Mississippi’s Most Influential African Americans for 2023-24 Selected

TUPELO, MISSISSIPPI (March 6, 2024) – “Our Mississippi” magazine publisher Wesley Wells has announced that 14 individuals have been selected as Mississippi’s Most Influential African Americans for 2023-24.

Wells said the individuals were selected by an independent panel of business and community leaders from nominations received from the public.

“Another great group of individuals,” Wells said of the nominees. “I’d like to thank the committee for doing an outstanding job. It’s an honor and privilege to be able to recognize these leaders for the outstanding work they do in their respective communities,” Wells said.

“Congratulations to all the selected individuals, and also to all the individuals nominated. There were so many to choose from. We’re proud of them all and their great work for the state of Mississippi.”

Wells said dozens of individuals were nominated in different categories that included: Business, Education, Politics, Religion, Media, and Servant Leadership. The group will be honored at the 2024 Our Mississippi Honors Gala on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at the Cadence Bank Conference Center in Downtown Tupelo, Mississippi.Actor Clifton Powell will be the keynote speaker for the event, which gets underway at 6 p.m. Powell is known for his memorable roles in films like Ray, Rush Hour, Why Do Fools Fall In Love?, and films Friday and Friday After Next as the unforgettable character “Pinky.”

“It’s great that Clifton Powell will be joining us for this great occasion,” Wells added. “He has tons of fans all over the place, and especially here in Mississippi. It should be an exciting evening.”

Mississippi’s Most Influential African Americans of 2023-24 as selected by our independent panel of business and community leaders. They were chosen from different categories from dozens of nominations we received.

  1. Rosa M. Beckett – CEO, Jackson Municipal Airport Authority
  2. Dr. Charles Bouldin – Owner, North Mississippi Physical Therapy
  3. Kim Crumbie – Director and Plant Manager, APMM
  4. Rip Daniels – Entrepreneur
  5. Maggie Wade Dixon – News Anchor, WLBT
  6. Willie Fairley – Director, Ingalls Shipbuilding
  7. Craig Jackson – General Manager, C Spire
  8. Carla Kirkland – CEO, The Kirkland Group
  9. Kirk Lewis – CEO, Blue Springs Metals
  10. Bishop Clarence Parks – Founder and Sr. Bishop, Temple of Compassion and Deliverance
  11. Dr. Rickey Thigpen – President and CEO, Visit Jackson
  12. Victor Taylor – Vice President of Manufacturing, Nissan Canton
  13. Dr. Alexandria White – Sr. Vice President, Reboot Accel
  14. Dr. Antwon Woods – Dean, School of Business, Alcorn State University


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