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.

Revised Agenda for Nov. 7-8, 2019 Greater Delta Region Conference in Little Rock

Posted on October 31, 2019 at 12:58 PM

Greater Delta Region Conference, Nov. 7-8, 2019 Little Rock, Arkansas “Infrastructure, Education and Regional Collaboration”

Opening Session, Thursday evening Nov. 7, 4:45 p.m. –7:15 p.m., Arkansas Capitol Rotunda

Information Display Tables

National Cold War Museum, Blytheville, Arkansas

Sultana Steamboat Disaster Museum, Marion, Arkansas

Shawnee Community College research project, southern Illinois Delta

Note: At appropriate times during the conference, we will recognize grassroots leaders for comments and questions, and will be sure to include in this way the following:

  • Annie Abrams, civil rights leader and educator in Little Rock from the desegregation of Central High in the late 1950s to the present
  • Rep. Vivian Flowers of Pine Bluff
  • Mayor Kevin Smith of Helena NOTE: Please arrive at the Arkansas Capitol by 4:30 p.m. or so, because traffic is very bad around the Capitol in Little Rock in the late afternoon and you may be very late if you get stuck in the traffic.

4:45 p.m. to 5 p.m.—Greeting and networking for Delta Caucus colleagues

“Education, Diversity and the Delta/Little Rock Partnership”

5:05 p.m. to 5:12 Introduction: Lee Powell, Caucus Director: formation of the Delta/Little Rock Partnership for Progress to deepen advocacy and collaboration between central Arkansas and the east Arkansas Delta

5:12 to 5:17 p.m.—Millie Atkins, Delta Caucus board member, Co-Chair, National Economic Equality Caucus, Community Leader in Monroe, Louisiana—on the opportunities opened by Historically Black Colleges and Universities

5:17 p.m. to 5:25 p.m.—Alan Gumbel, Interim Executive Director, Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce, on education and workforce development in the region; Memphis, Tennessee

5:25 p.m. to 5:32 p.m.—Loretta Alexander, Health Care Policy Director, Executive Director, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, update on the Arkansas Works health insurance program

5:32 P.M. TO 5:37 P.M.—Rep. Monte Hodges, Blytheville, Arkansas—follow-up comments on the Arkansas Works program from the standpoint of a Delta legislator who has been a strong supporter of the program

5:37 p.m. to 5:45 p.m., Lance Whitney, Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, SNAP Outreach Director, update on the SNAP program, including Disaster-SNAP funding for victims of flooding

5:45 p.m. to 5:55 p.m., Professor Tracey McElwee, Chair, Department of Social Work, Philander Smith College

5:55 to 6:02 p.m.—Jeramie Alexander, Philander Smith College student majoring in Social Work, the 2019 Carol Willis Scholar for the annual Delta conference in commemoration of the legacy of the late, great Carol Willis in working for positive social, political and economic change

6:02 p.m. to 6:12 p.m.—Professor Charity Smith, Philander Smith College, on the educational mission of Philander Smith for Arkansas; introduced by Randy Henderson, Nucor Yamato Steel and Nucor Steel of Arkansas, Blytheville, Arkansas

6:12 to 6:22 p.m.—Sen. Joyce Elliott of Little Rock—education, diversity and collaboration between central Arkansas and the adjacent east Arkansas Delta

6:22 p.m. to 6:29 p.m.—Rep. Andrew Collins—hunger and poverty comments, and flooding damage for his constituents from this year’s Arkansas River flooding

6:29 p.m. to 6:35 p.m.—Glendscene Williams, Delta State University, Cleveland, Mississippi, on Delta State’s educational role in business and entrepreneurial research

6:35 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.—Peggy Bradford, J.D., Ed.D., former President of Shawnee Community College in the southern Illinois Delta, on her research on educational issues for the diverse, economically distressed southern Illinois area

7:15 p.m.—Informal, optional socializing/networking dinner at the group hotel restaurant, Holiday Inn Presidential Camp David restaurant. This is strictly optional but many people find it useful for making contacts and sharing information.

Friday, Nov. 8 Session, 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Robinson Center Ballroom Overlooking the Arkansas River

Physical address of the Robinson Center is: 426 W. Markham Street, Little Rock, Arkansas 72201.

“Transportation, Housing, Levee Improvements/Flood Control, and Tourism-Related Infrastructure”

8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.–Delta Heritage Tourism speakers

Louis Intres, Director, Sultana Steamboat Disaster Museum, Marion, Arkansas

Elizabeth Smith, Blytheville Area Chamber of Commerce, on the proposed National Cold War Museum in Blytheville, Arkansas

9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.–Speakers on Housing, Levee Improvements and Disaster Relief, Transportation and other Infrastructure Issues”

Kay Goss, Moderator and Speaker; Associate Director of FEMA for President Bill Clinton, nationally recognized expert on disaster relief issues

9 a.m. to 9:10 a.m.–Professor Kevin Fitzpatrick, J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, on homelessness and related housing issues

9:10 to 9:18 a.m.–Desha County Judge Richard Tindall–on flooding in his area this year

9:18 a.m. to 9:28 a.m.–Mayor Shirley Washington of Pine Bluff on flooding issues and infrastructure issues in her city

9:28 a.m. to 9:36 a.m.—Harvey Joe Sanner, President, American Agriculture Movement of Arkansas, Des Arc, on the need for levee improvements and the impact of flooding on agriculture in the Delta

Brief question and answer on flooding

9:45 a.m. to 10 a.m.—Congressman French Hill, Second District of Arkansas, introduced by Rex Nelson, former Delta Regional Authority Alternate Federal Co-Chairman

10 a.m. to 10:10 a.m.—Lt. Governor Tim Griffin of the State of Arkansas, on infrastructure iniitiatives in transportation, broadband access and levee improvements, introduced by Sen. David Wallace

10:10 a.m. to 10:18 a.m.–Sen. David Wallace, Leachville, on disaster relief issues

10:18 10:26 a.m.–Theresa Jones, representing the City of Clarksdale, Mississippi

10:26 to 10:40–Kay Goss presentation on levee improvements and disaster relief

10:40 to Noon–Regional Infrastructure Issues:

10:40 to 10:48 a.m.–Mike Marshall, CEO, Sikeston, Missouri Regional Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Corp., former Alternate Federal Co-Chair, Delta Regional Authority

10:48 a.m. to 11 a.m.–Leslie Durham, Louisiana Designee for the Delta Regional Authority for Gov. John Bel Edwards, St. Joseph, Louisiana

State Legislators Speaking on transportation and other infrastructure issues

11: a.m.–Rep. Chris Richey, Helena

11: to 11:10 a.m.–Rep. Reginald Murdock, Marianna

11:10 a.m. to 11:20 a.m.–Sen. Keith Ingram, West Memphis

Discussion and Question and Answer—11:30 to 11:40 a.m.

11:40 a.m..11:50 a.m.–Mireya Reith, Executive Director, Arkansas United, on housing issues for immigrants and related issues

LUNCHEON–11:50 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

11:50 a.m. to noon–Lee Powell, Caucus Director: Announcements from the Delta Caucus board

Noon to 12:10–Betty Dobson, Executive Director, Upper Town Heritage Foundation, Paducah, Kentucky

12:10 to 12:20–Rex Nelson, Senior Editor, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and former Alternate Federal Co-Chairman, Delta Regional Authority

12:20 to 12:30–Victor Jones, Southern Poverty Law Center’s Senior Supervising Attorney, New Orleans, Louisiana

12:30 to 12:40–Annette Dove, Executive Director, TOPPS nonprofit in Pine Bluff, Arkansas

12:40 to 1 p.m.—question and answer with luncheon speakers

Sponsors for the Greater Delta Region Conference, Nov. 7-8, 2019 Little Rock, Arkansas


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


J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Sikeston, Missouri Regional Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Corporation

Municipal League of the State of Illinois


American Agriculture Movement of Arkansas, Des Arc, Arkansas

HOPE (Hope Enterprise Corporation / Hope Credit Union)

Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Arkansas

Phillips County AR Delta Partners

Delta Caucus Partners

   Last but not least, we would like to thank the hundreds of grassroots partners across the Greater Delta Region and the Washington, DC area for their many contributions of registration fees, annual membership dues, and other voluntary contributions in the amounts of $150, $125, $100, $75, $50, and $25. 

As a grassroots private sector coalition, we need to have a diversified financial base with large numbers of medium-sized and smaller contributions, and we could not do our work without these numerous contributions.