MSDI Hosts Mid South Delta Policy Dialogue

Publication: Delt@Links E-Newsletter

In July, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Mid South Delta Initiative hosted 44 representatives from a broad spectrum of non-profits, agencies, foundations, institutions, and local governments gathered at the Greenville Higher Education Center to discuss policy in the Delta region. The meeting began a series of regional conversations, which will shape partnerships and collaborations that advance a common vision for the Delta, and to identify the next steps for policy work.
Dr. Rick Foster, WKKF Vice President, provided an overview for the WKKF long-term relationships in the Delta. “The focus on the assets, resources, achievement, and culture are already in place,” says Foster. “We wanted to draw a line around a geographic area to determine our investment and increase the social and economic impact. In the Delta, we found what we were looking for—people with assets and who wanted a better life for their children. Over the past few years, our key challenges have been: How could persistent poverty exist in a place full of such rich natural resources? How could WKKF enter and be part of that place to life up the people? How will the region thinks about economic systems and different ways of getting economic resources into these systems so they don’t compete are essential in the continuous development of the region.”

The key steps in moving forward, for MSDI’s policy efforts are:
? support of each others’ agenda’s and the lack of competition
? focus us on what leads us to a vision
? build and maintain of lasting partnerships based on mutual respect.

The group developed a chart organized into 16 categories of current policy targets (from early childhood to voting and advocacy, just to name a few) that represents an action map of often-disconnected development strategies. Participants supported the idea that a new, integrated regional policy network might be the missing ingredient in the Delta.
Most of the participants agreed that building and authentic and diverse policy network is a natural step to accelerate fresh thinking in the Delta. Pamela McNutt, from Quitman County, Mississippi, exemplified the commitment of the group, “I see myself as a youth representative to ensure that the voices of youth and this ‘new generation’ are heard. I see myself as an enforcer of policy change and economic development and also as an informer and encourager.”
With support from MSDI, the group plans to continue networking to bring other policy voices into the discussion, and to develop a broad agenda over the next year. If you have specific interest in the region’s policy challenges, contact Ms. Gloria Dickerson at 1-601-944-9535 or gloria.dickerson@wkkf.org.

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“Empleen el dinero del modo en que crean conveniente, siempre y cuando promueva la salud, la felicidad y el bienestar de los niños.” - Will Keith Kellogg

“Sèvi ak lajan an jan w vle depi se sante timoun, byennèt timoun ak kè kontan pou timoun w ap ankouraje.” - W.K. Kelòg