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Delta State’s 8th Annual Winning the Race Conference slated for March 27-29

CLEVELAND, Miss.—Delta State University’s award-winning race relations conference, Winning the Race, will return to campus for its eighth year, March 27-29.

Themed, “You are the I in Team,” this year’s conference will be held in-person and will highlight positive team efforts in the Mississippi Delta to combat social injustice, racism and inequity. Registration is free and available online at

“This year’s conference has a special meaning for me as it is my first year serving as chair though I have served as a conference committee member since 2018,” said Dr. Natasha Barnes, chair of the 2022 conference, “In my years of service to this committee, I feel that we have made great strides in highlighting where inequities lie and what efforts are needed to level the playing field.  This year, we want to shine a light on those who are actually making the efforts that we often talk about inside and outside of these conference platforms.”

According to Barnes, the charge for this year’s event will be led by MS Delta coaches and community leaders. These “champions of diversity” will take the stage in two panel discussions to provide information on their positive diversity efforts in their respective fields.

Panelists for this year’s conference will include: Dr. Abe Hudson, Walton Family Foundation;  Coach Cedric Thomas, Mississippi Delta Community College; Coach Taylor Taylor, Cleveland Central High School; Coach Chelsey Rhodes, Delta State University, Coach Janee Ford, Greenville High School; Coach Todd Cooley, Delta State University; former coach David Kelly, Clarksdale Municipal School District; Coach Mark Hiller; Delta State University, Dr. Temika Simmons, Delta Health Center; President Dr. Tyrone Jackson, Mississippi Delta Community College; Ro Taylor, Delta State University; Sykina Butts, MS Votes; Judge Carlos Palmer, Palmer Law Services; and Nakikke Wallace, Delta State University.

“I am excited to hear from the many panelists that we have coming from right here in the Delta and to pay homage to some of the prominent figures who paved the way for so many in this continued movement for civil rights in the Mississippi Delta,” said Barnes.

In addition to providing a platform for coaches and community leaders to share, the 2022 Winning the Race conference will further recognize local civil rights leaders who were prominent sports figures and “team players” in the fight for social justice during the Amzie Moore House Recognition Ceremony, slated for 4 p.m. Sunday, March 27, at the Amzie Moore House Museum & Interpretive Center in Cleveland, Miss.

Honorees to be recognized during this year’s ceremony include Lusia “Lucy” Harris, Lucy Seaberry, Sank Powe and Reggie Barnes.

Other events in this year’s conference include a featured DSU student research poster contest, signature events hosted by each academic college at Delta State, a student-led session featuring the Winning the Race Student Ambassadors and the 2nd Annual High School Poetry Slam.

In addition, pre-conference events include a Winning the Race Pep Rally at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 24, at the Walter Sillers Coliseum. A screening and panel discussion on the documentary “Never Say Day: The Story of Eastside” will also be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 24, in the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

To view the full schedule of events, or to register for the conference, visit

For questions or more information, contact Faderricka Harvey, logistics coordinator, at