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Walton Family Foundation Launches New Strategy for Arkansas-Mississippi Delta

May 9, 2022
Efforts Will Focus on Education, Economic Opportunity and Coalition Building

BENTONVILLE, Ark., May 9, 2022 — The Walton Family Foundation today launched a new collaborative effort to support the development and prosperity of people and communities in the Delta region of Arkansas and Mississippi. The initiative will focus on three key areas: education and youth engagement, economic asset building for individuals and families and high-impact coalition building. The plan is part of the foundation’s five-year commitment, Strategy 2025, to tackle tough social and environmental problems with urgency and a long-term approach to expand access to opportunity.

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Anchored in community-driven change, the plan aims to ensure residents have equitable access to resources and opportunities to achieve their highest ambitions.

“Every community is different, and so are the challenges they face—which is why following local leadership and vision is critical,” said Annie Proietti, Walton Family Foundation board chair. “We recognize that building a vibrant, equitable Delta won’t happen by going it alone. Realizing this vision means joining with partners and supporting one another toward shared goals.”

The Foundation will help lay the groundwork for a new generation of success by investing in the educator workforce, unlocking college and career pathways and improving access to educational options. With an emphasis on closing the region’s inequities, the Foundation will also look for innovative ways to provide residents with resources needed to build financial security through economic asset building and boost upward mobility by offering workforce development and career training to strengthen small businesses. Finally, the Foundation will build coalitions of local, regional and national partners to develop the next generation of community leaders and achieve greater equity and opportunity in the area.

The Walton Family Foundation has a longstanding track record of working with communities in Phillips County, Arkansas and Coahoma County, Mississippi to advance opportunity in the Delta. Through this new strategy, the Foundation is expanding its efforts in the region to Jefferson County, Arkansas.

The Foundation has also recruited a talented local leader, Abe Hudson, as a program officer focused on the Delta region. Hudson currently calls Clarksdale home and will spend time facilitating new partnerships across the region. Prior to joining the Foundation, he was a Mississippi state representative and worked with Delta State University as a visiting professor in the College of Business and Aviation. He also served as a program director at the Debt Education for Business Transformation and Sustainability (DEBTS) Program.

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About the Walton Family Foundation

The Walton Family Foundation is, at its core, a family-led foundation. Three generations of the descendants of our founders, Sam and Helen Walton, and their spouses, work together to lead the Foundation and create access to opportunity for people and communities. We work in three areas: improving K-12 education, protecting rivers and oceans and the communities they support, and investing in our home region of Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.