About Us

The Delta Directions Consortium

The Delta Directions Consortium is an interdisciplinary group of individuals from academic institutions and foundations. Consortium members include individuals at the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi, Mississippi State Social Science Research Center, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard Law School, University of Mississippi Center for Population Studies, and the Winokur Family Foundation, among others.


We feel that the potential of the Mississippi Delta is so multifaceted and complex that its growth requires the interdisciplinary contribution of various professions, disciplines, and institutions. The Delta Directions Consortium exists at the intersection of research and practice, providing a united front for creating joint proposals intended to implement innovative approaches and capitalize on human potential. The Consortium seeks to create a paradigm shift in the Delta through the institution of sustainable and transformational change, which focuses on building knowledge and implementing practices that improve the health and wealth of the region.


The Consortium and other partners benefit from full-time on the ground coordination of their efforts by Desta Reff, a graduate of Harvard Law School and the University of Tampa. Desta is the Director of the Delta Directions Consortium as well as the Visiting Research Faculty at the Social Science Research Center at Mississippi State and the Delta Clinical Fellow supported by the Winokur Family Foundation at Harvard Law School. Desta helps to coordinate Consortium members and other partners of Delta Directions, and seeks out new partners for various initiatives to improve the health and wealth of the Delta. Desta is based out of Clarksdale, Mississippi, and can be reached at:

desta.reff@ssrc.msstate.edu, 662.688.0700