MVSU staff member receives 2019 Mississippi Trailblazer award

April 4, 2019

ITTA BENA, Miss.—Mississippi Valley State University Assistant Professor of Social Science Dr. Cassie Sade Turnipseed was recently announced as the recipient of the 2019 Mississippi Trailblazers Dr. Cindy Ayers Legacy Award.

The Mississippi Trailblazers Board of Governors selected Turnipseed because of her work bringing attention to the Mississippi Delta, the people, history and culture of the Delta, citing it as, “it is phenomenal, unparalleled and unmatched.”

She will be formally honored during the Mississippi Trailblazers Awards Ceremony and Black-Tie Gala, slated for Saturday, April 27, 2019, at the BancorpSouth Conference Center in Tupelo. The event will include a Champagne Reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by a dinner program at 6:30 p.m.

“Honoring the legacy of “grandmamma-nem” in a university setting gives artistic license and academic credential to the sweat equity contributions made by cotton pickers throughout the American South,” said Turnipseed.

“Our intentions are to reflect the historic preservation efforts underway at Mississippi Valley State University and the cultural works of Khafre, Inc. The cotton pickin’ culture in the American South is what most people love best about the American culture. Even more interesting is the fact that America’s phenomenal wealth and culture is for the most part sourced in cotton. This is the reason and purpose I hold as my philosophical approach to teaching, ‘Know Thyself,’” she added.  

Since 2003, the Mississippi Trailblazers Awards has recognized many of Mississippi’s most dedicated citizen-servants, who have made distinguished and significant contributions to diversity and multicultural exchange through their professional accomplishments and public service.

The award’s namesake, Dr. Cindy Ayer, distinguished herself in her own right as a pioneer in areas ranging from banking to farming.

“Her life is a legacy and her work continue to leave a legacy. The same can be said for you and your work,” stated The Mississippi Trailblazers Board of Governors to Turnipseed in a letter announcing her as the honoree.