Council of Organizations

Trail Marker

814 45th Avenue, Meridian, MS

The Council of Organizations, Inc., is a nonprofit association formed to promote the social, cultural, and educational interests of the African-American community in Meridian. The council gives community members a place to exchange ideas and serves as a venue for social and cultural events.

The council was formed in 1972, with representatives from 20 of Meridian’s civic, social, business, professional, fraternal, and educational clubs. The building is named in honor of C. E. Oatis, Jr., who served as president from the council’s inception through 2010. Purchased in 1976, the building was formerly an IGA grocery. The IGA served a large Black clientele, but refused to hire African-American clerks or bag boys until it was picketed by local Civil Rights activists.

Once every five years, the Council of Organizations hosts The National Council of Meridianites Annual Convention and Picnic, an event that began as an annual gathering of alumni of T. J. Harris High School and has expanded to include others with connections to Meridian. The group has chapters in cities all over the country, and they hold their convention and picnic in alternating cities each year. The National Council of Meridianites not only offers opportunities for friends and families to reunite, but also provides scholarships to further the education of future generations.

Directions to next marker (Old Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church): Continue down 45th Avenue to 9th Street; turn left on 9th Street and continue to 47th Avenue; turn left on 47th Avenue; church is located immediately on right.

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