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Meridian Flyer like African Civil Rights Museum 2019

Meridianite Picnic & Convention

The National Council of Meridianites, Inc. for some 50 years has met in one of the five regions of the US to promote harmony of people of Meridian, MS.

Family reunions are usually large affairs and may be held in different cities, but they are nothing in comparison to the thousands of people who converge in one of five regions across the United States every summer for the National Council of Meridianites Inc. Convention and Picnic. In 2019, The 53rd Annual National Council of Meridianites Convention will be held in Meridian, MS. during the last weekend in June.


Scholarships Information & Packets:

Roots Scholarship
Jacqueline Sweetner Caffey Scholarship

53rd National Council of Meridianites Picnic & Convention

Meridian, MS
June 26-29, 2019
Hosted by

History of the National Council of Meridianites, Inc.


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.


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. The picnic was also featured in the 1974 October issue of Ebony Magazine. The National Council of Meridianites, Inc. received its official name and selected its first officers.

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.

1980’s: The Roots Scholarship was instituted; each region awards one scholarship to a graduating senior who plans to attend college in the fall.

1996: The National Council of Meridianites 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.

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. The annual Convention and Picnic consists of a Memorial Service, Hospitality Gathering Friday night; the Annual Picnic, and the Grand Ball on Saturday.

Current National Officers:

President - Ollie Louise Gaddy
1st Vice President - Denita Dean
2nd Vice President - Alinda Rush Brown
Recording Secretary - Ethel McNeal
Financial Secretary - Michelle Wilson
Corresponding Secretary -Artis Hampton

Treasurer - Cheryl Yearell-Vinson
Parliamentarian - Beverly Heidelberg-Foster
Sergeant-At-Arms & Liaison to the President - Leroy Caffey
Historian -Jacquelyn Sweetner Caffey
Memorial Service Chairperson - Juanita Simon
Chaplain - Carolyn O'Banner
Immediate Past President - Valeria L. Burwell

Meridianite Convention Gallery

We are proud to host the 53rd Meridianite Convention and Picnic. We look forward to welcoming you home. Below is a gallery of past conventions and picnics.


2014 - Meridian, MS

In 2014 the convention and picnic was hosted in our hometown of Meridian, MS.