Our community organizing work is grounded in the powers of coalition and partnership building and guided by remarkable community leadership. All of our fair housing and neighborhood advocacy efforts have started with dozens of oral histories, crowded community forums, and continual dialogue in order to build our community power. Here are some of our highlighted efforts:
Sustaining OurSelves Coalition:
Over the last several years, the Jackson Center organized a coalition of neighbors, non-profit organizations, and local churches to advocate for extensive policy changes.
As part of the Sustaining OurSelves Coalition, we held a series of community forums, which led to a successful effort to pass a 6 month building moratorium in Northside/Pine Knolls.In collaboration with the Town of Chapel Hill, we created a community plan outlining detailed strategies with the following aims: building and preserving affordable housing; increasing enforcement efforts; establishing strict parking restrictions; creating grassroots education programs for long-term residents and student renters; supporting cultural and historic preservation and community advocacy; and changing zoning regulations and planning input processes. Our effort was recognized by the Indy with their prestigious “Citizen Award.” Click here to read the full citation for that award.
Furthering and Implementing Fair Housing in Chapel Hill:
As a continuation of our efforts with the Sustaining OurSelves Coalition, the Jackson Center serves as a hub for community advocacy work, connecting residents to existing and potential services and support: from tax relief and house rehab programs to youth mentorship opportunities and historical preservation efforts. Mainly, we facilitate connections to incredible partner organizations and housing non-profits throughout the area, and promote increased civic engagement across age, race, and class. Contact us!
Northside Project (in collaboration with the Center for Community Self Help):
We are in the midst of an effort to create and implement housing-related strategies to preserve Northside’s future as a diverse, multigenerational neighborhood. As part of these efforts, we have convened a neighborhood Compass Group of 16 residents and community leaders to set direction for all ongoing strategies, and a Resource Group of over 40 area partners to provide technical support for ongoing efforts. Our work has pursued the following aspirations set forth by community residents:
- Preserving a sense of culture and community identity, as well as preserving African-American land ownership in Northside;
- Helping long-term residents improve their housing conditions and quality of life;
- Assisting students to become invested neighbors, minimizing the negative impacts of student renters/rentals, and perhaps cooling off the student rental market;
- Maintaining/restoring a close-knit, proud community; and
- Building a neighborhood that attracts a diverse range of individuals and families going forward.
As part of our coalition work, we teamed up with the Counter Cartographer’s Collective to create a series of “community owned maps.” These maps provided critical support for our policy efforts and have continued to mobilize change. Last year, we were invited to present our community maps at an international cartography conference! Click here to view some of the maps on the Counter Cartographer’s blog post from last year.