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.

Draft of Agenda for May 13, 2021 Delta Conference by Zoom-- 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m.--2:30 p.m.

Posted on May 06, 2021 at 12:17 PM

Delta Caucus Regional Conference by Zoom

May 13, 2021

Latest Draft of Agenda

Please note: You have to copy and paste or type in this link–it is NOT a direct link.


9 a.m to 10:30 a.m.–Community, Health and Economic Issues in the Pandemic

(Listed times are flexible estimates and not to be taken literally as to the exact minute)

9 a.m.-—Introduction—Caucus Director Lee Powell

9:05 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.—Dr. Susan Ward Jones, CEO, MD, East Arkansas Family Health Center, headquarters in West Memphis, Arkansas, on the vital work of a major health care organization based in east Arkansas during the pandemic

9:15—9:23 a.m.—Mayor Flora Simon of Dumas, Arkansas—community, health and economic issues in the Dumas area in the pandemic

9:23-9:31 a.m.—Ateca Foreman, Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s appointee as Delta Regional Authority Alternate for Arkansas, Deputy Chief of Staff of Internal Operations for Gov. Hutchinson

9:31—9:39 a.m–.Brad Cole, Executive Director, Municipal League of Illinois, Delta Caucus senior partner and veteran Delta regional advocate

9:39-949–The Hon. Rodney Slater, US Secretary of Transportation for President Clinton, Partner, Squire Patton Boggs firm, Washington, DC

The Hon. Bill Shuster, former Chairman of the US House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee

9:49—9;56 a.m.–Infrastructure—Wilson Golden, Presidential appointee at US Dept. of Transportation in the Clinton administration, Mississippi native

9:56—10:06 a.m.–Al Cross, Director, Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, University of Kentucky

10:06 a.m. to 10:16 a.m.–Mayor Errick Simmons, Greenville, Mississippi—community, health and economic issues in the pandemic for one of the largest Delta heartland communities

Question and answer or two

10:30 a.m. to noon–Hunger and Nutrition during the Pandemic in the Delta

10:30—10:40 a.m–Stacy Dean, President Biden’s appointee as USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services on the vital SNAP, WIC, school meals and other hunger and nutrition programs

Question and answer or two

10:45—10:52 a.m.–Tomiko Townley, Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance Director of Advocacy, a major advocacy organization in our region regarding hunger issues

10:52—11 a.m.–Lisa Church, Chief Advancement Officer Southeast Missouri Food Bank, based in Sikeston, Missouri and serving the southeast Missouri area

11—11:07 a.m.–Paige Vance, Impact Operations Manager, Second Harvest Food Bank, Feeding America, based in New Orleans and serving southern Louisiana

11:07—11:15 a.m.–Millie Atkins, Delta Caucus senior partner and veteran Delta regional leader based in Monroe, Louisiana, on hunger issues in northern Louisiana

11:15—11:25–Joel Berg, CEO, Hunger Free America, national hunger and poverty organization with headquarters in New York

11:25—11:40 a.m.–Shannon Maynard, Executive Director, Congressional Hunger Center, Washington, DC, which among other activities administers the Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellows program. She will be joined by Curtis Hills, Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellow, Congressional Hunger Center, Washington, DC (Mr. Hills is originally from Mississippi)

Question and answer or two

11:45 a.m.—Doris Benford, Executive Director, Mississippi Action for Community Education (MACE), nonprofit promoting education and workforce development in the Delta

AFTERNOON SESSION—1 P.M. TO 2:30 P.M.–“Best Practices in Regional Development in the Delta”

1 p.m.—1:15 p.m.—Caucus Director Lee Powell—recent civil rights/diversity issues

(INVITED) Peggy Bradford, J.D., Ph.D., former President of Shawnee Community College in southern Illinois, Fulbright Scholar, Attorney and former Prosecutor

1:15-1:23 p.m.–Clint O’Neal, Arkansas Economic Development Commission Deputy Director for Global Business, and Delta Regional Authority Designee for Arkansas

1:23—1:33 p.m.–Representative Reginald Murdock, Marianna, Arkansas—community and economic development in the heartland of the east Arkansas Delta

1:33—1:41 ;.m.–Mayor Sheldon Day, Thomasville, Alabama—long-time mayor of a heartland Alabama Black Belt community noted for major community and economic development initiatives

1:41—1:49 p.m.–Senator Dave Wallace, Leachville, Arkansas—state senator from the heart of the northeastern Arkansas Delta, on his efforts to establish a state Earned Income Tax Credit program in Arkansas

1:49 p.m. to 1:57 p.m.–Kyle Miller, Delta Cultural Center, Executive Director, Helena, Arkansas—Delta Heritage Tourism in Arkansas and its vital impact both educationally and in promoting regional economic development

2:05—2:13 p.m.–Sheila Smith, President, TS Police Support League, Greene County, Alabama—nonprofit raising funds for law enforcement officers’ needs and other community projects in the Alabama Black Belt

2:13—2:20 p.m.–Billy McFarland, TS Police Support League, Greene County, Alabama—veteran Delta/Alabama Black Belt regional advocate

A question and answer or two


Illinois Municipal League

Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Arkansas

Billy McFarland, Sheila Smith and TS Police Support League of Alabama

Mississippi County Economic Opportunity Commission, Blytheville, Arkansas