HLS Mississippi Delta Project

The HLS Mississippi Delta Project is looking for student volunteers interested in engaging in an innovative model of public service focused on public health, financial services, child advocacy, and economic development in one of the poorest and most underserved parts of the United States. HLS students will support non-profit, for-profit, and governmental organizations in the Mississippi Delta. These students will be engaged in transactional pro bono work, policy work, and research and writing on behalf of clients in the Delta, and they are eligible to receive pro bono credit for their work from the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs.

Students will work primarily from Cambridge, but there will be opportunities to travel to Mississippi during winter term and spring break. Because of geographic constraints, the Delta Project relies on local partners to identify and manage programs while HLS students provide crucial support. The Delta Project currently has several assignments on which students are working and is regularly fielding new requests for student help. Current projects ready for volunteers include:

  • Financial Services for Low-Income Households: Researching financial service programs offered to lower-income households; analyzing Mississippi legislation and programs and working to expand services in the state
  • Farmers Market Legislation and Advocacy: Researching farmers market legislation in 6 states; drafting legislation on tax, food safety regulations, etc.; drafting advocacy materials for the Mississippi legislature; legal advising of farmers market managers
  • Children’s Health Policy – Kids Count: Researching the issues of teen pregnancy and low birth weight in Mississippi and writing policy papers to be published in a data book regarding children’s health and well-being; editing additional pieces of the data book
  • Other Potential Projects: Southern Bancorp; conditional cash transfer; reviewing health legislation in MA, LA, and AR; Delta Revitalization Task Force; small business legal guide; helping develop non-profit transaction services practice; working with local partners to end payday lending

In addition, the Delta Project encourages students to develop their own contacts in the region and to identify potential areas in which HLS students and volunteers could contribute. This program will be supervised by Emily Broad, an HLS alumnus who works in the Mississippi Delta as a fellow as Executive Director of the Delta Directions Consortium. For more information visit www.deltadirections.org.

Information Session

Thursday, September 10, 2009
Pound 332 

Getting involved

If you missed the information session, please review the Delta Project Info Session Presentation to learn about current projects, timelines, expectations of volunteers, and other useful information.  For questions about how you can get involved, please fill out the Delta Project Interest Form and email it to harvarddeltaproject@gmail.com

Last modified: July 17, 2010

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