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.

Hillary Clinton & Mike Huckabee Presidential Campaign Speakers Added to May 26-27 Delta Event

Posted on May 19, 2015 at 04:39 PM

Former Gov. Mike Beebe will speak on behalf of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign and Alice Stewart, Communications Director, Mike Huckabee for President, will speak at the Tuesday evening, May 26 opening session of the May 26-27 Delta Grassroots Caucus conference at the Arkansas State Capitol in the Rotunda.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson will speak from 5 p.m. to 5:20 p.m. about the proposed project to bring 500 jobs to south Arkansas that is the subject of the special session of the Arkansas legislature, as well as Arkansas’ health insurance expansion program.

Latest draft of the agenda is below in this post, although some speakers may have last-minute changes for reasons beyond our control.

Former Gov. Huckabee of Arkansas, is a Presidential contender for the Republican nomination, and Secretary Clinton of course practiced law and served as Arkansas’ First Lady for many years and is a Democratic contender. So in our coalition there is great interest in these two candidates who have deep ties to the Greater Delta Region.

The opening session as a whole is Tuesday evening, 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Arkansas State Capitol Rotunda.

Former Gov. Mike Beebe of Arkansas speaks from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and then Gov. Huckabee’s spokesperson, Alice Stewart, speaks from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

We will ask the two campaigns what their candidates would do to improve the economy in our eight-state region if elected President. Key themes will be economic equality for working families, women and children’s issues due to the alarmingly high poverty rates for those populations in our region, education, health care and civil rights/diversity.

Moderators are Delta Caucus Director Lee Powell and Rex Nelson, President, Arkansas Independent Colleges and Universities.

This session is bipartisan and the Delta Grassroots Caucus will not make an endorsement.

President Bill Clinton has confirmed that he will speak at 11 a.m. on Wednesday May 27 at the Delta Grassroots Caucus conference in Little Rock by live call-in. President Clinton’s live presentations 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.

We can still accommodate a limited number of people who learned of the conference late who can bring their registration fee checks to the front desk at the time of the conference. Registration, rough draft of an agenda, schedule and group hotel information are below in this email.

We have had several last-minute changes in the speaking schedule for reasons beyond our control

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.


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. Late Registration
  4. Group hotel


The opening session is on Tuesday, May 26 at the Arkansas State Capitol Rotunda from 4 p.m. to approximately 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.


Latest 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

(Please note: if speakers have to change their schedules at the last minute we will have to make adjustments in the schedule accordingly. These changes are beyond our control and we have to remain flexible to the highly hectic schedules of President Clinton, the Governor, Members of Congress, and other very busy participants.)

OPENING SESSION—Tuesday, May 26, 2015, 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Arkansas State Capitol Rotunda

4 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.—Networking and allowing time for the attendees to arrive in the Rotunda

4:20—Introduction and Stand-Up Comedy Routine by Lee Powell, Executive Director, Delta Grassroots Caucus, and Delta Caucus Vice Chairman, Rep. Mark McElroy

4:30 to 4:50 p.m.—Beginning of Speakers on Women and Children’s Issues (additional speakers on these issues will follow in many other parts of the conference)

Kay Goss, 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

4:50 to 5 p.m.–Bo Ryall, Arkansas Hospital Association, speaking for Arkansas’ health insurance coverage expansion program

5 p.m. to 5:20 p.m.—Gov. Asa Hutchinson

5:20 to 5:30 p.m.—Speaker of the Arkansas House of Representatives Jeremy Gillam, speaking on health insurance expansion in Arkansas and the special session on job creation

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

5:50 to 6 p.m.—Annette Dove, executive director, TOPPS nonprofit, Pine Bluff, Arkansas, along with Courteney Grant, 18-year old senior at Watson Chapel High School

6 p.m. to 7 p.m.—Session for the two Presidential candidates with deep ties to Arkansas and the Delta: Former Gov. Mike Huckabee and Secretary Hillary Clinton Moderators: Lee Powell, Executive Director. Delta Grassroots Caucus, and Rex Nelson, President, Arkansas Independent Colleges and Universities

6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.—Former Gov. Mike Beebe, speaking on behalf of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign

6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.—Alice Stewart, Communications Director, Mike Huckabee for President

CLOSING SPEAKERS—7 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.

7 P.M.–Maisie Wright, Director, KIPP Delta College Preparatory School, Blytheville, Arkansas

7:10 p.m.–Alexandra Rouse, staff attorney, Third Judicial Circuit, graduate of the Clinton School of Public Service, and Programming Director for Women Lead Arkansas

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

8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.—on “Gender and Ethnic Equality and Justice”—split this up into two sections

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

  2. Bob Culler, First State Bank & Trust, Caruthersville, Missouri, African American community leader in southeast Missouri, speaking on police profiling and race relations

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

  4. Lynnette Watts, Executive Director, Women’s Foundation of Arkansas

  5. 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. 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.—Arnell Willis, African American leader from Helena-West Helena, Director, Arkansas Workforce Investment Board

11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.—President William Jefferson Clinton (speaking live over the audio system)

11:30 a.m. to noon—Health Care and Health Insurance Expansion

11:30 a.m.-11:40 a.m.—Marquita Little, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, speaking in support of Arkansas’ program for expanding health insurance

11:40 a.m. to 11:50 a.m.—Shiloh Dietz, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University, health care issues for women and children and health insurance expansion in Illinois

11:50 a.m. to noon—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


Noon to 12:10–Lee Powell, Caucus Director, announcements regarding key regional issues in the field of economic equality

12:10 to 12:25–Congressman Rick Crawford, First District, Arkansas, introduced by Kay Goss, senior adviser to the Delta Grassroots Caucus

12:25 to 12:40–Terri Lynn Freeman, President, National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, on the legacy of the civil rights movement in the aftermath of Ferguson, Missouri & Baltimore

12:40–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:p.m to 2:15 p.m.—“Big picture” Panel on Best Practices in Regional Community and Economic Development

  1. Karama Neal, speaker and moderator, Southern Bancorp Community Partners

  2. Ben Wihebrink, Heifer International

  3. Carolyn Branton, National Housing Assistance Council (HAC), Regional Director of Southeast Regional Office of HAC

  4. Ben Burkett, Federation of Southern Cooperatives, Mississippi

  5. Iris Crosby, Station Manager, University of Arkansas Pine Bluff

  6. Henry Snorton, Executive Director, Minority Economic Development Initiative, Hopskinsville, Kentucky in the western Kentucky Delta

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

  Delta Grassroots Caucus Conference “Economic Equality, Women & Children’s Issues, Civil Rights” May 26, 2015 Arkansas Capitol and May 27, 2015 Clinton Library Great Hall

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


Foundation for the Mid-South, headquarters in Jackson, MS, Active Across the Region

Judson College, Marion, Alabama

First State Bank & Trust, Caruthersville, Missouri

McGehee Industrial Foundation, 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

The City of Sikeston, Missouri

Rep. Mark McElroy

Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Arkansas

The City of Dumas, Arkansas

That Bookstore in Blytheville, AR, Chris Crawley

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. Late 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.


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.

The group hotel deadline has been extended to Friday, May 22.

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.

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.