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Council of Organizations, Inc

Meridianites

"Every man is a quotation from all his ancestors."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

The National Council of Meridianites, Inc. had its beginning in the mid-1960s after several Meridianites reunited at the funeral of a friend in Detroit. Because the friends had not seen each other in over ten years, they decided to plan more fellowship gatherings in the future, which eventually became regular events. This evolved into the first picnic of the Meridianites which was held in 1967 in Detroit, MI. At first, the event's location alternated between Detroit, MI and Cleveland, OH. However, as Meridianites residing in other cities began attending the picnic, they started forming chapters in their own cities. Meridianite chapters are now located throughout the nation.
 

History of the National Council of Meridianites, Inc.®

Origins

The National Council of Meridianites, Inc.® had its beginning in the mid-1960s after several Meridianites reunited at the funeral of a friend in Detroit. Because the friends had not seen each other in over ten years, they decided to plan more fellowship gatherings in the future, which eventually became regular events. This evolved into the first picnic of the Meridianites which was held in 1967 in Detroit, MI. At first, the event's location alternated between Detroit, MI and Cleveland, OH. However, as Meridianites residing in other cities began attending the picnic, they started forming chapters in their own cities. Meridianite chapters are now located throughout the nation. The purpose of this organization is to increase the popularity of our common interests by developing relationships and friendships.

Chronology

1967: The first picnic of the Meridianites was held in Detroit. At first, the event's location alternated between Detroit and Cleveland. However, as Meridianites residing in other cities began attending the picnic, they started forming chapters in their own cities.

1974: The picnic returned home to Meridian, Mississippi. More than 6,000 people were in attendance, a huge increase compared to the first picnic where only 20 participated and was featured in the 1974 October issue of Ebony Magazine. The National Council of Meridianites, Inc.® received its official name and selected its first officers.

1980s: The Roots Scholarship was established to give one scholarship to a deserving student in each of the five regions. The organization also made contributions to HBCUs, NAACP and other deserving organizations.

1976: Due to the growing number of chapters, the organization ratified a constitution and bylaws. The constitution arranged the chapters into regions including the Southern, Western, Midwest, Northern and Eastern, which would host an annual picnic and convention on a rotating basis.

1996: The National Council of Meridianites, Inc.® created the Jacquelyn Sweetner Caffey Scholarship Foundation, an endowment designed to provide financial support for the foundation's scholarship program.

1998 - 1999: The National Council of Meridianites, Inc.® was incorporated by the State of Mississippi and received its U.S. Trademark from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

2005: The National Council of Meridianites, Inc.® played an integral part in the post Katrina Relief effort to hurricane evacuees in the Meridian area by providing disaster relief packets that included clothing, suitcases, and personal items.

Today: The National Council of Meridianites, Inc.® has matured into an organization that gives Meridianites the opportunity to reunite with their families, renew old friendships or make new ones, and provide educational support to future generations of Meridianites and their descendants through its Roots Scholarship program.
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