MLK events planned in Winona

Monday, January 21, 2019, marks what would have been the 90th birthday of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Dr. King played a pivotal role in the American civil rights movement during the mid-1950s and 60s until his untimely death in 1968 when he was assassinated. 

He worked diligently with others in an effort to seek equality and human rights for African Americans, the economically disadvantaged, and all victims of racial injustice.  He utilized peaceful protests and was instrumental in events including the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the 1963 March on Washington where he delivered his widely known “I Have a Dream” speech.  His non-violent efforts helped bring about such landmark legislation as the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Acts.  His tireless efforts also earned him the TIME “Man of the Year” award and the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, the youngest person to receive this award.  Since 1986, Dr. King is remembered each year on the third Monday of January, known as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Day.

In observance of this holiday, the 3P Ministry, Pondering and Planning with a Purpose along with the Citizens of Alliance have scheduled a weekend of events which includes a MLK Awards banquet, a prayer breakfast, the annual march and Dr. King memorial program.

This year’s festivities will begin on Friday, January 18, 2019 with the second annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards banquet which will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Zion District Building, located at 213 Justy Street in Winona.  Dr. Stephen T. Cook is the keynote speaker for this event.   Cook currently serves as the District Superintendent of the West Jackson District in the Mississippi Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. 

Cook, a second-career minister, has a distinguished record of service in the Mississippi Annual Conference beginning with his first appointment in 1999 as the pastor of Revels Memorial UMC in Greenville, Mississippi. 

Dr. Cook was born in Lexington, Mississippi and raised in Carrollton in a loving family.  A graduate of Mississippi State University (Bachelor of Arts degree, History, 1993) Memphis Theological Seminary (Master of Divinity degree, 2002) Memphis Theological Seminary (Doctor of Ministry degree, 2015), Cook served in the United States Army as a commissioned officer and worked at Information Technology Solutions prior to surrendering to God’s call upon his life.  He is a vital contributor to the community.     

He is married to Erma Louise Robinson Cook, formerly of Winona, Mississippi.  They have the joy of being parents to two daughters, Sylvia and Endia.

The second annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. prayer breakfast is scheduled for Monday, January 21, 2019 at 8 a.m. at the Zion District Building.  Winona native Chynee Allen Bailey, Esquire is the featured speaker. Bailey was born and raised in Winona. She is the daughter of Winona Alderwoman Sarah A. Minnieweather. 

She graduated salutatorian of Winona High School and attended Tougaloo College majoring in political science. After graduating from Tougaloo cum laude in 1996, she entered law school at the University of Mississippi School of law. Chynee received her juris doctor in 1999.

After completing law school Attorney Bailey moved back home to Winona and practiced primarily general civil litigation from the plaintiff’s perspective with the Liston/Lancaster law firm. She began serving as counsel for Montgomery County School District in 2000 and continued to serve in that position until the district was abolished in 2018.

In January of 2011, she opened Bailey Law, PLLC. At Bailey Law, PLLC, Attorney Bailey returned to practicing law from the plaintiffs’ perspective focusing on personal injury. In 2013, Attorney Bailey was retained as the city attorney/prosecutor for the City of Brooksville, Mississippi, and she continues to serve in that position.

Attorney Bailey is married to Pastor Timothy Bailey, and they are the proud parents of five children, Mariah, Chase, Micah, Ava and Noah. She serves as First Lady of A Prepared Table Ministries in Columbus and serves in many facets of the ministry. However, her passion is in working the children’s ministry, including Children’s Church and the Youth Praise Dance Ministry.

Following the prayer breakfast, the annual march will begin at 11:30 a.m. Participants will assemble at the J.J. Knox Gym on Powell Street at 11:00 a.m.  Festivities will culminate with the annual Dr. M.L. King, Jr. 29th annual observance at 12 noon at the Montgomery County Courthouse on Summit Street.  Mr. Dennis C. Sweet, IV of Jackson, Mississippi is the keynote speaker. 

Dennis C. Sweet, IV is the grandson of the late Robert and Lela B. Wilson of Winona, and Teresa Sweet Stein and Dennis Sweet III.  He is a practicing attorney with over ten years of experience.  Dennis received his Bachelors of Arts (B.A.) degree from Tougaloo College in 2005. Upon completion of his degree, he was accepted into the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University completing studies for a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) in 2008. He received his Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Litigation and Dispute Resolution from The George Washington University Law School in 2011.

While in law school, Dennis was a Dean’s List scholar, a member of the National Black Law Students Association and a member of Phi Alpha Delta. He also served as a member of the Law School Admissions Committee where he worked in conjunction with the Dean to manage the admission process, recruit law students, and evaluate law school applications.  Aside from being a good student, Dennis took time to use his talents to help others.  During his tenure in law school, he worked as a Clinic Associate for the Thurgood Marshall Legal Clinic, where he provided legal representation to indigent criminal defendants.  He also served as a Clinical Associate for the Innocence Project where he worked to exonerate wrongfully convicted individuals through DNA testing.

Dennis continues to help those who need it most as a lawyer at Sweet and Associates.  Dennis specializes in civil litigation, civil rights, personal injury, medical malpractice, premises liability, and criminal defense.  Dennis prides himself on protecting peoples civil and human rights.  Dennis has been recognized for excellence in his field.     

Aside from practicing Law, Dennis is an adjunct professor and pre-law advisor at Tougaloo College.  In 2014 Dennis was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation from Tougaloo College for volunteer service to the Ruben V. Anderson Pre-Law Society. 

Dr. King’s contributions to society were invaluable.  Therefore, all citizens of Winona and the surrounding areas are encouraged to attend and participate in these activities.  For more information, you may contact Pastor Mark A. Williamson or Latia Butts.