Expanded partnership with Tallahatchie River Foundation

The Harwood Institute will be working with the Tallahatchie River Foundation in a statewide effort to advance the conversation around early childhood development issues in Mississippi, and build capacity for action and leadership. This effort builds on a current initiative with the Foundation to train and coach leaders in the Mississippi Delta Region.

The Tallahatchie River Foundation is a private operating 501(c)(3) founded by actor Morgan Freeman and committed to quality early childhood education in the state of Mississippi. Through this partnership, the Institute will train a group of leaders across the state in leading small, kitchen table-style community conversations, using a highly tested approach developed through 30 years of on-the-ground work. These conversations are different than traditional research focus groups or public input forms and are designed to help leaders and everyday people alike connect the issues they care about—in this case, children—and the kinds of communities people aspire to have.

The Institute will support the Foundation in producing a Public Voice Report from these conversations that will become a tool for early childhood development leaders and others across the state to consider what stronger, community-wide, collective responses to making sure children are set up for success look like.

Work with the Tallahatchie River Foundation began in June 2017 with the launch of an 18-month training and coaching initiative for dozens of community leaders in Tallahatchie County, MS. Through this effort, the Institute is strengthening the capacity of the Foundation to accelerate their impact and build partnerships to advance early childhood development in this community.