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Virtual Marching Band Event and Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation, Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy

Four members of the Mississippi State University Famous Maroon Band will take part in a virtual intercollegiate marching band event for the College Football Playoff National Championship game on Monday, Jan. 11. Photo courtesy MSU

Four members of the Mississippi State University Famous Maroon Band will take part in a virtual intercollegiate marching band event for the College Football Playoff National Championship game on Monday, Jan. 11. Photo courtesy MSU

Four members of the Mississippi State University Famous Maroon Band will take part in a virtual intercollegiate marching band event for the College Football Playoff National Championship game on Monday, Jan. 11.

The College Band Directors National Association Intercollegiate Marching Band is facilitating the virtual show, which will include 900 performers representing 200 bands from 45 states and Puerto Rico. The performers will play “End of Time” by Beyonce. The show will premiere on the Intercollegiate Marching Band YouTube channel during halftime of the championship game.

Participating MSU students include Emily Morse, a senior clinical exercise physiology major from Cordova, Tenn., playing clarinet; Jessica Huffman, an industrial engineering senior from Nesbit, Miss., performing with the color guard; Joseph Rutherford, a computer engineering junior from New Albany, Miss., playing trumpet; and Gwyen Elizabeth Sutphen, a fall business administration graduate and a graduate student in information systems from Starkville, Miss., playing flute and piccolo.

Game time for the University of Alabama versus Ohio State matchup is 7 p.m. CDT. ESPN will televise the event. For more information, visit cbdna-imb.com.

JSU Martin Luther King Jr. Virtual Birthday Convocation

The Margaret Walker Center at Jackson State University recently announced that civil rights veteran David J. Dennis Sr. will be the keynote speaker for the 53rd annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Virtual Birthday Convocation on Friday, Jan. 15. JSU will livestream the event, which begins at 10 a.m., via Facebook at @JacksonStateU.

Dennis spent 60 years fighting for civil rights in Mississippi and Louisiana and was one of the original Freedom Riders, who rode from Montgomery, Ala., to Jackson, Miss., in 1961. He served as field secretary for the Congress of Racial Equality and co-director of the Council of Federated Organizations and helped organize Freedom Summer in 1964.

In 1972, Dennis became an organizer challenging the Louisiana Democratic structure that resulted in an African American chairman and a majority African American delegation being sent to the national convention for the first time since Reconstruction.

The day before the event, Thursday, Jan. 14, the Margaret Walker Center will host its 26th annual For My People Awards at 6 p.m. This year’s awards ceremony will feature three recipients in a virtual conversation titled "A Movement: The Past to the Present." JSU will honor Dennis and Dr. Doris Derby, a civil rights activist and photographer, along with activist and scholar Dave Dennis Jr., son of Dennis Sr. Dennis Jr. will be the first recipient of the Margaret Walker Center’s For My People – Doris Derby Legacy Award, a release from JSU says. Lance Wheeler, education and public relations manager for the Margaret Walker Center, will moderate the panel discussion.

For more information, call 601-979-3935 or email [email protected].

JSU Officer Joins Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy

The Delta Regional Authority recently named Christina Berry, corporate and foundation relations officer at Jackson State University, and four other Mississippi leaders as fellows of the 2021 Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy.

DLIEA is a nine-month executive leadership program for public, private and non-profit sector leaders from the Delta Regional Authority’s eight-state region, a release from JSU says. The 2021 class will consist of 30 fellows.

The program includes sessions that local, regional and national experts lead, which cover topics such as infrastructure and transportation, small business and entrepreneurship, workforce development and public health.

The Delta Regional Authority partners with Arkansas State University, the University of Louisiana Monroe and the University of Arkansas as part of the program. For more information, visit leadership.gra.gov.

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