A good friend of mine gave me a pamphlet that highlights certain characteristics of the Mississippi Delta. I thought I would share…
According to a report, written with support from the Mississippi Bureau of Long-Range Economic Development Planning and the Special Task Force for the Revitalization of the Mississippi Delta Region, the Mississippi Delta has brewed the reputation of being resistant to change.
It seems that over the past 40 years, government and private philanthropy have invested heavily in the region with little documented effect. In summary, the Mississippi Delta of 2009 is still characterized by the same issues that existed in 1969 – unemployment, lack of education, and racial division. According to this article, current data reveals a region in distress with no end in sight.
- Unemployment rates in the Mississippi Delta registered between 10% and 17% in December 2008. Black unemployment is over three times higher than the unemployment rate for whites.
- Most jobs within the Delta hover around $10 to $13 an hour which is close to poverty levels. The largest growth rate is occuring in low-paying service occupations with earnings averaging less than $10 per hour.
- Education is low. Almost 18% of the adult population has less than a 9th grade education. The Mississippi Delta as a whole is well below the national average for college attainment.
- Income disparities exist as well. In 2007, the median household income for whites in the Delta was $44,055 while the median income for blacks was $21,165.
Bottom line: Divided communities do not develop.
For additional information on these findings, please contact MDC Inc., PO BOX 17268, Chapel Hill, NC 27516-7268. http://www.mdcinc.org
What does this mean for Indianola? Careful attention must be focused on our disconnected population in order to increase the number of educated workers within the city which must be given priority because education is the basis of change. Fore without education… there will be no growth.
If you would like to promote change within Indianola and the Mississippi Delta, please call 662-298-4596.
Let’s work together to promote education, unity, change, and growth.