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Free and Open to the Public

SUNDAY, JAN 15, 2023

Tupelo Civic Auditorum

Starts at
2:30 P
M - 3:45 PM

Reception to follow at

3:45 PM - 5:00 PM

Discussion Leaders

Von Gordon &

Dr. Graham Bodie


Sunday, January 15, 2023
Tupelo Civic Auditorium

2:30 p.m. Drill Team Performances accompanied by MLK Community Choir

2:40 p.m. National Black Anthem                                 MLK Community Choir
                                                                                                 Dakota Hill, Soloist

2:45 p.m. Welcome and Program Introductions   CFK Chair Shawn Brevard

2:55 p.m. Love in Action:                                                  “What Can We Learn by Listening to Our Youth?”
                                                                                                Discussion Leaders Graham Bodie and Von Gordon

Participants: THS Seniors Simar Gill, Zoe Hendrick, Jahtonia Wilson; Millsaps College freshman Batton Barber

3:35 p.m. Reception Blessing                                        JahTonia Wilson

3:40 p.m. Musical Selection and Dismissal              MLK Community Choir 

3:45-5 p.m. Community Reception*                          TMS Cafeteria

*Our “village” breaks bread together. We encourage all to share in a meal in the TMS Cafeteria, generously donated by local businesses and kindly served by city workers. Take this opportunity to meet someone new, greet old friends, give thanks for our many blessings, and learn about good work being done by Shine A Light organizations stationed in the space with information to share. We honor Dr. King by becoming the beloved community.

Committee for King offers its sincere appreciation to Mayor Todd Jordan, Tupelo City Council members, and all city employees, as well as TPSD Superintendent Dr. Rob Picou, TPSD Food Service Director Mrs. Lynn Rogers, Civic Auditorium Coordinator Mr. Brad Hilliard, and other school staff for making this special day possible. 


Von is a native of Moorhead, MS, in Sunflower County. He joined the William Winter Institute to develop and coordinate youth programs as Youth Engagement Coordinator. He attended the University of Mississippi and served as a founding board member of the University of Mississippi Institute for Racial Reconciliation, representing the student body.

Von believes in building deep relationships and creating transformation and movement towards belonging and justice for communities, organizations, and individuals.

He is a member of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Community Leadership Network.  Close to home, he serves on the board of directors of Operation Shoestring in Jackson, MS, and supports the work of the Mississippi Afterschool Network.  He also serves on the Community Advisory Councils of the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the Junior League of Jackson.

Von serves nationally as a board member of The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation.

He and his family now reside in Jackson, Mississippi, stewards of Choctaw ancestral land.

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Graham Bodie is Professor of Integrated Marketing Communication in the School of Journalism and New Media at The University of Mississippi. He is recognized as an international expert on listening and the social cognitive underpinnings of human communicative behavior, having authored over 90 published papers in outlets such as Human Communication Research, Communication Monographs, Communication Research, Communication Yearbook, and the International Journal of Listening and three other co-edited books: The Sourcebook of Listening Research: Methods and Measures, The Handbook of Listening, and Listening, Community Engagement, and Peacebuilding: International Perspectives. His productivity has placed him in the top 1% of published Communication Studies scholars. Dr. Bodie’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and US Army, and he regularly appears in local and national media outlets on issues relevant to listening in close relationships. He currently serves as Chief Listening Officer for Listen First Project, a non-profit dedicated to bringing people into conversation despite difference.

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