J.A.B.E.Z. Community Engagement

Organization and community: Jackson Medical Mall Foundation (Jackson, Mississippi)

This Jackson Medical Mall Foundation (JMMF) project mobilizes youth and community residents to get involved in blight removal, and determine what kind of art might take its place. A partnership with the Greater Jackson Arts Council and Keep Jackson Beautiful, this project recognizes that community residents hold power and authority over what happens in their community. Participants will improve the aesthetics and physical landscape of their community, and create safe, therapeutic community spaces which help them “learn to love where they live.” Residents will be trained and empowered to take responsibility for the program’s effectiveness and sustainability.

Young people will be recruited as Junior Eco-Ambassadors to learn the principles of environmental stewardship, benefits of environmental careers, and how to create community-based artwork from recycled objects. This program will become a model for other neighborhoods in the metro Jackson area.