Research by the Southern Rural Development Center at Mississippi State University has been included in a new book about positive approaches to community development. “Mobilizing Communities: Asset Building as a Community Development Strategy” includes a chapter by SRDC director Lionel “Bo” Beaulieu and his colleague, Mark Harvey, assistant sociology professor at Florida Atlantic University. Harvey completed his post-doctoral work at SRDC and was an assistant research professor at MSU.
Beaulieu and Harvey’s chapter, “Implementing Community Development in the Mississippi Delta: The Effect of Organizations on Resident Participation,” explores two approaches to implement community development in the Mississippi Delta. One approach involves a regional philanthropic foundation providing grassroots resident empowerment. The other is a closely managed top-down method conducted by a community development financial institution. The chapter provides an in-depth look at the research findings and highlights the difficulty of community building in places that are plagued by a long history of social conflict.