Deborah Denard Delgado is community activist, developer and leader. She became the first African American woman to become a councilwoman for the City of Hattiesburg where she continues to serve. She established the Mobile Street Renaissance Festival in 2006 which highlights the history of Historic Mobile Street. In addition, Delgado spearheaded the Twin Forks Rising initiative in 2009 – a redevelopment projected aimed at revitalizing the Mobile Bouie, East Jerusalem, and Katy-John Dabbs neighborhoods.
Following her retirement as a local laundress in 1995, Miss Oseola McCarty gained national attention when she donated her life savings to set up a scholarship endowment at The University of Southern Mississippi to help worthy but needy students seeking an education. Her generosity was recognized nationally and internationally leading to honors from the White House, United Nations and Harvard University, as well as national publicity from Oprah Winfrey, David Letterman, and President Bill Clinton.