5.20.2009

The Poor People's Campaign addressing the Crisis of Poverty in the Delta of Mississippi

Press Release

(Lambert, Ms)---The Gathering of Hearts Organization and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference will hold a Public Hearing and March on the crisis of poverty in the Delta of Mississippi on Friday and Saturday June 19-20, 2009.

Delivering on Dr. King’s 1968 planned “Poor People’s Campaign” in Washington, D.C. to demand President Lyndon and Congress’ in help addressing the need for jobs, decent homes, health care and education in rural America; the SCLC and Gathering of Hearts has planned a Poverty Tour, assessing the living conditions in the Delta on Friday June 19, followed by the Poor People’s Public Hearing at Quitman County Elementary School in Lambert, MS.

“Someone has to help shed light on the living conditions in places like Louisiana and Mississippi. No one should have to live like this, no where in the world and especially not in America,” said Antoinette Harrell, Founder of Gathering of Hearts, who has organized Poverty Tours for the last six months in both Louisiana and Mississippi.

Student Minister Ava Muhammad was invited to participate as a speaker during the public hearing in Lambert on the 19th of June in reference to human rights violations as it pertains to the poverty level in this area.

According to the 2009 Mississippi Human Development Report, a new county-by-county assessment that examines disparities by county, race and gender, “a black male born in Mississippi can expect a shorter life span than the average American in 1960. A black woman in Mississippi earns less today than the typical American in 1960. The overall infant mortality rate for nonwhites in Mississippi is more than 18 per 1,000 births, about the same as Libya and Thailand. Overall, black Mississippian are worse off than other black Americans, ranking second to last on the health and income index (just ahead of Louisiana) but dead last in education.”

“Mississippi ranks last in overall human development, said Harrell. Two years ago, President Obama, talked about Bobby Kennedy’s visit to the Mississippi Delta over four decades ago, and how Kennedy, with tears in his eyes, asked a single question about poverty in America: “How can a country like this allow it?” Forty years later, President Obama answered, ‘We can’t.’ So we are calling on President Obama and lawmakers act now to address the crisis in Mississippi. We can’t wait.” Said Harrell.

The Gathering of Hearts and the SCLC are also calling on national leaders, organizations, influencers, and the young people to join them at the public hearing on Friday, June 19 and then for the march on poverty in Jackson, MS on Saturday June 20, 2009 to help draw attention to the cause.


(If you’d like more information about the Poor People Campaign March and Public Hearing or to schedule an interview with Antoinette Harrell, please contact 985.229.8001 or email Antoinette Harrell at afrigenah@yahoo.com)


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