The Summer Institute is a twelve-day immersion program during which students will work to identify an issue of inequality or injustice that they are interested in and develop a proposal for a project that will promote dialogue and change around that issue in their own communities or the state of Mississippi broadly.

Students will spend a portion of the program at the Shackouls Honors College at Mississippi State University where they will engage with faculty and guest lecturers from a range of disciplines to learn about issues currently challenging the people and the economy of Mississippi, including food insecurity, public health, education, and more. Substantive lessons designed to teach students about the workings and impact of different systems in the Delta will be intermixed with skills-based workshops designed to give students the planning, research, and advocacy skills necessary to begin developing their independent projects.

During the summer conference, students will take an Innovation Tour of the Delta, where they’ll have the chance to meet and learn from researchers, non-profit organizations, and community members who have worked to tackle difficult issues in their community through bold new approaches and community-led efforts. During their time in Clarksdale, students will attend the Delta Regional Forum, where they will hear from a wide variety of presenters about current research and work impacting the Delta region. At the end of the program, students will have the opportunity to present their own project proposals.

The program will begin on the morning of June 20 and end on the evening of July 1. Program participants should tentatively plan to travel to Mississippi State University’s campus on Sunday, June 19 and depart from the conference on July 2. Lodging will be provided during these dates.