Marian Cheek Jackson Center staff and partners from Pee Wee Homes welcoming one of the center's newest Northside neighbors to the community. Photo courtesy of Hudson Vaughan.

The Jackson Center has built community for years in Northside and Pine Knolls neighborhoods

The Marian Cheek Jackson Center is a non-profit dedicated to building community in Chapel Hill's Northside and Pine Knolls neighborhoods. The organization has worked alongside UNC students since its beginning and UNC recently gave the organization a $3 million loan to continue its work in the community. 

“I remember growing up with neighbors that knew each other, sharing joys and sorrows, knowing who lived around you, which brought safety because you knew who your neighbors were,” said Kathy Atwater, the center’s community advocacy specialist. “The Jackson Center has become a part of the community, not just someone outside looking in." 


Northside is a Chapel Hill neighborhood that houses the largest population of the town's traditionally working class, which includes a majority African-American population. It is located along the north side of Rosemary Street and bound by North Columbia St. to the east and Lloyd Street to the west.

Many neighborhood residents feel Northside is undergoing gentrification, the process of more affluent residents moving in and rebuilding the neighborhood which in turn displaces poorer residents. Developers have been constructing duplexes, primarily for UNC student living off-campus.

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