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.

A Full House on Both Days, Greater Delta Region conference a big success on April 25-26 at ASU Mid-South, West Memphis

Posted on April 01, 2019 at 11:33 AM

The Greater Delta Region conference at ASU Mid-South West Memphis was a big success, with packed houses both days. We would again like to thank Chancellor Debra West of ASU Mid-South for being a great host and giving a thoughtful, dynamic presentation at the April 26 luncheon.

Please note: a few days after the conference Delta Caucus Director Lee Powell was suddenly hospitalized with a gangrenous galled bladder, which has been surgically removed. Of course, any time gangrene is involved it is a very serious situation. They hope the surgery removed all the gangrene but will have to continue monitoring that. Powell now has bacteria in his blood system that doctors are trying to prevent from spreading across his entire system.

This is a very serious condition, Lee Powell of course cannot speak to anyone, and we know no way of knowing how long he will be in the hospital or how long it will take to resolve the bacteria in the blood issue.

Below is the agenda for the April 25-26 Greater Delta Region Conference at Arkansas State University Mid-South Marion Berry Building in West Memphis, Arkansas.

OPENING SESSION IS Thursday evening, April 25, from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at ASU Mid-South Marion Berry Building

FRIDAY APRIL 26: from 8:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Friday morning and lunch, ASU Mid-South Marion Berry Building

Agenda–Delta Grassroots Caucus

“Jobs, Education/Workforce Development & Infrastructure”

Arkansas State University Mid-South in West Memphis, April 25-26, 2019



Delta Blues Museum, Clarksdale, Mississippi

Sultana Steamboat Disaster Museum, Marion, Arkansas

Arkansas State University Heritage Sites

Delta State University, Cleveland, Mississippi

Snowden House Historic Mansion and B & B on Scenic Horseshoe Lake, Hughes, Arkansas

OPENING SESSION, Thursday April 25, 2019, 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

ASU Mid-South Marion Berry Building

Introduction—Lee Powell, Executive Director, Delta Grassroots Caucus—4:30 p.m.

4:40 to 5 p.m.

Ben Burkett, Federation of Southern Cooperatives, Mississippi

5 p.m. to 5:10 p.m.—Mayor James Strickland of Memphis

5:10 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.–Downtown Revitalizationm Jobs, and Delta Heritage Tourism

  1. Wilson Golden, board member of the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation in Jackson, Mississippi (affiliated with the new civil rights museum in Jackson)

  2. Mayor Kevin Smith of Helena, Arkansas

  3. Shelley Ritter, Executive Director, Delta Blues Museum, Clarksdale, Mississippi

  4. Rex Nelson, Senior Editor and columnist, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, former Alternate Federal Co-Chairman, Delta Regional Authority

Rodney Slater, Former US Secretary of Transportation, now senior partner of Squire, Patton Boggs firm in Washington, DC

  1. Mike Marshall, CEO, Sikeston, Missouri Regional Chamber of Commerce and economic development organization, former Alternate Federal Co-Chairman, Delta Regional Authority

  2. Louis Intres, Director, Sultana steamboat disaster museum, Marion, Arkansas

  3. Mayor Shirley Washington of Pine Bluff

6:30 p.m. to 6:50 p.m.—State Legislatora on Arkansas Works Health Insurance Program

Rep. Reginald Murdock (Marianna) Rep. Chris Richey (Helena)

Friday, April 26, 2019 ASU Mid-South Marion Berry Building

8:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

8:45 a.m. to 10 a.m.—Infrastructure, Job Creation and Economic Development

–Johnnie Bolin, Chairman, Southeast Arkansas Cornerstone Coalition

–Brad Cole, Executive Director of the Municipal League for the state of Illinois

–Marcie Lawson, Executive Director, Sikeston, Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development

–Dee Brown, Clarksdale, Mississippi

–Mayor Sheldon Day, Thomasville, Alabama

–Mayor James Sanders, Blytheville, Arkansas

–Mayor Marco McClendon of West Memphis


10:a.m. to 11:30 a.m.–Education, Workforce Development and Jobs

–Sen. Keith Ingram of West Memphis

-Alan Gumbel, Interim Executive Director, Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce, Memphis, Tennessee

–Mark O’Mell, Director, Arkansas Crossroads Coalition (Cross, Poinsett, Jackson, Woodruff, Monroe, Phillips, Lee and Crittenden counties)

-Mayor Pro Tem and City Commissioner Richard Abraham, Paducah, Kentucky

–Kyla Guyette, Director, Workforce Investment Network, Shelby County Mayor’s Office, Tennessee,

11:30 to 11:45 a.m.–Health care and nutrition speakers

Arnetta Macklin, Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association (MIFA), of Memphis, Tennessee on health and nutrition programs for senior citizens

Millie Atkins, long-time Delta regional advocate and community leader from Monroe, Louisiana

11:45 a.m. to noon–Victor Jones of Southern Poverty Law Center, New Orleans, Louisiana

NOON TO 1:20 P.M.–Luncheon

Daryl Bassett, Director of AR Dept. of Workforce Services, introduced by Randy Henderson, Nucor Yamato Steel and Nucor Steel of Arkansas

Mike Preston, Director, Arkansas Economic Development Commission, introduced by Rex Nelson, Senior Editor, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

President David Rudd of the University of Memphis

Chancellor Debra West of Arkansas State University Mid-South

Appreciation for Sponsors

Greater Delta Region Conference, April 25-26, 2019

Arkansas State University Mid-South, West Memphis, Arkansas


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


Municipal League for the State of Illinois

Mississippi County Arkansas Economic Opportunity Commission, Blytheville, Arkansas


Sultana Steamboat Disaster Museum

Sikeston, Missouri Regional Chamber Commerce and Economic Development

Harvey Joe Sanner, President of the American Agriculture Movement of Arkansas, Des Arc, Arkansas

Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Arkansas

Delta Grassroots Partners

Last but not least, we would like to thank the hundreds of grassroots partners across the Greater Delta Region and elsewhere across the country 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.