A panel of community experts assembled recently at the Jackson State Downtown campus to discuss ways to improve the quality of life in the City of Jackson.
The forum gathered development professionals, members of academia and community organizations to talk about innovative solutions that will assist with building a better culture for the citizens of Jackson.
Dr. Sam Mozee, Jr., interim executive director and associate director for Research says, “The purpose of this forum is to bring each individual together because there are not enough resources in Jackson to be shared for everyone; so if possible, we need to maximize all of our resources as a collective group.”
Known as the capitol of Mississippi, Jackson is an urban city facing many community advancement issues.
The overall data presented in the research brief by JSU’s Mississippi Urban Research Center (MURC) on community development shows that socio-economic challenges have ultimately decreased living conditions in the City of Jackson.
In 2015, the rate of poverty and violent crimes in the capitol city were 80-90% higher than the national average; the Jackson Public School District received an accountability rating of an “F” and 25.6% of families in the area had incomes below the poverty level.
“Jackson is undergoing so many different challenges including infrastructure, education, health care and social services. We got a lot of people working but they are not working together. The only way that we can improve our metropolis is to work concurrently,” Mozee said.
Forum participants also discussed techniques that Jackson State could use to assist with enhancing the city.
Mozee says, “This is a massive opportunity for JSU to bridge the gap and to be a front runner in terms of finding solutions for the issues in our area. Problems are multi-faceted in the city. Jackson State offers a number of degree programs correlating to the issues discussed including public policy, health care, social work, and business. Enhancing our city is going to take professionals from all of those areas who are also alumni of this institution to help resolve these issues.”