Reflections from Southern Rural Development Center Director, John J. Green
The Delta Directions Consortium (DDC) is a diverse and ever-evolving network of scholars and practitioners associated with universities, nonprofit organizations, and philanthropic foundations. The Delta Regional Forum (DRF), organized by the Southern Rural Development Center (SRDC) and the University of Mississippi Center for Populations Studies and Community First Research Center for Wellbeing & Creative Achievement (through the latter’s Delta Fellows Program), is an annual event to provide time and space for sharing diverse perspectives and experiences on regional development issues and strengthening capacity for applied research and community development action. With activities including presentations, panels, and workshops, diverse participants gain information and expand their networks across community and university lines. This year’s Forum included several sessions of dialogue on issues including community resilience, maternal-child health, local food systems, and education. Undergraduate Delta Scholars also presented at the forum as part of their two-week summer experience. A DDC-affiliated multi-institutional program, Delta Scholars is led through the Mississippi State University Shackouls Honors College, with additional partners including the SRDC, Harvard University, and Brandeis University, Delta Scholars.