Khafre, Incorporated has partnered with Mississippi Valley State University to host the 2nd Annual Sweat Equity Investment in the Cotton Kingdom Symposium. This year’s events are scheduled to take place on October 17 - 18 on the MVSU campus.
Khafre, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that provides resources to formal and informal educators of the Delta.
“I am so pleased that we have partnered with Khafre to host an event of this magnitude,” said Dr. Vincent Venturini, Associate Provost. “The production of cotton has been a major part of the history of the Mississippi Delta and of our legacy of slavery and tenant farming that we must make sure our younger generation understands the relationship between the cotton economy and many of the social problems we face in the Delta today.”
The Symposium will open on Thursday, Oct. 17, beginning at 9 a.m. The discussions and historical presentations will reflect cutting-edge research, innovative practices and foundational values. Participants will include Ed Dwight, monument developer; reflective writings by national spokesman, Clifton Taulbert; and Maya Angelou, award winning poet. Attendees will also hear from Jaribu Hill, internationally acclaimed attorney, Dr. Joseph Martin Stevenson, former MVSU provost; Scott Barretta, Blues scholar; Monroe Golden, authentic cotton picker; and Winterville Mounds Museum Director, Dr. Mark Howell. Additionally, two noted scholars from Mali’s Cotton Manufacturing and Distribution will present via Skype.
MVSU participants in the program include Dr. Kathryn Green, associate professor in history; Dr. John Weiss, asst. professor of voice and choir director, and the Sweat Equity Singers; Dr. Micah Rueber, asst. professor of history; Barbara Baymon, director of theater; Yolanda May Williams, Alexandria, Edwards, Jerjuanna Fountain, and LaMonica Nolan, Jovanna Peterson, all MVSU students; and Dr. John Jones, interim provost.
On Friday, Oct. 18, an American Ancestral Celebration including a pouring of libation will take place on the MVSU campus beginning at 6 p.m. The celebration will commence at the West Lake across from the R. W. Harrison Complex.
As part of the celebration, Khafre plans to erect a permanent marker on the site in honor of cotton pickers from the Mississippi Delta and in commemoration of the significance of this historical event. "Khafre’s partnership with “The Valley” validates the notion that a tribute and monument to sharecroppers and cotton pickers are not just timely, but significant on many levels,” said Linda Rule, Special Events Director of Khafre, Inc.
The final event of the Symposium will be a “Cotton Pickers Ball” immediately following the American Ancestral Celebration. Blues and Gospel music performed by Mississippi Delta legends, Otis Clay, Marshall Thompson and Syl Johnson will infuse the atmosphere. Overalls or other “cotton pickin” attire is encouraged and expected.
For more information about the Symposium, please contact C. Sade Turnipseed at 662.347.8198 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.