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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Publications by date:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Get Involved

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.

©2018 Delta Directions