The W.K. Kellogg Foundation/Mid South Delta Initiative has awarded a
$1.2 million grant to Delta State University, Arkansas State
University, and Grambling State University to implement the Mid South
Delta Leaders Program (MSDL), a tri-state Delta leadership development
MSDL, a five-year grant that will serve as a means of
improving the intellectual and social capital needed to drive community
and economic growth, is based upon the successful Delta Emerging
Leaders program, an 18-county leadership development program operating
in the 18-county Mississippi Delta.
The program helps participants gain a better understanding of national
and global trends in terms of how these trends influence the quality of
life and economic and community development in the Delta. This program
has a tri-state regional mission that brings together a diverse group
of citizens to enhance the quality of life through human resource
development, community development and economic development.
this leadership development program will serve as a forum to share
ideas, encourage participants to bring their strengths to collaborative
efforts and bring together persons of diverse backgrounds in a variety
of programs and experiences, in a non-traditional learning process.
18-month classes will include three-day learning retreats, study travel
tours to each of the three state capitals, a study tour to Washington,
D.C., action learning teams and living practicums.
Forty-five class members, 15 from each
state, will participate in a curriculum that is designed to improve the
leadership, management and communication skills of its participants.
Class members of MSDL will represent a wide variety of sectors,
including higher education, K-12 education, government, non-profit,
for-profit businesses, self-employment and community volunteers. This,
in turn, ensures the inclusion of stakeholders; particularly those
traditionally under-represented in community and economic development
The MSDL curriculum has planned long-term effects that will extend
beyond the 18-month structured program. MSDL takes action by uniting
men and women of diverse backgrounds who have the desire to work
collectively for the benefit of the entire tri-state Delta. MSDL will
play a strategic role in shaping the future of the Delta by creating a
regional vision for leadership development that encourages a
comprehensive collaborative approach to enhancing the skills of
individuals and communities.
This program is a partnership
between Delta State University, serving as the lead partner and fiscal
agent; the Arkansas State University Center for Regional and Community
Development in Jonesboro, Arkansas; and, Grambling State University in
For more information, contact Jerry L. Smith, ASU Delta
Center for Economic Development at 870-910-8180 or firstname.lastname@example.org.