Today we traveled back to Maryland. One last stop at the breakfast bar at the hotel and off to the airport we go.
Of course, we couldn't leave without taking back a little bit of Mississippi with us. A souvenir shop at every airport is a must!
Some of us also decided to savor one last taste of Mississippi at the Sportshall Cafe, which displayed many cool artifacts and memorabilia from the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. Hmmm..... a game a Mississippi sports trivia anyone?
Friday, the big day, had arrived at last, the day when our week of research and
learning opportunities would come together in a presentation. It was a relaxed
but wonderful success.
We even had a visit from Representative Hines! It was great to
hear his thoughts and also there was mention of food next year...
After presentations and bidding farewell to the MCJ adoptive
family, we chowed down on some amazing BBQ for lunch. We drove back to our
hotel carefully, lest a bump in the road make our stomachs explode.
A couple members of our group decided to nap after such a feast,
and the rest of us went out to soak up some Jackson sights.
We visited the Old Capitol Museum and learned about its
restoration. While there, we met Cadillac Zack. But more on that in a moment...
From the museum, we visited the Medgar Evers house. The hole in
the window was chilling and the weather was appropriately gray.
After, we went to visit WMPR Radio, where Cadillac Zack had told
us the brother of Medgar Evers, Charles Evers, was the owner. We had a great
visit and loved speaking with this dynamic individual.
Dinner was at Julep and it was amazing. We capped off a
fantastic trip with strawberry cake, Kentucky Derby pie, and once again, full
On Wednesday the MCJ took each of our groups to communities in the Delta region to provide context for our assigned projects. The perspectives provided by these individuals and the opportunity to see MCJ's staff at work made Wednesday one of the most valuable days of the trip.
One group began the morning with a visit to a coffee shop that came highly recommended. Delta Grinds, the perfect combination of character and caffeine, was just what we needed to start our day! We were fortunate to then spend the morning with members of the community to discuss health insurance and challenges specific to the Delta. Prior to returning to the MCJ to resume our work on our respective projects, we had lunch at the The Crown and enjoyed delicious sandwiches, salads and (the most important part of the meal) a wide selection of freshly baked pies. Saving room for dessert here is highly recommended!
Our second group spent the morning and early afternoon with individuals leading various health initiatives in the Delta. This group was able to visit a historic hospital and learn firsthand how specific challenges are affecting the region. It was clear from these discussions that the MCJ serves as a consummate advocate for the Delta and we were so grateful for the opportunity to participate. Following these discussions, this group was able to enjoy one of the best meals of the trip. The chicken was some of the best any of us have had in a very long time!
After lunch this group was able to drive through different areas of the Delta and gain further insight into the region's rich history!
Both groups spent the rest of the afternoon continuing work on projects for the MCJ and following up on information provided during the morning discussions within the communities.
Mississippi is the birthplace of blues legend B.B. King and, since a museum that commemorates his life's work is located close to MCJ's Indianola office, our group would be remiss if we failed to pay this museum a visit. We left MCJ's Indianola office very thankful for the opportunity to participate in a portion of the valuable work completed. Thank you to the Indianola staff for being so welcoming!
We spent the remainder of our late afternoon/early evening visiting the museum and learning more about B.B. King's early life, his development as a musician and his emergence as an ambassador for spreading blues appreciation to new audiences. The museum has an impressive collection of early images of B.B. King, instruments used throughout his career and clothing worn during famed performances.
After we completed our museum visit, we couldn't help but be excited about B.B. King's development as a legendary artist!
On our way back to our hotel we made sure to stop by a tamale vendor whose compact operation belies the burst of flavor in the food provided. Due to our excitement over the beef tamales and the delectable aroma that emanated from the bags, we elected to use this moment as an opportunity to bond over parked meal consumption. The enjoyment had by all is accurately reflected in the bite captured below. A wonderful way to cap off a great day!
We departed from Jackson this morning and ventured out to the Mississippi Delta. Interesting factoid of the day: the Mississippi Delta is technically not a delta but part of an alluvial plain, created by regular flooding over thousands of years (thanks, Wikipedia!). Our first stop in the Delta was the Catfish Museum in Belzoni, the catfish capitol of the world.
Mississippi produces over 70% of the catfish in the United States. Catfish is also purportedly a green and environmentally friendly food source, as it costs less per pound to raise than beef, pork, or chicken.
We then participated in a luncheon with community stakeholders at the local library.
Off to MCJ's beautiful Indianola field office we went to finish up our day's work.
We capped off a productive day with delicious catfish and other southern style cooking at Nola in Indianola.
There's nothing like an all girls trip and to be welcomed by a beautiful, sunny day in Jackson, MS it doesn't get much better than that. The Maryland Carey Service Corps health law trip members arrived at the Mississippi Center for Justice (MCJ) excited and ready to get started. Upon arrival at MCJ, we were greeted by an eager staff ready to provide us with our project agenda and welcome us to Mississippi.
A special treat was lunch at Two Sisters Kitchen. A Jackson, MS lunch spot that lived up to its hype as trip members couldn't resist the classic Southern cuisine including items such as fried chicken, fried squash, bread pudding and sweet tea.
A special treat was the impromptu Mississippi State Capitol tour.
We even received some Mississippi swag (Mississippi State Capitol lapel pins) to take back with us.
This trip would not be complete without a few hours of work, so we rounded out the day dividing the workload and working on our assigned projects. We are looking forward to a fantastic week!
After a day filled with presentations and sightseeing, we rounded out our trip at the Bulldog for one last taste of the Mississippi fare.
Then off to Martin's Restaurant and Bar to unwind and listen to some live music...
This morning we said our final goodbyes to the beloved Jameson Inn...
...only to make a stop at Waffle House. How could we resist? Pecan and chocolate chip waffles, of course!
After satisfying our stomachs, we headed to the airport to catch an early afternoon flight back to Baltimore. We are truly thankful for the opportunity we have had to explore the Delta and learn both from everyone we have met and everything we have seen during this past week. Thank you, MCJ, for hosting the 3rd Annual Health Law Week. See you next year!!
After returning to Jackson last night, everyone buckled down to finish up our project for MCJ.
With a great team effort, we finished our project for MCJ and prepared for our presentations to MCJ staff and community stakeholders this morning. As an opening to our presentation, Liz R made a terrific video of some of our adventures in the Delta.
The presentations went incredibly well, and we are very proud of our final product. After saying goodbye to MCJ, and the end of the 3rd Annual Health Law Week, we ventured to Room Service for lunch. However, the ending of our work for MCJ was hardly the end of our adventures today. With several hours of daylight remaining, most of the group members went into downtown Jackson to sight see.
We started at the Governor's mansion...
Then we visited the Old State Capitol and the museum inside...
After seeing the museum, which had been restored in 2009 after Hurricane Katrina, we decided to visit civil rights hero Medgar Evers' home.
Here we had our greatest surprise of the day. Also visiting this historic site this afternoon was Mrs. Myrlie Evers, Medgar Evers' widow. Speaking to a large group of students, including several Maryland Law Students, she described the night her husband was murdered.
After her moving recollection, Mrs. Evers agreed to take a picture with several of us...
Finally, we ended our sightseeing of Jackson at the State Capitol...
Now we are all resting up before a night out on the town, looking forward to some great Jazz music!