A group of applied population researchers recently held their annual workshop and mini-conference in the Mississippi Delta. The meeting was part of a multi-state research project entitled, “The Great Recession, Its Aftermath, and Patterns of Rural and Small Town Demographic Change.”
Sixteen scholars from research institutions from across the nation – including Cornell University, Penn State University, Auburn University, University of Missouri, University of Wisconsin, and the USDA Economic Research Service - joined seven of their Mississippi colleagues to present research on demographic and socioeconomic issues of concern following the Great Recession, and they discussed strategies for better disseminating their work to the public. Additionally, they developed plans for the next five years of their work together, including their recently launched research brief series that is available online entitled, Population Trends in Post-Recession Rural America. Interested readers should check the website periodically as new publications are released (http://w3001.apl.wisc.edu/).
To better understand issues of concern to rural community and health development professionals, participants engaged in an interactive panel discussion held at the Coahoma County Higher Education Center in Clarksdale. The panel discussion was moderated and organized by Dr. John J. Green, Director of the Center for Population Studies at University of Mississippi. Panelists included Dr. Rolando Herts, Director of The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State; Linda Stringfellow, Director of the AmeriCorps VISTA Program in the Center for Community and Economic Development at Delta State; Aurelia Jones-Taylor, CEO of the Aaron E. Henry Community Health Center; and Desta Reff, Delta Clinical Fellow, a partnership between Mississippi State University and Harvard Law School.
The group of applied population researchers is associated with the Western Association of Agricultural Experiment Directors (WAAESD). The 2016 meeting was co-hosted and co-sponsored by the University of Mississippi's Center for Population Studies, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and McLean Institute.