Holidays Under the Stars

“Holidays Under the Stars” will be held on Tuesday, December 2nd on the Gibbs-Green Plaza. Enjoy train rides, Santa Clause, hot cocoa and much more!

holiday under the stars1

Happy Holidays!

JSU Supports the Jackson Zoo


Jackson State University and the Jackson Zoo are partnering in the raising of a rare Sumatran Tiger named EKO. The JSU Tigers have officially adopted the 100-pound male cub born in May and, through a special partnership agreement, JSU will sponsor the cub for use in learning exhibits for children, teaching exercises for students, as well as marketing and zoo membership for JSU personnel.

“This partnership between the Jackson Zoo and Jackson State University is an important milestone in the history of both institutions. For Jackson State, this is proof positive of our embracing our community here as well as another investment in future leaders for the rest of the 21st century,” said JSU President Dr. Carolyn Meyers.

“Adopting EKO and his habitat affords cross disciplinary teams of JSU students the opportunity to design and implement learning experiences for the youngest in our community. Our adoption and our enhancement of EKO’s habitat will ignite the flame of learning starting with pre-schoolers as well as position JSU in their young minds as the resource for fun learning experiences,” she said.

The Zoo’s Executive Director, Beth Poff, said she believes this is an exciting opportunity on three levels. “First off, we are neighbors,” Beth Poff said. “Secondly this will benefit the Sumatran tiger breeding program and conservation efforts. And lastly, it will contribute to the well-being of West Jackson.”

Josh Friedel, Jackson Zoo’s Director of Major Gifts & Annual Fund, who facilitated the partnership said, “Jackson State University and The Jackson Zoo are the core foundational institutions in West Jackson and this agreement establishes an extensive relationship in which both parties will work together to achieve mutually desired long term goals.

“I was honored and proud to work with Dr. Meyers and her staff to see this historic agreement come to fruition,” Friedel added.

EKO, which is Indonesian for “first born,” will be the centerpiece of a JSU Tiger exhibit at the zoo. The zoo will host a JSU Tiger Day and will offer special rates for membership to students, alumni, employees and families.

Meyers and Poff signed the official partnership agreement Tuesday, Nov. 11, at Meyers’ office at the H. P. Jacobs Administration Tower. The university will pay $40,000 each year over three years for the sponsorship.

Among the aims of the exhibit are to:

– Provide educational resources, community service and learning opportunities to current, former and future JSU students and children in the community;

– Expand and enhance JSU’s community service activities and historic commitment to the well-being of the community;

– Provide current and future JSU students with cross-disciplinary learning experiences

West JXN Blog Wins Third Place at APA Conference

west jxn blgo

The past week several students from JSU’s Department of Urban and Regional Planning attended the annual American Planning Association (APA) MS Chapter conference in Tupelo, MS. Every year students compete in a poster competition that reflects urban planning issues, developments, and community revitalization efforts.

This year, Heather Wilcox, Neighborhood Development Assistant for the Center for University-Based Development at JSU and Ph.D. student in Urban and Regional Planning presented, “The West Jackson Blog: Making Positive Transformations One Story at a Time.” She has been administering the West Jxn blog for almost two years and believes the blog is a positive force for West Jackson and she wanted to share some of her findings.

The poster competition was critiqued and scored by several local and state affiliates and in the end, the West Jxn Blog placed third in the competition. Judges were looking for creative and innovative ways to help build and shape communities and they believe blogging can be a useful tool for community development.

History & Background about the blog
In May 2010, Dr. Kimberly Hilliard & Curnis Upkins III began the West Jackson Blog at Over the years residents and stakeholders in the community began to see their community described on news media outlets in negative ways. Soon it seemed as if the only things happening in West Jackson were negative.

However, West Jackson residents knew better. They knew the rich history that was authentic, unique and could not be replicated anywhere in the world. They knew the totally awesome neighbors who were volunteers, servers, and ministers. They also knew all the great deeds happening. And none (or very little) ever made headline news stories. Since the West Jackson Blog was created, we have found that people want to hear the positive things happening in the community. One empirical way of determining this is by tracking the blogs viewership.

The Blog has grown its viewership exponentially over the past four years and to date the blog has had over 60,000 hits and has over 4,000 followers. The West Jackson Blog is one way to effectively tell the West Jackson story with all its wonderful components. From the rich history, to the active neighbors, to the long standing businesses and giving churches the blog allows West Jackson residents to showcase their neighborhood and how proud they are to be a West Jacksonian.

Also if someone is considering moving to the area the blog allows them to see all the great things happening in and around our community.

In conclusion, the story of your community can only be told by those who have invested interest in the community and those living in the community. A blog is an excellent way to be the gate keeper of your community and should be used as a way to highlight positive and wonderful things happening in your communities.

In the end, no one can tell your story better than you.

The West Jxn Blog is the communities blog and CUBD is looking to expand its usage by featuring more stories and by having each neighborhood association have its own link. We will include pictures of each neighborhood, boundaries, and elected officers.

There are great things to come. So if you have ideas for the blog or want us to feature a story or event, just email Heather @

Positivity does breed positivity, so keep spreading the word about the West Jxn Blog.
Sign up to get regular updates or like us on facebook and twitter.

Below are the posters that won first and second place in the competition.

Frist place, Jaynae Young, “Planning for Resilience: Creating a Design for a Neighborhood Park.”
poster comp1

Second Place, Ramina Aghili & Arash Ghahramani, “Rethinking the State Street”
poster comp123

“Taste of Fitness,” Today at Noon

one fit jsu

Not sure what you will be having for lunch today? Well you should stop by the Walter Payton Center for their “Taste of Fitness” Food Expo today from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm. This is for the kick off celebration of One Fit JSU, which is a healthy initiative to promote healthy life styles.

The executive chef from The Penguin Restaurant & Bar, Mr. Coleman, will be preparing some delicious menu items for you to eat! Also there will be food provided by Piccadilly, McAlister’s Deli, Country Fisherman, and Edible Sweets.

“Taste of Fitness” is made possible through a grant from the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation and this is the kick off event. The event will also feature a check presentation at 2:00 pm from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of MS Foundation to JSU in the amount of $129,000 dollars. The grant funds are to be used for community based health events such as the “Taste of Fitness.” So come enjoy and learn about the new One Fit JSU Program!

There will also be opportunities for you to get massages, Body Mass Index testing, and do tours of the Walter Payton Center.

Everything is free and open to the public.

The Walter Payton Center is located at 34 Walter Payton Drive. For more information contact 601-979-1368.

West Jackson Heritage Awards “Mix & Mingle,” Sunday

mix and mingle flyer1

The Center for University-Based Development at Jackson State University is excited to invite the West Jackson community to our Heritage Awards Mix and Mingle on Sunday, November 23 from 4:00 until 6:00 p.m. in Ballroom A (3rd floor) of the JSU Student Center.

The purpose of this event is to bring all West Jackson neighbors together for an evening of networking to engage in ways that improve our community. There is so much to be proud of in our community, and neighborhood associations play a major role in making things happen.

There is no cost to attend this event, however, we are requesting that each neighborhood association:

- Bring toys and/or canned or dry food items that will be included in “care packages” for selected families in West Jackson to be delivered the week before Christmas.
– Invite the community and be ready to enjoy some good food and a great time!

Please RSVP for this event as soon as possible by calling 601.979.2255 to reserve a seat or table of eight (8). This will enable us to assure that we meet the accommodations for all to enjoy food, fun and fellowship. Mark your calendars and we’ll see you on Sunday, November 23rd!

Below are a list of our vibrate Neighborhood Associations and their presidents.

(Pecan Park Neighborhood Association will hold their monthly meeting tonight at 6:30 pm at Lynch St. CME Church).

Battlefield Park………………..Janice Adams
Capitol Neighbors Association…….Cassandra Welchlin
Dalton-Deer Park Association……..Hezekiah Watkins
Pecan Park N.A. ………………..The Honorable Alyce Clarke
University Park…………………Betty Lyons
Washington Addition……………..Melvina Deans
Zoo Area Progressive Partnership….Marcia Reed
Friends of West Jackson………….Ethel Floyd
Matthew’s East Homeowners………..Thomas Alexander
West Park………………………Maggie White
Hemingway N.A…………………..Zenotha Robinson
Jayne Ave. N.A………………….Oredell Calhoun

Global Entrepreneurship Week Starts Today


Jackson State University will host a conference in celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week, Nov. 17-19, 2014. The JSU Department of Entrepreneurship in the College of Business is sponsoring the event in partnership with the Kauffman Foundation.

Themed “Unleashing the Entrepreneur Within,” the conference will provide workshops covering topics on global opportunities in contracting; MDOT and MDA certification and training; marketing your business using social media; social entrepreneurship; and funding opportunities for women-owned small businesses.

The conference will also host a Tiger Tank competition for emerging entrepreneurs to pitch their business ideas. Leading business coaches at the Speed Networking Reception offered by WheretoGo411 will provide technical advice.

A highlight of the conference will be the Women Entrepreneurs Day Awards Luncheon, which will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 19, from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the JSU Student Center, Ballroom A.

JSU’s Department of Entrepreneurship and Professional Development, formerly Business Education and Administrative Services for 36 years, is chaired by Dr. Mary M. White, interim vice president of institutional advancement. The department has offered courses on entrepreneurship since 1995.

The conference will also feature a global entrepreneur chat with Dr. John Calhoun from Morocco, North Africa, as part of the U.S. Delegation to the Fifth Annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Marrakesh.

Registration is $50 for non-students ($75 at the door) and $25 for students. To attend the awards luncheon only is $25.

For more information, call 601-979-2541

To register click on link below.

JSU Welcome Center Gives Away Thanksgiving Meal, Register Now

jsu wc final

You could be the lucky winner of a free holiday meal from the Country Fisherman! The JSU Welcome Center, in partnership with the Country Fisherman Restaurant, will give away a “Free Thanksgiving Dinner for Four.” Interested persons may register in the Welcome Center beginning November 1, 2014.

Registration Rules: 1) You must be 21 years of age to register for the giveaway; 2) You must register in person in the Welcome Center; 3) Only one registration per person; 4) No phone calls, faxes or e-mails.

The drawing will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, November 21, 2014.

Please share this information with your family, friends, and colleagues.

The winner does not have to be present to win.

Happy Thanksgiving!

For more information contact the Welcome Center at (601) 979-0883.

Dialogue Circles Focus on Racial Awareness, Wednesday


Jackson 2000 has been conducting Dialogue Circles in our community for over 20 years. Dialogue Circles are dynamic study groups centered on understanding racism, its history and its lingering effects on us personally and on our communities.

In honor of our 25th anniversary, Jackson 2000 invites the Greater Jackson community to participate in a special day-long dialogue circle event on Wednesday, November 12th from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm at the MS e-Center.

The program will feature interactive sessions to facilitate honest and constructive conversations about race and ethnicity in our community. Each participant will join a circle with 9 other Jacksonians and a trained facilitator.

Together, the circle will move through a curriculum covering topics of ethnic and racial identity, power and privilege, historic gaps in racial equity and institutional racism. The goal is to promote constructive conversations that can inspire positive social change in our everyday lives.

Limited spots are available so please register at the link below.

For more information go to their website at

Gallery 1 Premieres “The Final Rose: She Loves Me, She Love Me Not,” Tonight

gallery1 the final rose

On Friday, November 7, Gallery1 at Jackson State University will host a closing event for “Spook” and “Stuck Between ‘lizbeth Taylor’s Toes” featuring a live performance by multimedia artist Ormond White. White will debut his performance piece titled “The Final Rose: She Loves Me, She Love Me Not.”

Ormond White is a multimedia artist with a focus on installation and performance art. White integrates digital murals, site specific sculptures, original musical scores, and witty dialogue into thought provoking narratives that blur the lines between art and life.

The event will also feature a pop-up shop with OffBeat, selling comics, vinyl, t-shirts and more. Live DJ’s Phingaprint and Young Venom will provide the soundtrack for this evening of fun, art, and culture!

Date: Friday, November 7, 2014
Time: 6:00 – 9:00pm
Location: Gallery1, 1100 J.R. Lynch Street, suite 4
Contact: (email) 601 960 9250 (phone)

West Jackson Guidebook, Published

jackson plan2

Over the past year and half many stakeholders and residents in West Jackson have been working hard to create a guidebook for the West Jackson community. The purpose of the guidebook was to gather information about West Jackson that residents could use to gain political, social and economic power to improve their neighborhoods. With the data and resources provided in this guidebook, residents have new tools to organize and unify communities, lobby for legislation, apply for funding for community improvement, and to attract industry and jobs to the community.

This book can be used by single residents, a block club, neighborhood associations and institutions within the community to garner support for the area.

The West Jackson Blog will also be a host site for the guidebook. So if you look at the top of the page you will see a link to the guidebook. Please feel free to download it and/or save it to your computer.

Below is a link to the guidebook.

West Jackson Planning Guidebook Final (1)


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