Committee for King invites the community to engage in a learning opportunity about an important topic: systemic racism and its effect on education, health/wellness, banking/finance, and criminal justice. In partnership with the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation, the organization offers a series of five online sessions, moderated by Winter Institute staff member Mr. Von Gordon, on the third Sundays of the months of January through May at 2:30 p.m. The initial session was held over MLK Weekend and introduced the topics, featuring five panelists with deep knowledge of the four subject areas. The recorded session is available for viewing on committeeforking.org. Attendees can sign up for future sessions by accessing a Zoom meeting link on the website. The sessions will also be livestreamed on Facebook page Committee.for.King.
Future sessions will include additional panelists and offer some interactivity with attendees. The February 21st panel will focus on the history of systemic racism on education, and the current state of the issue. Panelists will be Dr. Cathy Grace, Dr. Rob Picou, Mr. Kenneth Wheeler, and Mr. Jake McGraw. The March 21st panel highlights health and wellness, with panelists Dr. Sandra Melvin, Dr. Vernon Rayford, and Mr. Steve Holland. The April 18th panel highlights banking/finance with panelist Mr. Kiyadh Burt, along with others TBA. The May 16th panel highlights criminal justice, with panelists Ms. Leslie Faith Jones, Lt. Ronnie Partlow, and others TBA. For more information about the sessions, go to committeeforking.org.
Committee for King began in 1986 as a community organization dedicated to seeking love, compassion, respect, and racial harmony for all people. We plan and implement annual MLK weekend events for Tupelo, Lee County, and Northeast Mississippi. The online panel discussion is an outgrowth of the organization’s interest in actively engaging with the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We value partnerships and appreciate the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation’s support with this meaningful series.
Vondaris “Von” Gordon is a native of Moorhead, MS, in Sunflower County. He joined the Institute to develop and coordinate youth programs as Youth Engagement Coordinator. He attended the University of Mississippi, where he was a student leader and helped organize the first Statewide Student Summit on Race. He served as a founding board member of the Winter Institute and the only student representative.
Von has worked in the private sector in franchise and corporate multi-unit restaurant operations and in business development for one of Pepsi’s top franchise bottlers. Von is the married father of three, and he is passionate about equipping youth to build stronger communities through education, empowerment, and racial healing. He thinks the best salads in the world are the ones with no dressing.