress in race relations since the days of Jim Crow and the remaining challenges still existing.

5pm-6pm—Kunjalo, Cape Town South Africa International Tribute

6pm-6:30pm—Creative Talents Share their Creativity/Dreams/Talents /Give the Dream Scholarship Vouchers Presented

6:30pm-7pm—Closing Prayer and Message from Founding CEO of The College of Aspiring Artists and Supreme Day of Prayer, Rev. Arthur L. Hunt, Jr., D.D.

Details/Sponsorships/Donations/ Volunteer/Participate-Pray-Perform at: 866.531.2359