History of the Center for University-Based Development
Jackson State University (JSU) started the e-City Initiative in 2002 as “a collaborative community development partnership of JSU, the City of Jackson, Jackson Public Schools, West Jackson Community Development Corporation, faith-based organizations, community-based organizations and public and private partners including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Fannie Mae Foundation, Allstate Foundation, the Mississippi Technology Alliance and many others.”
The initiative focused on a 5.4 square mile area around the JSU Main Campus. E-City was to be a holistic approach to community revitalization and economic development by using technology-enhanced learning, targeting technology-based jobs and businesses as well as equipping homeowners with technology equipped homes.
The following are the five major components that articulated the holistic vision:
Education: JSU has focused expertise on local K-12 and lab schools, raising the level of educational excellence in the community.
Enterprise: Promoting entrepreneurship and economic development in the community.
Environment: Focus on zoning, land use, and clean-ups around industrial Brownfield sites.
Employment: “Each one, teach one” is central to the employment strategy. For example, professors work with young people to refurbish computers in a computer recycling program.
Exercise: Health and Wellness: Given the great health disparities among people of color, such as increased incidences of high blood pressure and diabetes, JSU has made exercise, health and wellness cornerstones of the e-City initiative.