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.

President Clinton & Delta Leaders on Program for May 26-27 Delta Event in Little Rock

Posted on May 11, 2015 at 01:32 PM

President Bill Clinton has confirmed that he will speak to the May 26-27 Delta Grassroots Caucus conference in Little Rock by live call-in, joining several Members of Congress, Gov. Asa Hutchinson, and leaders from all eight states of the Greater Delta Region as well as Washington, DC and New York on our program.

President Clinton’s live presentations by call-in have been superb over the years and he always provides great ideas about promoting a brighter future for our eight-state region from southern Illinois and Missouri to the Gulf Coast and east to Selma and the Alabama Black Belt. (His office has not confirmed the exact time he will be speaking yet but has confirmed he will speak at some point.)

Time and space are running out with the conference only two weeks away, so please register and make the group hotel reservations today if you have not already done so. Registration, rough draft of an agenda, schedule and group hotel information are below in this email.

Deadline to get the group hotel discount rate is tomorrow, Tuesday, May 12, close of business.

The key themes are economic equality for working families, women and children’s issues, and civil rights in the aftermath of Ferguson, Missouri, Baltimore, and similar situations across the country.

Speakers: We have confirmations from US Sen. John Boozman, Gov. Asa Hutchinson, US Rep. Rick Crawford, US Rep. Bruce Westerman, nationally recognized hunger and nutrition expert Joel Berg, former White House aide and author Janis Kearney, former Associate Director of FEMA and author Kay Goss, President Terri Lynn Freeman of the National Civil Rights Museum, and many other distinguished speakers from all eight states of the region.

Missouri speaker regarding the Ferguson, Missouri situation:

Civil rights and diversity are crucial for our group, and with the recent tragic shootings of young African Americans and demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri, Baltimore, New York and elsewhere, now moreso than ever. We are glad to have an African American woman leader from Missouri, Maida Coleman, who is Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon’s Director of the Office of Community Engagement, which works on improving race relations and other community intiatives in Ferguson, Missouri and across the state.

Health insurance coverage expansion in Arkansas and across the region:

We will have Arkansas Speaker of the House Jeremy Gillam, Arkansas Hospital Association Director Bo Ryall, Rich Huddleston of Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, CEO Natalie Burke of the Mississippi Common Health Action, and Shiloh Dietz, women and children’s health care in Illinois, from Southern Illinois University’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.

Latest rough draft of an agenda: Below in this message we provide the latest rough draft of an agenda, although we need to emphasize that some of the speakers always have to make last-minute changes for reasons beyond our control, and then of course we have to change other parts of the schedule. So the speaking times will change many times between now and the May 26-27 Delta conference.


  1. Basic Schedule

  2. Rough draft of agenda

  3. Registration information

  4. Group hotel


The opening session is Tuesday, May 26 at the Arkansas State Capitol old Supreme Court room, 4 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.

Then on Wednesday, May 27 we meet for most of the day at the Great Hall of the Clinton Presidential Library, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Rough Draft of Agenda

Delta Grassroots Caucus

“Economic Equality, Women & Children’s Issues, Civil Rights”

May 26-27, 2015 Annual Delta Conference in Little Rock

OPENING SESSION-Tuesday, May 26, 2015, 4 p.m. to 7:45 p.m., Arkansas State Capitol (old Supreme Court Room)

4:30-Introduction by Lee Powell, Executive Director, Delta Grassroots Caucus

4:40 to 5:30 p.m.-Women and Children’s Issues Panel

Kay Goss, speaker and moderator–former Associate Director of FEMA in the Clinton administration and nationally recognized disaster relief expert, author and educator

Ruthanne Hill, Executive Director, Arkansas Single Parents Scholarship Fund

Lynette Watts, Executive Director, Women’s Foundation of Arkansas

5:30 p.m. to 5:50 p.m.-US Senator John Boozman

5:50 to 6:20 p.m.-Continuation of Women and Children’s Issues and Diversity Panel

Maisie Wright, Director, KIPP Delta Preparatory College School, Blytheville, Arkansas

Annette Dove, executive director, TOPPS nonprofit, Pine Bluff, Arkansas, along with Courteney Grant, 18-year old senior at Watson Chapel High School

6:05 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.–Betty Dobson, Executive Director, Upper Town Heritage Foundation, Paducah, Kentucky, commemorating civil rights history in western Kentucky of the Hotel Metropolitan, where civil rights leaders, Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Ike and Tina Turner and others stayed in the era of Jim Crow

6:15 to 7 p.m.–Health Care and Health Insurance Coverage in the Delta

6:20 to 6:30 p.m.-Speaker of the Arkansas House of Representatives Jeremy Gillam, speaking on health insurance expansion in Arkansas

6:30 to 6:40 p.m.–Bo Ryall, Executive Director, Arkansas Hospital Association, speaking on Arkansas’ program for expanding health insurance for lower income working families

6:40 to 6:45 p.m.–Rich Huddleston, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, speaking in support of Arkansas’ program for expanding health insurance

6:45 to 6:53-Shiloh Dietz, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University, health care issues for women and children and health insurance expansion in Illinois

6:53 to 7 p.m.-Natalie Burke, CEO, Mississippi Common Health Action, Jackson, Mississippi, on the high rate of women dying in childbirth in Mississippi and the issue of health insurance in Mississippi


7 p.m. to 7:08 p.m.–Alexandra Rouse, staff attorney, Third Judicial Circuit, graduate of the Clinton School of Public Service, and Programming Director for Women Lead Arkansas

7:08 to 7:15 p.m.–Bob Culler, First State Bank & Trust, Caruthersville, Missouri, African American community leader in southeast Missouri, speaking on police profiling and race relations

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 Session, 8 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., Great Hall of the Clinton Presidential Library

8:40 a.m. to 9 a.m.-Beginning of Panel on “Gender and Ethnic Equality and Justice”

Millie Atkins, Speaker and Moderator, CenturyLink broadband expansion program in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi, based in Monroe, Louisiana

9 a.m. to 9:20 a.m.-Gov. Asa Hutchinson

9:20 a.m. to 10 a.m.-Continuation of “Gender and Ethnic Equality and Justice,” Millie Atkins, Moderator

Alabama Black Belt leader working in Selma and Birmingham, on the legacy of the civil rights movement

Mireya Reith, Director, Arkansas United Coalition, working on immigration, voter education and turnout, police profiling of Hispanics, and other issues for Hispanics in Arkansas

Terri Lynn Freeman, President, National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, on the legacy of the civil rights movement in today’s world

Janis Kearney, former White House aide in the Clinton administration, author of a book on the famous civil rights leader Daisy Bates, founding publisher of Writing Our World Press in Little Rock, Arkansas

10 a.m. to 10:20 a.m.-Congressman Bruce Westerman, Fourth District, Arkansas

10:20 to 10:50 a.m.–Joel Berg, Executive Director, New York City Coalition Against Hunger, former Presidential appointee at the Clinton administration at USDA national headquarters in Washington, DC

10:50 a.m.-Speaker-Arnell Willis, African American leader from Helena-West Helena, Director, Arkansas Workforce Investment Board

11 a.m. to noon-(INVITED) hearing in a bipartisan, informative format from the two Presidential campaigns with candidates who have strong Arkansas ties-Secretary Hillary Clinton and Gov. Mike Huckabee, through surrogate speakers. This is in the spirit of taking part in the democratic process and the Delta Caucus does not endorse candidates. Questions will be handled in a fair, nonpartisan way by Caucus Director Lee Powell and Rex Nelson, President, Arkansas Independent Colleges and Universities

(Other campaigns either have not announced yet or were from outside the Delta region, or were unable to send a representative)

Gov. Mike Huckabee campaign representative

Secretary Hillary Clinton campaign representative


Lee Powell, Caucus Director, announcements regarding key regional issues in the field of economic equality

Congressman Rick Crawford, First District, Arkansas

President Clinton call-in (INVITED) (President Clinton has confirmed that he will make a live call-in presentation but we do not yet know exactly when)

Maida Coleman, African American leader from Missouri, Director of Missouri Office of Community Engagement, Gov. Jay Nixon of Missouri’s appointee in charge of dealing with Ferguson, Missouri, civil rights issues and similar issues across the state

1:15 to 2:45-“Big picture” Panel on Best Practices in Regional Community and Economic Development

Karama Neal, speaker and moderator, Southern Bancorp Community Partners

Ben Wihebrink, Heifer International

National Housing Assistance Council representative, Washington, DC

Ben Burkett, Federation of Southern Cooperatives, Mississippi

Iris Crosby, Station Manager, University of Arkansas Pine Bluff

Loretta Daniel, Murray State University, Director of the Center for Regional Innovation and Economic Development

Closing speaker–Wilson Golden, native of the great state of Mississippi, Presidential appointee in the Clinton administration, Congressional Affairs Director for US Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater, one of four managers of the Clinton administration’s Delta Regional Initiative

Appreciation for Sponsors

Lead Sponsor

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

Major Co-Sponsors

Heifer International

Housing Assistance Council, Washington, DC

Partners from the City of Greenville and Washington County, Mississippi

Mississippi County AR Economic Opportunity Commission


Judson College, Marion, Alabama

First State Bank & Trust, Caruthersville, Missouri

McGehee Industrial Foundation, & City of McGehee, Arkansas

Kay Goss, Author, Mr. Chairman: The Life and Legacy of Wilbur Mills, and Chairman, University of Arkansas J. William Fulbright College Fundraising Campaign for 2020

Rep. Mark McElroy

City of Dumas, Arkansas

Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Arkansas

Delta Grassroots Partners

Last but not least, we would like to thank literally hundreds of grassroots partners across the Greater Delta Region, the Washington, DC area, and New York for many more modest contributions of registration fees and annual membership dues in amounts of $125, $100, $75, $50 and $25. As a grassroots regional coalition we need to have a diversified financial base with large numbers of modest contributions, and we could not do our work without these very numerous contributions over such a vast region.

3. Registration:

For those who only recently learned of this event or did not know about the May 1 early registration deadline, we will still ask only for the early registration fee of $125 (or $100 for those who have paid their annual dues for 2015) rather than the higher late fees, which we request to provide an incentive to get the fees in on time. For those who are working on a group to register, we offer a discount to $75 each.

For those who notified us that they were definitely coming to the event by email at or phone at 202-360-6347 and are in the process of mailing the fees in now, we will also only ask for the early registration fee level of $125. Otherwise, late fees are $150 each.

You register by mailing in the registration fees.

Please make out the check to “Delta Caucus” for $125 or $100 for those who have paid their annual membership dues for 2015 and mail to:

Delta Caucus

5030 Purslane Place

Waldorf, MD 20601


We have a group discount rate of $99.99 for the nights of May 26-27, 2015 at the Holiday Inn Presidential near the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock.

Please call the Holiday Inn Presidential at 501-375-2100 and say you are with the Delta Caucus to get the lower group rate of $99.99, which is a very good rate for a high-quality hotel located near the Clinton Library and the River Market district, which has many fine restaurants and other attractions.

The deadline for getting the group rate is May 12.

Many people will only need to pay for one hotel night, because they check in Tuesday afternoon to make the opening at 4 p.m. at the State Capitol and the conference ends the next day about 2:45 p.m. You can check out the next morning and store luggage at the hotel if necessary and pick it up in the afternoon after the conference ends.

We will need to go to the State Capitol in groups of taxis for those who are flying in and not have cars. The opening session is an important substantive session with key speakers and is NOT a reception. The opening session is an important substantive session with key speakers and is NOT just a reception. It takes about 10 minutes to drive from the hotel to the Capitol and then another five minutes to walk up to the old Supreme Court room.

For the Clinton Library session, the hotel has a shuttle that regularly runs there.

The Holiday Inn Presidential has a very good restaurant, Camp David, on the first floor, and is close to the many fine restaurants in the Little Rock River Market area.