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.

Agenda Oct. 13-14, 2020 Delta Conference: 20th Anniversary of the Delta Initiative, 2nd District Forum, & Leaders from Across the Region

Posted on October 07, 2020 at 11:32 AM

Greater Delta Summit on the 20th Anniversary of the White House Conference on the Delta and the Grassroots Movement from the 1990s to the Present

We are not “celebrating” the 20th anniversary of the White House Conference on the Delta in 2000, the Clinton administration’s bipartisan Delta regional movement, and the origins of the Delta Grassroots Caucus; rather, we are looking back at what has worked and where we still have serious challenges to develop policy ACTIONS for 2020 and beyond.


Link to Oct. 14 Greater Delta Region Conference by Zoom webinar:

This is entirely by Zoom and there are no in-person meetings to err on the side of great caution during the pandemic.

Opening session—October 13, 2020, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m

Introduction—5 p.m. to 5:07, Lee Powell, Delta Caucus Director

ALL TIMES ARE ESTIMATES. We do have the goal of concluding much earlier than we used to—shortly before 7 p.m.—in light of the short attention spans nowadays.

For President Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, Members of Congress—they always confirm very late in the process for reasons beyond our control and we have to and make scheduling adjustments for them as needed.

5 p.m. to 5:40 p.m.–Big picture speakers on maintaining job growth during the pandemic

5:10 to 5:20–Mayor Sheldon Day of Thomasville, Alabama—economic growth in our turbulent times;

5:23 to 5:32–an executive of Nucor Yamato Steel and Nucor Steel of Arkansas as suggested by Randy Henderson of the Nucor plant in Blytheville;

5:32 to 5:38—Brad Cole, Executive Director, Illinois Municipal League

Hunger, Nutrition, Health and Poverty in the Pandemic

5:38 to 5:46 –Lisa Church, Chief Advancement Officer, Southeast Missouri Food Bank, Sikeston, Missouri

5:46 to 5:54—Leesa Freasier, University of Arkansas Medical Sciences (UAMS) Delta project on nutrition and obesity

5:54 to 6:02—Tomiko Townley, Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance

6:02 to 6:12—Troy Wells, CEO, Baptist Health, the largest health care organization in Arkansas

6:12 to 6:20—Jimmy Cone and Johnny Pettus, project for in-door greenhouse produce farming projects for year-round production in volume, create jobs, and increase access to fresh, nutrition produce

Maintaining Education and workforce development during the pandemic—6:20 p.m. to 7 p.m.

–Alan Gumbel, Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce, Memphis, Tennessee;

–Glendscene Williams, Director of Delta State University’s small business development center, Cleveland, Mississippi

–Professor Charity Smith, Philander Smith College in Little Rock; and young African American woman student for this year’s Carol Willis Scholar to honor the late, great Carol Willis, a senior adviser to President William Jefferson Clinton and a champion for racial, social and economic justice

Oct. 14 Session, 8:40 a.m. to 1:55 p.m.

Dialogue on Our Legacy regarding Race and Gender in the Past and in the Pandemic 8:40 to 10 a.m.

8:40 to 8:50— Jake McGraw, William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation, Jackson, Mississippi

8:50 to 9 a.m.–Millie Atkins, community leader in Monroe, Louisiana and veteran Delta regional advocate

9 a.m. to 9:08—Peggy Bradford, former president of Shawnee Community College in southern Illinois, attorney and veteran Delta regional advocate

9:08 to 9:16 a.m.—Lee Powell, Caucus Director—the complex legacy of Senator Fulbright as a case study on our past in war, peace, poverty and race

9:16 to 9:24—Anna Beth Gorman, Woman’s Foundation of Arkansas, on issues of economic and health equality and justice during the pandemic and beyond

9:24 a.m. to 9:32—Rupa Dash, CEO, World Woman Foundation

9:32 to 9:40 a.m.—Sheila Smith, TS Police Support League, Eutaw, Alabama in the Alabama Black Belt

9:40 to 9:50 a.m. Mayor Kevin Smith of Helena, Arkansas

If there is time, a few questions.

10 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.–Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston, the chief economic development official for Arkansas

10:15 a.m.—Congressman Bruce Westerman, who represents a large part of the southern and southeastern Arkansas Delta


10:30 a.m.–State Senator Joyce Elliott of Little Rock, Democratic nominee

11 a.m.—U.S. Representative French Hill of Little Rock, Republican nominee

Moderators: Roby Brock, Talk Business and Politics

Michael Hibblen, KUAR Arkansas Public Radio news department

Continuation of WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN THE ERA OF OUR TWO DISEASES: Racism and Covid-19, 11:30 a.m. to noon

Mike Marshall, CEO, Sikeston, Missouri Regional Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Corp., former Alternate Federal Co-Chairman of the Delta Regional Authority

Mayor Shirley Washington of Pine Bluff


20th Anniversary of White House Conference on the Delta in 2000 and Clinton administration’s bipartisan Delta Regional Initiative:

Some Real Accomplishments, but Still Remaining Serious Challenges for 2020 and Beyond

Janie Ginocchio, Southern Bancorp Community Partners

(INVITED) Bill Bynum, CEO, Hope Credit Union and Hope Enterprise Corporation, “big picture” presentation on the movement for community and economic progress in the Greater Delta Region from the Clinton administration’s bipartisan Delta Regional Initiative to 2020 and the future

Joel Berg, CEO, Hunger Free America, national anti-hunger and poverty organization based in New York, Presidential appointee in the Clinton administration

Caucus Director Lee Powell, one of four managers for the Clinton administration Delta initiative along with Harold Gist and the late Al Eisenberg, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation in the Clinton administration, and Wilson Golden, board member of the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation, Presidential appointee in the Clinton administration

Rodney Slater, US Secretary of Transportation in the Clinton administration, chair of the Clinton administration’s Delta Regional Initiative, Partner, Squire Patton Boggs based in Washington, DC

Chelsea Clinton, invited

President Clinton, invited

Appreciation for Sponsors

Nucor Yamato Steel and Nucor Steel of Arkansas

TS Police Support League, Greene County, Alabama

Sikeston, Missouri Regional Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Corp.

Municipal League of Illinois

Mississippi County Economic Opportunity Commission

Harvey Joe Sanner, President, American Agriculture Movement of Arkansas

Partners Bank in Helena, Arkansas