The Marian Cheek Jackson Center’s vision is creating a “beloved community” in the Northside and Pine Knolls neighborhoods of Chapel Hill. All of their services are developed based on community need, and their work is rooted in oral history. The Jackson Center hosts an Oral History Archive, which has archived over 200 stories from community members, Heavenly Groceries, a certified food bank and ministry of St. Joseph CME Church, Fusion Youth Radio, Affordable Housing initiatives, and other programs.
George Barrett was the Americorps VISTA Coordinator of Organizing and Advocacy for the year of 2014-2015, and he is taking on a full-time position at the Jackson Center in fall 2015. Barrett was a Class of 2014 UNC graduate, and became involved in the Jackson Center through an APPLES service-learning course. Now, he supervises the Bonner Leaders as well as other UNC students and community volunteers who work at the center.
The Bonner Leaders are active in all aspects of the programming and are able to manage their own programs independently by their senior year. Past Bonner work has included receiving a grant for a community cookbook with Heavenly Groceries, developing a landlord accountability survey, and creating the Northside Memory Project.
In the future, the Jackson Center hopes to increase student involvement to help them appreciate the value of this community.
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