Jesse Holland speaks during the People, Politics and the Press civic engagement summit at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson Saturday, July 14, 2018.

“Super Heroes: Use Your Powers for Good” is the theme of the Community Foundation of Northeast Mississippi’s 19th annual Crystal Ball gala and Jesse J. Holland – author of the “The Black Panther” – will receive the nonprofit’s Star of Hope honor.

Holland, an award-winning journalist and novelist joins a long list of Star of Hope recipients including Morgan Freeman, Archie and Olivia Manning, Sen. Thad Cochran, Sela Ward and Marty Stuart.

“We are expecting another sell-out crowd of over 1,000 guests at our 19th annual black-tie Crystal Ball gala. This year the theme is ‘Super Heroes: Use Your Powers for Good,’ and will include lots of fun surprises and a fabulous dinner, silent and live auction, and dancing to the music of the Fifth Kind,” said co-chairs Emily and Patrick Johnson in a news release. “The Community Foundation is an amazing organization that enhances the quality of life in Northwest Mississippi, and we are proud to be part of this event.”

The Community Foundation – established in 2002 – manages 240 donor-established funds and has distributed $22.1 million to support more than 700 charitable organizations and activities recommended by its donors, as well as charitable programs established by the foundation, the according to the release.

Holland, a native of Holly Springs who attended the University of Mississippi, is also the author of “The Invisibles: The Untold Story of African American Slaves Inside the White House” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Finn’s Story).”

Holland joined nationally known journalists at a July 14 summit in Jackson on the role and challenges of journalism in democracy that was presented by the Mississippi Humanities Council, Mississippi Public Broadcasting, the Mississippi Press Association Education Foundation, the Clarion Ledger, and Mississippi Today.

Tickets for the Jan. 19, 2019, event at the Arena in Southaven are $150 per person and can be purchased at or by check to the Community Foundation, 315 Losher St., Hernando, MS  38632 or by calling 662.449.5002.

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