Harvard University Law School students recently spent a week in the Delta as part of an initiative between Mississippi State University and Harvard. The project is based in Clarksdale Miss. and is called the Harvard Mississippi Delta Project.
The students took some time during the week to tour the Delta. Dr. Roland Herts, director of Delta State’s Delta Center for Culture and Learning provided the students an overview of the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area, and the center’s Lee Aylward led the Delta tour.
The mission of the Harvard Mississippi Delta Project is to improve public health and promote economic development in the Delta. These terms are viewed in the broadest sense to include a range of topics such as financial services, healthy eating, education, infant mortality reduction and more. In addition, the project hopes to engage Harvard Law School students in innovative, interdisciplinary approaches to social change. By using their legal knowledge to support local partners in one of the poorest and most under-served areas of the United States, they hope to be a small part of our region’s larger transformation.
More than 100 law students have volunteered with the project by providing pro bono legal assistance and policy analysis for nonprofit, for-profit and governmental clients in the Delta. The platform regularly considers new assignments to which it can contribute, and this year’s assignment is heir-ship.