With a heavy heart, I am saddened to share the news of the passing of Mississippi Civil Rights icon Meredith C. Anding, Jr., who died Friday at the age of 79. He was an active member of the NAACP, where he worked closely with Medgar Evers.

In 1961, Anding was one of the nine students, who were undergraduates at Tougaloo College, and staged sit-ins at the all-white Jackson Main Library in Jackson, Mississippi. Prior to the sit-ins, African Americans were prohibited from using the city’s main library. The nine students were members of the Jackson Youth Council of the NAACP. Medgar Evers, who was then president of the Jackson branch of the NAACP, trained them for the sit-in protest.

The group was later known as the Tougaloo Nine. We indeed are indebted to Mr. Meredith Anding Jr., James S. Bradford, Alfred L. Cook, Geraldine Edwards, Janice Jackson, Joseph Jackson Jr., Albert E. Lassiter, Evelyn Pierce, and Ethel Sawyer for the bravery sacrifices that they have made towards injustice in this country, and the continued equality for African Americans today.

Please join me in offering sincere condolences to his family and the Touglooo College community during this sorrowful time.

-Joint partnership with Alcorn State University aims to address economic development in the Mississippi Delta region-

(TOUGALOO, MS) – The Reuben V. Anderson Institute for Social Justice at Tougaloo College, in partnership with the Alcorn State University Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Policy Center, has announced the launched of a comprehensive grassroots leadership development initiative aimed to address economic development in the Mississippi Delta.

The Bennie G. Thompson Delta Leadership Initiative is designed to accelerate the development of socially disadvantaged black and indigenous grassroots community leaders living in Mississippi’s 2nd Congressional District. Named for Congressman and Tougaloo College alumnus Bennie G. Thompson, the initiative will focus on identifying and developing early-stage grassroots and community-led work with innovative and promising sustainable solutions in areas, including sustainable food systems training, social enterprise development models, and workforce transportation.

“While serving Mississippi’s 2nd Congressional District, I have witnessed the incalculable damage done to black and brown communities due to a lack of leadership and sustainable, deliberate community and economic development,” said Bennie G. Thompson, congressman of Mississippi’s 2nd Congressional District. “With this new initiative, we will continue to empower community leaders to engage in practices guided by courage and common sense; specifically, to increase the net worth of the Mississippi Delta.”

Julian D. Miller, Esq., director of the Reuben V. Anderson Institute for Social Justice and assistant professor of political science at Tougaloo College adds that “we must make bold, innovative investments if we are to deliver viable, systemic solutions for social problems affecting future generations in the Mississippi Delta.” This initiative it the first of its kind for Alcorn State University. “This program allows us the opportunity to assess the needs of socially disadvantaged people in rural America in a much different way,” said Eloris Speight, director of the Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Policy Research Center at Alcorn State University. “It gives us insight on potential policy recommendations that could provide long-lasting, positive impacts on those we serve.”

Though the partnership with industry leaders, the Bennie G. Thompson Delta Leadership Initiative is providing critical mentorship, advising, and networking resources to give direct support to selected participants. In addition, up to $15,000 in equity-free grants will be disbursed to give selected cohorts.

The Bennie G. Thompson Delta Leadership Initiative highlights the diversity and strengths of Mississippi’s 2nd Congressional District through a series of five seminars over the course of seven months. Three seminars are held throughout the state, focusing on the various agricultural commodities of the regions. One seminar will take place in Washington, D.C.

“Now more than ever, institutions like Tougaloo College play a critical role in helping solve some of our city’s toughest problems. In keeping with Tougaloo’s mission of being socially responsible, the Bennie G. Thompson Delta Leadership Initiative will produce a cadre of impactful leaders committed to transforming the economic, social, political, and cultural landscape of communities in the Mississippi Delta, one of the most impoverished regions in the state,” said Carmen J. Walters, president of Tougaloo College. “Through the program, current and aspiring leaders will be engaged, empowered, and equipped with critical skills to develop innovative solutions to meet sustainable development challenges in communities where they live and serve. We are proud to be a part of the solution affecting positive community change and grateful for Congressman Bennie G. Thompson’s continued commitment to improving Mississippi.”

Applications for the Bennie G. Thompson Delta Leadership Initiative are now available. Community leaders and entrepreneurs with real solutions that can help create a more just and equitable rural economy in the Mississippi Delta encouraged to apply. The applications are open year-round; however, cohort selections will begin December 20, 2020. Selected participants will be announced January 2021.

For more information about the Bennie G. Thompson Delta Leadership Development Initiative or the Reuben V. Anderson Institute for Social Justice, please contact Mr. Julian D. Miller, Esq. at jdmiller@tougaloo.edu or Ms. Silbrina Wright, program specialist at swright2@tougaloo.edu.

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About Tougaloo College
Tougaloo College prepares its students to be lifelong learners who are committed to leadership and service in a global society through its diverse undergraduate and graduate programs. The College is accessible to all persons while making students aware of its rich legacy as an independent, historically black liberal arts institution, affiliated with the United Church of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). For more information, www.tougaloo.edu.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Pinterest has named Walmart director of global communications and media relations LeMia Jenkins as global head of communications, according to PR Week.

Jenkins replaced Christine Schirmer, who is working on other projects at the company, according to a Pinterest spokesperson. Schirmer became head of comms in 2017 after SVP of marketing and communications Barry Schmitt left the company.

“I loved Pinterest for years, and the opportunity to lead communications for a platform that millions around the world use every month to inspire their lives was one I couldn’t resist,” said Jenkins.

Jenkins stated she has been tracking the issues facing technology companies, including whether platforms should be liable for the content of users and the debate about hate speech versus censorship, and she plans to address them.

“We want Pinterest to be a place for inspiration, and that means we need to be deliberate about creating a safe and positive space for our users,” she said. “Our goal is to clearly communicate the policies we’re putting in place to keep Pinterest positive and inspiring.”

Jenkins had worked at Walmart since 2018 and was named director of global communications and media relations at the retailer in January. Previously, she worked at Caesars Entertainment and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Jenkins earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Tougaloo College. A master’s of public health from The Hebrew University. A master’s of public health in marketing and communications from The George Washington University, and a doctor of education from the University of Mississippi.

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Dr. Carmen J. Walters

JACKSON, MS – The Board of Trustees of Tougaloo College is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Carmen J. Walters as the 14th President of the historic institution.

As the college celebrates its Sesquicentennial Anniversary and embraces what lies ahead in the new era of higher education, Dr. Walters brings a depth of executive-level leadership and knowledge in such vital areas as strategic planning in enrollment facilities management, grant and budget management, workforce development, community and diversity relations and athletics management.

According to a press release by the University, Dr. Walters succeeds Dr. Beverly Wade Hogan, who is retiring June 30. Dr. Hogan has served as Tougaloo’s president since May 2002. She is the first woman and 13th president to lead Tougaloo.

“This position is a dream come true for me,” said Dr. Walters. “Tougaloo has such a rich and powerful history. You can feel it when you arrive on the campus and walk these hallowed grounds. It’s a great challenge and opportunity for me to help preserve that wonderful history but also carry Tougaloo forward so that it’s here another 150 years.”

Walters has served more than 24 years in Community College education. She spent the past six years at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Perkinston, where she is Executive Vice President for Enrollment Management, Student Success and Institutional Relations. Prior to that she worked 18 years at Delgado Community College in New Orleans.

Dr. Hogan said: “I am tremendously excited about the selection of Dr. Walters, and it will be my privilege to pass the baton of leadership to her. She brings a combined level of experiences, commitment and mature judgement that are useful in any leadership role. Her understanding and appreciation of the college’s history and mission, as well as her demonstrated commitment to faculty and student success, will be impactful in moving the college into its best years.”

Dr. Walters received her Bachelor of Science in accounting and business administration from Southern University in 1984, a Mater of Arts degree in post secondary counseling from Xavier College in New Orleans in 1990 and her Ph.D. in Community College leadership from Mississippi State University in 2009.

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JACKSON, MS – Tougaloo College welcomes two (2) presidential candidate finalists to campus on February 11 and 12.

Melva Williams, PhD – Monday, February 11, 2019

Carmen Walters, PhD – Tuesday, February 12, 2019

In a letter written to the Tougaloo College community from Edmond Hughes, Chair of the Presidential Search Committee, the visit purpose is centered to enable individuals to know the candidates better. There will be open forums during the visits held at the Bennie G. Thompson Academic Complex on campus. The meeting with faculty will be held each day at 2:00 p.m. and the meeting with the staff, students and others will be held at 3:00 p.m.

About Melva Williams, PhD

Dr. Melva Williams is the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Management at Southern University at Shreveport. Dr. Williams has over 17 years of experience in HBCU leadership. She has executive-level experience in Chancellor’s Office, Business Affairs, Academic Affairs, Student Affairs and Fundraising. She has demonstrated experience as a senior level administrator in sculpting budgets from static resources; creating sound community and developing partnerships; ensuring a student-centered campus environment; managing and redesigning curriculum to meet the needs of millennial students; and fostering collaboration with faculty and staff. She also serves on the SACSCOC advisory committee. Dr. Williams is well versed in program and curriculum development; faculty and staff development; student counseling and advising; and faculty and staff conflict resolution. Additionally, Dr. Williams has extensive professional development in strategic planning, strategic enrollment management planning, fundraising, human resources and organizational management

Dr. Williams earned her bachelor’s of arts in Mass Communication from Grambling State University; a masters of arts in Public Administration from Grambling State University; and a doctor of philosophy in Urban Higher Education from Jackson State University.

Her path of progression and professional experience in higher education began as a Program Advisor at Grambling State University. She transitioned to Southern University at Shreveport and advanced from the position of Director of Student Activities and Services to Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. From there she was promoted to Chief of Staff for the Southern University System and again advanced through the ranks to become Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs for the Southern University System. Dr. Williams returned to Southern University to Shreveport to serve as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. When offered a new opportunity, Dr. Williams left to become the Associate Dean of Centenary College of Louisiana in Shreveport. Following her tenure there, she again returned to Southern University at Shreveport as Executive Associate to the Chancellor and then was promoted to her current position as Vice Chancellor.

Dr. Williams has been recognized for her leadership including being a Board member for Centenary College of Louisiana and many other honors. She has supported a number of special projects including Board member for the Christus Shumpert Hospital in Shreveport. Dr. Williams has and continues to serve the community including serving as a founding board member and board vice-president for the Magnolia School of Excellence. She is affiliated with a number of professional associations. She is co-founder of the Higher Education Leadership Foundation.

About Carmen Walters, PhD

Dr. Carmen Walters is the Executive Vice President of Enrollment Management, Student Success and Institutional Relations at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, District Office, Perkinston, MS. Dr. Walter has over 24 years of experience in community college leadership. She has executive-level experience in the Chancellor’s Office, Business Affairs, Academic Affairs, Student Affairs and Workforce Development. She has demonstrated experience in university and community college policy and procedures; grant management; budget management; diversity relations; and athletics management. Dr. Walters is well versed in program and curriculum development; faculty and staff development; student counseling and advising; and faculty and staff conflict resolution. Additionally, Dr. Walters has extensive professional development in strategic planning, strategic enrollment management planning; facilities planning; human resources; and organizational management.

Dr. Walters earned her bachelors of science in Accounting & Business Administration from Southern University at New Orleans, Louisiana; a masters of Arts plus 30 in Post-Secondary Counseling from Xavier University, New Orleans, Louisiana; and a doctor of philosophy in Community College Leadership from Mississippi State University, Starkville, Mississippi

Her path of progression and professional leading to her current position started as a high school teacher at Landry High School in New Orleans. She followed that assignment by serving as the case management supervisor in the Jefferson Parrish Department of Employment & Training. She transitioned to Delgado Community College where she rose from the position of Job Placement Counselor; to Academic Support Service/ Carl Perkins Coordinator; to Assistant to the Vice Chancellor, Academic and Student Affairs, College Provost, Carl Perkins Coordinator, SACS Liaison; to Executive Assistant to the Chancellor, Carl Perkins Coordinator, EAEO Officer, ADA Compliance Officer; to Assistant Vice Chancellor, Human Resources, Delegated Appointing Authority. Dr. Walters than transitioned to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Jackson County Campus, Gautier, Mississippi where she started as Campus Vice-President and now serves in her current position as Executive Vice President, Enrollment Management, Student Success and Instructional Relations.

Dr. Walters has been recognized for her leadership including being a member of Leadership Mississippi, Mississippi Economic Council, Class of 2015 and many other awards. She has supported a number of special projects including Team Member, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Scholarship Gala. Dr. Walters has and continues to serve the community including serving as a Board member of Jackson County United Way. She is affiliated with a number of professional associations. She currently serves as Chair of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Student Services Council.

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About Tougaloo College

Tougaloo College prepares its students to be lifelong learners who are committed to leadership and service in a global society through its diverse undergraduate and graduate programs. The college is accessible to all persons while making students aware of its rich history as an independent, historically black liberal arts institution, affiliated with the United Church of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). For more information, visit www.tougaloo.edu.