MISSISSIPPI/ARKANSAS DELTA

“I like to think that after I die, my children will look at that place and see a place of refuge, of rest. I hope they do not flee. I hope that at least one of them will want to remain here in this place that I love more than I loathe, and I hope the work that I have done to make Mississippi a place worth living is enough.”
— Jesmyn Ward, excerpt from My True South: Why I Decided to Return Home

“I like to think that after I die, my children will look at that place and see a place of refuge, of rest. I hope they do not flee. I hope that at least one of them will want to remain here in this place that I love more than I loathe, and I hope the work that I have done to make Mississippi a place worth living is enough.”
— Jesmyn Ward, excerpt from My True South: Why I Decided to Return Home

Since 2018, we have engaged five cohorts of AYLF Fellows who hail from counties that lie along the Mississippi River delta in northwest Mississippi as well as southeast Arkansas, with the cities of Helena-West Helena, AR and Clarksdale, MS serving as primary hubs for programming.

Meet Delta’s Fellows

  • Omobola Obasanjo
  • Headshot of Tyren Boyd
  • Solomon Shorter

Delta Program Facilitators

  • James Forté

    facilitator

    Director of Local Recruitment
    Teach for America: Greater Delta – Mississippi & Arkansas

  • Kevin Martin-Arnold

    Kevin Martin-Arnold

    facilitator

    AYLF Senior Fellow
    High School Relations Director, Athletic Director
    Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas

  • Nicholas Presley

    Nicholas Presley

    youth facilitator

    AYLF Senior Fellow
    Consultant, Health Policy

  • Nicole Ross

    local action coordinator

    Assistant Director of Student Engagement and Services
    Coahoma Community College

  • Aasiyah Wright

    youth facilitator

    AYLF Senior Fellow
    Nurse
    Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital

Delta Advisory Council

TYLER YARBROUGH

AYLF Senior Fellow, Manager, MS Delta Programs
Partnership for a Healthier America

KAREN WOODS-DONE

Director of Student Engagement and Services
Coahoma Community College

DR. TARSHA SMITH

Instructor and Chiropractor
Phillips Community College and Plaza Rehab Chiropractic

KYLE MILLER

Executive Director
Delta Cultural Center

STANTAISHA MURRY

AYLF Senior Fellow and Finance Manager
Libertas School of Memphis

HARVEY WILLIAMS

Co-Founder & CEO
Delta Dirt Distillery

DR. JOYVIN BENTON

Senior Gifts Officer and Institutional Advancement
University of Arkansas Pine Bluff

Delta Partners

We are extremely grateful to the array of local organizations with whom we partner to ensure young leaders across the Delta have access to opportunity.

Blue Cotton (MS)
Coahoma Collective (Collective Seed) (MS)
Coahoma Community College (MS)
Crossroads Cultural Art Center (MS)
Datule’ Artist Collective (AR)
Delta Culture Center (AR)
Delta Dirt Distillery (AR)
Delta Transportation Service (MS)
Five and Dime (MS)
Griot Arts, Inc (MS)
Hooker Grocer and Eatery (MS)
Meraki (MS)
Millsaps College (MS)
Mississippi State University (MS)
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity (MS)
Phillips Community College (AR)
Rural LISC (MS)
Shared Experiences (MS)
Thrive (AR)
Together for Hope (MS)
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (AR)