The Welcome Center at Jackson State University offers tours of its facilities that provide educational programs on the history of civil rights, social justice, democracy and citizenship in the West Jackson community. The tours are led by staff, students or volunteers and coordinated by the JSU Welcome Center. Heritage tours are guided by specialists to provide an in-depth overview of each site.
Tour Sites Include:
• Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) Civil Rights Education Center-The Council of Federated Organizations was founded in May 1961 by local and state civil rights leaders to create solidarity among all civil rights organizations in Mississippi during the 1960s. In 1963, COFO made 1017 John R. Lynch Street its home where the office served as the state headquarters for the Mississippi movement.
• Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship and Democracy-Founded in 1997, the Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship and Democracy advocates civic engagement and popular sovereignty through the study of the struggle for civil rights in the United States. The institute works with local school boards and colleges, national funding organizations, state agencies, and local civil rights organizations to encourage local communities to embrace political engagement and agency.
• Margaret Walker Center for the Study of the African American Experience founded by Margaret Walker in 1968-Located in historic Ayer Hall—the oldest building on the Jackson State campus—the Margaret Walker Center is both an archive and museum dedicated to the preservation, interpretation, and dissemination of African-American history and culture.
• Gibbs-Green Plaza-Alexander Hall (Gibbs-Green Plaza)-Gibbs-Green Plaza was once Lynch Street that ran directly past Jackson State College to downtown Jackson. On May 14, 1970, during student unrest regarding the Vietnam War and the earlier murder of four Kent State University students by the Ohio National Guard, two students were killed in the crossfire by city and state police officers on the Jackson State College campus; Phillip Lafayette Gibbs, a JSU student; and James Earl Green, a student at Jim Hill High School. Twelve other students were injured.
Heritage Tours can be scheduled, Monday-Friday between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Please contact 601-979-0883 to schedule your Heritage Tour!
Tours are scheduled between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. (June-August).
JSU Welcome Center
1400 J.R. Lynch Street
P.O. Box 17056
Jackson, MS 39217
Office: (601) 979-0883
Fax: (601) 979-0954