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From May 11-14, in the Quad Cities of IA and IL, Great Plains Action Society is hosting the first BIPOC centered Mississippi River Summit. We are bringing 40 leaders and specialists from the Headwaters of the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico to talk and network about their respective fights to keep the water safe and healthy. The ultimate goal is to build a powerful BIPOC coalition throughout the entire Mississippi River basin and gain Rights of Nature. We have delved deep into our networks and invited amazing leaders and changemakers from Indigenous, Black, Latino/Latina, and Migrant communities. The time will be utilized for grassroots assessments, specialist lectures, a tour of the Mississippi, and community-building exercises.


This summit has been years in the making as Sikowis Nobiss, Executive Director of GPAS, has long spoken about the connection between the deplorable practices of Big-Ag in Iowa to the  environmental disaster happening in the Gulf South. Iowa is actually the number one contributor to the Dead Zone and the most biologically colonized state in the country. Water knows no borders but colonial governments and greedy corporations refuse to stop the horrific practices taking place in Iowa that is affecting all living things downstream. This is why grassroots folks must do the necessary work to ensure the health and safety of the Mighty Mississippi and all that rely on clean water.

On May 13th at 11:30 AM at the Schwiebert Riverfront Park Summit attendees will join the Quad Cities community for a  Walk for River Rights next in solidarity as one River community advocating for Rights of Nature for the Mississippi River and for the rights of all communities whose lives are supported by the waters. If you’d like to learn more, visit our event page on Facebook or Instagram.

DISCLAIMER: The Mississippi River Summit is invite only. The only part of it that is public facing is the Walk for River Rights. 

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Summit Attendees

Meet the leaders attending the Mississippi River summit, which is centering and advancing the leadership of BIPOC organizers from racially marginalized communities working to protect water, natural places, and sacred spaces.

Thank you to the Walton Family Foundation for believing in this project and giving us the capacity to make it a reality.


Thank you to the The Joyce & Tony Singh Family Foundation and Prairie Oaks LLC for additional support and help with on-the-ground organizing.

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