Recent Publications

COVID-19 Response: Resources for Small and Mid-Size Farms in Mississippi

Emily Broad Leib, Alex Ramsey, and Emma I. Scott of the Harvard Law School Food Law & Policy Clinic

The COVID-19 pandemic presents a number of new and difficult challenges for families, small business owners, and food producers across the country. This Issue Brief provides an overview of the resources... PDF Download

COVID‐19 Response: Feeding Mississippi Children During School Closure

Emily Broad Leib, Suzanne Donahue, and Emma Scott of the Harvard Law School Food Law & Policy Clinic

Across the country, states have needed to use school closures and remote learning as strategies for reducing the spread of COVID‐19. On April 14, 2020, Mississippi leaders announced that children... PDF Download

The Economic Impact of Potential Closures of Rural Hospitals in Mississippi

M. Maya McDoom, Ph.D., M.P.H., Cyril Chang, Ph.D., John Gnuschke, Ph.D., et al.

Rural hospitals across the nation are facing a crisis due to ever-changing economic, policy, and population factors. To better understand how the present economic climate and policies are impacting... PDF Download

Improving Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment in Juvenile Detention Facilities

Harvard Law School Mississippi Delta Project

Mental health and substance abuse treatment services are an essential component of a well-functioning rehabilitative juvenile justice system. These services are especially important in juvenile detention... PDF Download

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May 1st, 2020

COVID-19 Response: Resources for Small and Mid-Size Farms in Mississippi

Emily Broad Leib, Alex Ramsey, and Emma I. Scott of the Harvard Law School Food Law & Policy Clinic

The COVID-19 pandemic presents a number of new and difficult challenges for families, small business owners, and food producers across the country. This Issue Brief provides an overview of the resources available to small and mid-size farms facing such challenges in Mississippi. The first section outlines current benefit programs that these farms can utilize, including loans and unemployment benefits, as a result of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and related federal actions. The second section provides policies that the State of Mississippi could enact to provide additional assistance to farms dealing with the crisis.

April 23rd, 2020

COVID‐19 Response: Feeding Mississippi Children During School Closure

Emily Broad Leib, Suzanne Donahue, and Emma Scott of the Harvard Law School Food Law & Policy Clinic

Across the country, states have needed to use school closures and remote learning as strategies for reducing the spread of COVID‐19. On April 14, 2020, Mississippi leaders announced that children would stay home from their school facilities for the rest of the academic year. Extended school closures make it difficult to meet children’s nutritional needs: students who rely on free and reduced‐price meals from the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) lose their best source of daily nutrition. About 74% of Mississippi public school students qualify for free or reduced‐price meals; the change could thus negatively impact over 344,000 school‐age children and their families. There are, however, ways for policymakers, schools, and community organizations to ensure that Mississippi children’s nutritional needs are met during this time. This fact sheet outlines opportunities to ensure the availability of adequate meals for low‐income children in Mississippi.

November 7th, 2018

The Economic Impact of Potential Closures of Rural Hospitals in Mississippi

M. Maya McDoom, Ph.D., M.P.H., Cyril Chang, Ph.D., John Gnuschke, Ph.D., et al.

Rural hospitals across the nation are facing a crisis due to ever-changing economic, policy, and population factors. To better understand how the present economic climate and policies are impacting rural hospitals in Mississippi, this report provides a comprehensive assessment of the: health and economic characteristics of hospitals and the communities they serve, factors that impact hospital viability, economic impacts of the “most at-risk” hospitals in Mississippi, and potential innovations and policy considerations to address the challenges facing rural Mississippi hospitals.

November 2nd, 2018

Improving Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment in Juvenile Detention Facilities

Harvard Law School Mississippi Delta Project

Mental health and substance abuse treatment services are an essential component of a well-functioning rehabilitative juvenile justice system. These services are especially important in juvenile detention facilities, which contain a disproportionate number of juveniles suffering from mental illness due to the association between such issues and delinquency and the relative lack of services in the community.

December 1st, 2016

Paid Leave Policy: Recommendations for Mississippi

Harvard Law School

Paid leave refers to a public or private program to compensate individuals when they miss time because of illness (paid sick leave), to tend to a newborn child (paid maternity and paternity leave), or to care for family members (paid family leave). As the law currently stands, the federal government provides unpaid leave in certain circumstances under the Family Medical Leave Act. Four states—New York, New Jersey, California, and Rhode Island—offer more comprehensive programs within their states. Mississippi not only offers no paid leave, but has a statewide policy limiting cities and towns from testing out their own paid leave policy with their voters’ approval. Such a procedural hurdle has stifled paid leave efforts in many states.

September 1st, 2016

Strengthening the Farm to School Movement in Mississippi: Strategies and Policy Goals

Harvard Law School Mississippi Delta Project

In recent years, Mississippi has seen increasing demand for locally grown food. Many consumers, policymakers, and advocates now see locally grown food as bringing health, economic, and environmental benefits to the local community. “Farm to school,” a means of building relationships between local farms and schools, has become increasingly popular, increasing fruit and vegetable consumption among students and strengthening the local economy. In the last decade, farm to school in Mississippi has gone from a little-­‐known concept to a state-­‐supported approach adopted by school districts across the state. For example, through the Mississippi Department of Defense Farm to School Program, a partnership between Mississippi state agencies and federal agencies, the amount of local produce purchased in Mississippi schools increased by 334 percent between 2013 and 2015 alone.

April 1st, 2016

Promoting Access to Condoms for Youth in Mississippi through Community Interventions

Harvard Law School Mississippi Delta Project

This report is written in collaboration with Mississippi First to assist them in their efforts to increase access to condoms for adolescents and young adults in Mississippi, with a particular focus on the Delta Region. Spurred by high rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections in the state, Mississippi First has long been working to empower Mississippi youth by giving them the knowledge and means to make informed decisions. In 2014, Mississippi First created the Mississippi Youth Council (“MYCouncil”) to “ensure that young people in Mississippi have a voice in the debate around their sexual and reproductive health, education, and rights.” The youth activists in MYCouncil work through a grassroots approach to support comprehensive sexuality education and access to sexual and reproductive health services for all young people. This report is part of their ongoing efforts to explore solutions around increasing youth access to reproductive health resources generally, focusing specifically on strategies to increase condom access for teens.

March 1st, 2016

The Business Case for Breastfeeding

Harvard Law School Mississippi Delta Project

Breastfeeding has the potential to decrease government spending and improve business practices. A 2014 CDC survey of breastfeeding rates nationwide found that Mississippi had the fourth-lowest breastfeeding rate in the country.2 Mississippi ranks lowest in the nation for six month exclusive breastfeeding.

June 1st, 2015

Public Corruption in Helena, Arkansas: Analysis and Recommendations

Harvard Law School Mississippi Delta Project

In Spring 2014, Mississippi Delta Project’s Economic Development team researched the causes of and possible solutions for the high crime rate in Helena-West Helena, Arkansas (“Helena”). In connection with this research, the team conducted a series of interviews with Helena citizens and community leaders. The team’s research and interviews revealed that recent events had frayed the community’s faith in its public institutions. In October 2011, the now well-known federal drug investigation called Operation Delta Blues culminated with the arrest of five local law enforcement officials on charges of attempted racketeering.1 During its investigation, the Economic Development team learned of additional allegations of mismanagement and wrongdoing by public officials, including a pattern of dismissing criminal cases for lack of a timely trial which enabled alleged criminals to walk free, and repeated ethics violations by at least one Phillips County judge. The team decided to build upon its previous report, released in Fall 2014, which focused on crime-reduction strategies for Helena, by offering a more pointed analysis and strategies to address these problems of corruption. The goal of this report is to provide policy-makers in Helena with options for addressing corruption in order to reduce the negative economic impact that stem from such corruption and increase community trust in public institutions.

April 1st, 2015

The Impact of Exclusionary School Discipline Policies and an Analysis of Alternative Approaches to Punishment

Harvard Law School Mississippi Delta Project

This report evaluates out-of-school suspension (OSS) in the context of the Clarksdale Municipal School District (CMSD) using research based in positive behavioral systems and alternative approaches to exclusionary punishment. Not only does OSS detrimentally impact suspended students hindering their learning and increasing their risk harmful behaviors, but OSS also has harmful collateral effects on the larger student body, the economy, public safety, and society. This report aims to identify particular problems associated with OSS as well as offer solutions, specifically examining Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) through a local school case study, discussing effective teacher training for these types of disciplinary programs, and offering forms of alternative punishments that CMSD could consider implementing. While these strategies were designed specifically with CMSD’s conditions in mind, they can be adapted for other schools working to reduce their OSS rates.

March 1st, 2015

Becoming Baby-Friendly

Harvard Law School Mississippi Delta Project

This report is written in collaboration with the Mississippi State Health Department’s Office of Preventative Health in order to assist them in their mission to increase breastfeeding rates in the state of Mississippi. The health department has received a grant from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in order to increase breastfeeding rates in the state of Mississippi through the use of the Baby-Friendly Hospital model. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is an initiative created by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to encourage hospitals to promote and become a supportive environment for breastfeeding.3 The Office of Preventative Health is using the framework created by the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) to address Mississippi’s low breastfeeding rates. Through these efforts, they aim to increase not breastfeeding rates in Mississippi as well as works towards creating a more supportive breastfeeding culture within the state.

October 1st, 2014

An Analysis of Programs to Engage At-risk Juveniles for the Clarksdale Boys of Color Initiative

Harvard Law School Mississippi Delta Project

This report aims to assist the Clarksdale Boys of Color Initiative (CBCI) in the development and implementation of programs and strategies to serve at-risk youth in Clarksdale, Mississippi. While this report was created specifically to assist CBCI, this report also aspires to be helpful to programs that are doing similar work in different communities, specifically rural areas within the Mississippi Delta Region (“the Delta). The burgeoning problems facing young men from minority backgrounds are not unique to the Delta, and thus the solutions outlined in this report should be useful to communities around the country working to fight these problems.

September 1st, 2014

Crime Reduction in Helena, Arkansas

Harvard Law School Mississippi Delta Project Economic Development Team

This report was created at the request of Southern Bancorp Community Partners (“SBCP”) in order to examine policies for improving the economic circumstances in Helena-­‐West Helena, Arkansas (referred to as both “HWH” or “Helena” in this report) through strategies for crime reduction. HWH has an extraordinarily high crime rate, which not only affects the citizens who are direct victims of these offenses, but also the city’s economic fortunes by deterring potential customers, investors and other sources of tax revenue. SBCP is a nonprofit with a mission to transform rural southern Communities. SBCP works in a partnership with Southern Bancorp (“Southern”), one of the nation’s largest rural economic development banks. SBCP’s geographic focus is on the Mississippi Delta region and southern Arkansas. This report will detail a variety of policy options available to community leaders in Helena-­‐West Helena to lower crime and increase the efficacy of criminal justice policies. While these general policies have been enacted in demographically similar cities, our recommendations have been customized to Helena’s particular geography and community settings.

April 1st, 2014

Implementing Positive Behavior Systems in Rural Schools

Harvard Law School Mississippi Delta Project

School discipline is a growing problem in Mississippi. As a state, Mississippi has some of the most extreme school discipline policies in the country. With limited resources, state public schools struggle with managing student behavior through appropriate consequences, often resorting to severe punishments like classroom exclusion (expulsion and suspension) and corporal punishment. However, these punishments very rarely lead to the behavioral results schools desire and school districts, such as Quitman County School District, are beginning to see a need for alternative disciplinary interventions in order to reach more positive behavioral results.

March 1st, 2014

Mental Health in Mississippi: Analysis and Recommendations

Harvard Law School Mississippi Delta Project

Thousands of Mississippians struggle with some type of mental illness, and their experiences illustrate that mental health is more than just a medical issue. Mental health has a profound impact on Mississippi’s economy and overall standard of living; it is deeply connected to education, unemployment rates, crime, drug use, and public assistance. Given the far-­‐reaching impact of mental health, it is important that all stakeholders (e.g., mental health professionals, state legislators, local policymakers, educators, attorneys), have access to detailed information about the current state of Mississippi’s mental health system as well as an in-­‐depth analysis of the system’s most pressing issues.

February 1st, 2014

Paid Leave in Mississippi: Analysis and Recommendations

Harvard Law School Mississippi Delta Project

Although federal law guarantees many workers the right to take unpaid medical leave, workers currently have no federal right to paid leave. This means that many workers cannot afford to take leave to recover from an illness or seek medical care for themselves or their dependents. The lack of paid leave also poses significant costs for communities by discouraging the use of preventative care, spreading disease, decreasing employee performance, and increasing employee turnover. While some state and local governments around the country have tried to address these problems by passing laws that require employers to provide paid sick leave, Mississippi law does not require that employers provide any leave beyond the federal baseline. In fact, in early 2013, the Mississippi legislature passed a bill that prohibits local governments from passing employment ordinances that might create a paid leave program or requirement. Although this bill does not prevent the passage of statewide paid leave legislation, it increases the challenges that paid leave advocates face in Mississippi in expanding workers’ access to paid leave on either the state or local level. However, there are still avenues for advocacy and policy change at the state and local level.

September 1st, 2013

Farm to Institution

Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic & Harvard Law School Mississippi Delta Project

In a state with rich agricultural resources and a long farming tradition, why are Mississippi’s institutions serving fruits and vegetables mostly shipped from other states and countries? Connecting Mississippi growers with institutions within the state offers a promising way to increase fruit and vegetable consumption while improving the economic viability of local farms. This step-by-step guide aims to help growers in Mississippi start to sell locally grown foods to be served in meals at institutions around the state, such as hospitals, schools, prisons, and state and local government agencies.

September 1st, 2013

Mental Health Court Practices

Harvard Law School Mississippi Delta Project

This report aims to assist Hinds County in the development of a mental health court by outlining practices in other courts and the rationales behind them. It pays specific attention to the priorities of the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), so as to facilitate the acquisition of a planning grant from this subsidiary of the Department of Justice. It begins with an overview of the goals, background, and efficacy of mental health courts.

December 1st, 2012

Mississippi Kids Count: Child Abuse & Neglect in Mississippi  

Jeremy Bressman, Kevin Golembiewski, Abram Orlansky, and Crystal Redd

While the number of children subject to abuse or neglect has dropped over the past decade, it is undoubtedly the case that child abuse and neglect remains one of the most serious concerns for children in the United States. Nationwide, nearly 702,000 children (or 9.3 out of 1,000) were subject to some form of abuse in the Fiscal Year 2009, a drop from even the year before (10.3 victims per 1,000 children), and a significant drop from earlier recorded findings in 1995 (15 victims per 1,000). Still, the numbers remain alarmingly high, particularly given the dire consequences. A number of studies have noted that the impact of abuse and neglect can last an entire lifetime; it can include, among other things, physical health issues (such as damage to a child’s brain), psychological complications (such as cognitive delays, depression, and anxiety), behavioral consequences (such as increased likelihood of involvement in high-­‐risk behaviors and greater likelihood of juvenile crime and delinquency), and societal consequences (such as increased costs to maintain a robust child welfare system). In short, the victims of child abuse include not only the abused themselves, but society as a whole.

December 1st, 2012

Mississippi Kids Count: Financial Literacy Education in Mississippi

Terrance Garrett and Mark Holden

This report concerns child financial literacy education in Mississippi. Lack of financial literacy can be viewed as a root cause of many of the problems that individuals and families face in Mississippi, particularly in the state’s poor and rural areas, including the proliferation of both subprime mortgages and payday lending. As this report discusses, one of the best ways to develop financially literate and capable citizens is to educate children in the basics of personal finance. Individuals that lack basic financial knowledge and skills are at a disadvantage in navigating the modern economy and are vulnerable to being taken advantage of by predatory lending practices.

December 1st, 2012

Policy Options for Microlender Funding in Arkansas

Harvard Law School Mississippi Delta Project

Very small businesses, otherwise known as “microenterprises,” play vital roles in the local, state, and national economies. As engines of employment, entrepreneurship, and innovation, microenterprises can be highly successful vehicles for inclusive and robust economic growth. However, many such businesses are constrained by lack of access to credit. Microenterprise owners and entrepreneurs may lack the credit or operating history needed to obtain a traditional small business loan at a commercially viable rate of interest, or the loan amount requested may be too small for a traditional lender to consider. Undoubtedly, a great many entrepreneurial opportunities are lost for lack of viable financing.

September 1st, 2012

Farm to School in Mississippi: A Brief Guide to Purchasing Mississippi Products

Harvard Law School Mississippi Delta Project

Farm to School encompasses a broad range of programs in which schools are connected with local farms. Some examples of Farm to School programs include a school inviting a local farmer to present to students on small-scale food production; a school making a one-time purchase of locally grown vegetables to feature at lunch or snack during Farm to School Week; or a school making recurring weekly or monthly purchases from a local farmer and developing a relationship where the farmer plans his growing season to produce the type and quantity of produce requested by the food service director.

September 1st, 2012

Farm to School in Mississippi: A Step-by-Step Guide to Purchasing Mississippi Products

Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic & Harvard Law School Mississippi Delta Project

In a state with rich agricultural resources, lasting traditions of family farming, and a climate conducive to year-long growing seasons, why are Mississippi’s school children eating fruits and vegetables predominantly shipped from other states and countries? Farm to school programs that connect Mississippi farmers with schools offer a promising way to increase fruit and vegetable consumption for students while improving the economic viability of local farms. This step-by-step purchasing guide aims to help school food service directors in Mississippi start to purchase locally grown foods to be served in school meals.

November 1st, 2011

Legislative Recommendations for A Statewide Farm-to-School Bill in Mississippi

Harvard Law School Health Law and Policy Clinic and the Harvard Law School Mississippi Delta Project

As states and school districts around the country consider strategies to address childhood obesity, programs that connect schools with local farmers selling fresh fruits and vegetables have emerged as effective means of improving fruit and vegetable consumption. Equally important, these programs spur economic development by creating a market for the sale of produce grown by local farmers, in which individual and governmental “food dollars” can be increasingly spent within the state. In 2010, over 2000 farm-to-school programs were in operation and 25 states had state-level farm-to-school policies.

August 1st, 2011

Creating a More Efficient and Effective Food Safety System in Memphis and Shelby County

Harvard Law School Mississippi Delta Project

The taste of a fresh-picked peach on a warm summer day is one of life’s simple joys. A store-bought peach can never truly replicate the experience. But in Memphis, getting that peach from the farmer’s tree into the customer’s hand is not as simple as one would assume. The fruit cannot be simply picked from the tree and then sold from the back of a produce truck. Instead, someone wanting to sell these fruits from his truck must obtain a permit and conform to outdated rules, such as the requirement for the truck to remain in motion at all times except when making sales. This restriction is just one example of the many unnecessary provisions in the Memphis Food Code that serve as obstacles to economic opportunity and access to healthy food.

May 1st, 2011

Expanding Farm to School in Mississippi: Analysis and Recommendations

Harvard Law School Health Law and Policy Clinic and the Harvard Law School Mississippi Delta Project

“Farm to school” refers to any program that connects K-12 schools with local farmers. “Farm to cafeteria” and “farm to institution” are terms sometimes used for programs that include farm to school components, but might also focus on bringing local produce to other local institutions. Most farm to school efforts concentrate on what is called “farm direct” purchasing, where schools buy products directly from local farmers to serve in the school cafeteria. The business partnerships that develop through farm direct programs often lead to educational activities, with farmers and schools working together to teach students about nutrition, agriculture, the environment, and other subjects. Not all farm to school programs involve farm direct purchasing; food distributors that supply schools can also participate by purchasing locally grown products and making them available to school purchasing officers.

April 1st, 2011

Mississippi Farmers Markets: A Legal and Business Guide

Emily Broad, Esq., Libby Benton, Myra Blake, Alonzo Emery, Jessica Fitts, Matthew Greenfield, et al.

This policy paper addresses state and federal laws affecting farmers markets in Mississippi, focusing on particularly confusing or burdensome areas of the law. Each section reviews Mississippi law and compares it to other states, then recommends alternatives.

December 1st, 2010

Legislative and Regulatory Recommendations to Allow Home-Processing of Low-Risk Foods in Mississippi

Harvard Law School Mississippi Delta Project

With the recent growth in farmers markets and the demand for local, fresh foods there has been a push to allow individuals to produce and sell foods made in their homes. This report will explain why Mississippi should follow the trend set by over 30 states to allow in-home production and sale of certain low-risk or non-potentially hazardous foods like baked goods, jams, jellies, and dried herbs. This report will lay out current Mississippi law regarding the processing of such non-potentially hazardous foods in home kitchens; compare Mississippi law to the laws employed in other states; and make recommendations for Mississippi’s adoption of new regulations or legislation that would permit home processors to sell their non-potentially hazardous foods to the public.

November 1st, 2010

Food Assistance Programs and Mississippi Farmers Markets

Emily Broad, Esq., Elizabeth Bailey, Myra Blake, Lee Brand, et. al.

At a time when money is tight everywhere, things are particularly tough in Mississippi. The budget problems and high rates of unemployment that challenge other states are compounded in Mississippi by alarmingly high rates of obesity. One of the main causes of this dangerous health issue is that Mississippi’s poorest people have very little access to fresh fruits, vegetables, and other local farm products, despite recent growth in farmers markets across the state. Without access to healthy foods, this vulnerable population is left with unhealthy food alternatives that contribute to unhealthy weight gain. Barriers at the local, state and national level have either limited or entirely blocked the use of federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP formerly known as food stamps) benefits at Mississippi farmers markets. In addition, federal funding for the Women Infants and Children (WIC) farmers market voucher programs in Mississippi has remained stagnant in recent years. Thus, the poorest Mississippians are unable to use their government benefits to purchase healthy food, and are forced to resort to less healthy alternatives. This is a serious problem requiring immediate action by our elected officials and government agencies.

October 1st, 2010

Mississippi Kids Count: High School Graduation Rates

by Jared Fisher, Kevin Golembiewski, Abram Orlansky, and Jay Willis

Though national dropout rates have generally fallen over the past twenty years, almost 1.2 million students in the United States drop out of school each year, representing nearly one-third of high school students. At about 61%, Mississippi’s high school graduation rate falls slightly below the national figure, though school districts in the Mississippi Delta fare particularly poorly. Five of the ten districts with the highest four-year dropout rates in the state are located in Delta region counties: Leflore, Tallahatchie, Sunflower, Tunica, and Panola Counties.

May 1st, 2010

Mississippi Kids Count – Literacy

Alice Abrokwa, Eliza Presson, Eleanor Simon, and Sandra Ullman

It is indisputable that having literate and well-educated children is crucial to the future of both Mississippi and the nation as a whole. The National Institute for Literacy defines literacy as “all the activities involved in speaking, listening, reading, writing, and appreciating both spoken and written language.” It involves the ability of a person to interact with others, succeed in school, understand and solve problems presented to them, perform on the job and as a part of society, and achieve one’s goals for the future. Lack of basic literacy skills is associated with “academic failure, substance abuse, teen pregnancy, delinquency, unemployment, low productivity, and welfare dependence.” Literacy, therefore, encompasses a range of skills and abilities that highly impact one’s future and accordingly ought to be acquired, and ought to be acquired beginning at the earliest age possible. Mississippi, which is cited in many reports as having among the worst literacy rates in the country, must invest in the literacy of its children for the betterment of the entire community across a range of measures.

May 1st, 2010

Mississippi Kids Count – Early Childhood Education

Jared Fisher, Maggie Francis, Abram Orlansky, and Eleanor Simon

Early education is crucial to supporting healthy childhood development and to providing a strong foundation for future schooling and general success. Defined as education between birth and age eight, early childhood education is associated with a wide range of positive outcomes for both the child as well as the community as a whole. Scientific studies suggest that participation in high quality early education, which includes elements such as trained and skilled teachers, small class sizes, and frequent child interaction and participation, improves cognitive and social development among all, but especially among low-income children. Research shows that children develop ninety percent of their adult-size brains in the first five years of life and therefore the provision of abundant information, proper stimulation and sufficient encouragement are keys to future success.

March 1st, 2010

Legal Guide for Small Businesses In Mississippi

Harvard Law School Mississippi Delta Project Economic Development Team

This Legal Guide for Small Businesses in Mississippi was prepared as part of the work of the GrowDelta Initiative. The GrowDelta Initiative is non-profit, independent group dedicated to fostering economic growth and development in the Mississippi Delta region. Our focus is on serving as an incubator and enabler for those considering new business ventures in the region. We focus on both high-level strategic business thinking and nuts-and-bolts practical guidance – both of which are necessary to succeed in today’s marketplace. The driving focus of The GrowDelta Initiative is to create a “Cycle of Success” whereby individuals can grow and learn from our programs and later give back to future generations of budding entrepreneurs through mentoring, education, and support.



The Delta Directions Mission

The Delta Directions Consortium is an interdisciplinary network of individuals, academic institutions, non-profit organizations, and foundations that work together to create positive social change in the Mississippi Delta Region by improving public health and promoting economic development. The Consortium is not an independent non-profit organization, but rather an alliance of partners committed to collaborative problem-solving.

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Donations to support the work of Delta Directions can be made to the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi or the Center for Population Studies at the University of Mississippi. When making a gift, note that your donation benefits Delta Directions.

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