Male Seminar

Honors College Teams Up with Men in Mississippi to Empower Young Male Students

The Honors College and the Division of Student Engagement in conjunction with the Men in Mississippi organization held a Male Networking and Empowerment Seminar on Monday. Author and music executive Kenwuan Meeks and six other mentoring guests sought to encourage the audience of mainly male students to continue their education beyond Coahoma and strive for greatness.

Honors College Teams Up with Men in Mississippi to Empower Young Male Students

Press Release from Coahoma Community College Public Relations; (662) 621-4057 - Melody Dixon

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Wed Oct 10, 2018

Male Seminar

The Honors College and the Division of Student Engagement in conjunction with the Men in Mississippi organization held a Male Networking and Empowerment Seminar on Monday. Author and music executive Kenwuan Meeks and six other mentoring guests sought to encourage the audience of mainly male students to continue their education beyond Coahoma and strive for greatness.

In the Magnolia Room of the Zee A. Barron Student Union, the speakers introduced by Honors College director Jeremy Pittman included Gary Jones, a firefighter for the Greenville Fire Department; Stafford Shurden, a Justice Court judge for Sunflower County; Michael Johansson, former director of International programs for the University of Mississippi; Kierre Rimmer, creator of the community awareness program Fly Zone; Ray Blackmon, a pastor and community activist and state Representative Orlando Paden who serves District 26 of Mississippi, which is composed of Coahoma and Bolivar County.

Each speaker came before the audience with inspirational lines that would cause them to be wise about their life plans.

“Material things do not make a man,” said Blackmon, who told the young men he flunked three grade levels in primary school before earning his bachelor’s and master’s degree.

“Your community should be the most important thing there is to you…Today is not your future; it’s the start of your future.”

Kierre Rimmer runs the Fly Zone Academy (Forever Lifting Youth) based in Cleveland, Mississippi. He approached attendees with a motivational tone. He elaborated on what the Fly Zone program is all about.

Rimmer said his program was able to give away more than 30 Kindle tablets to third graders in order to counteract a statistic that claims those who cannot read by third grade will likely be incarcerated.

Justice Court judge Stafford Shurden switched gears by pushing the students to live courageously, pushing aside the fear of the unknown.

“While you’re young, go out and taste the world,” said Shurden, a native of Drew, Mississippi. “Taste what the world has to offer. Some of it’s not going to be good, but something’s going to hit you just right.”

Michael Johansson, who is originally from Rockford, Illinois and now lives in Oxford, MS, invited the group of young adults on a tour of the Ole Miss campus. He also offered his assistance with scholarship opportunities available after learning that the young men desire to further their studies at a university or four-year college.

Meeks, who said in a Q&A at the end of the seminar that he has worked with well-known music producer Mr. Collipark, started up the Men in Mississippi organization in July of 2017 and has grown a network of individuals from cities like Biloxi and Jackson as well as the Mississippi Delta. Setting up a location for the Men in Mississippi program is in the works. He is, nonetheless, pleased to have been able to give back to his home state.

“Mississippi in general is my home, the whole state, and that’s what the Men in Mississippi represents,” said Meeks, a current resident of Atlanta.

“Drew is my hometown. However, when you’re dealing with communities as far as Mississippi goes, most of them are the same.”

Pittman, Business and Computer Information Systems instructor at CCC, takes great pride in being a part of efforts toward preparing younger generations to go against the grain in order to become the productive citizens of tomorrow.

"Partnerships with organizations like Men in Mississippi give our students access to some of the best mentors in our community,” Pittman said.

“It also gives them the opportunity to expand their personal network of contacts. It's important that we take every opportunity to be a positive force in our community. I'm proud to be associated with this group and I look forward to future opportunities to nurture this partnership. We thrive because we, as a community, continue to pour into each other."