Special Announcement from Jackson Center Board Co-Chairs

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The Marian Cheek Jackson Center is very pleased to announce that George Barrett is unanimously endorsed by the Board of Directors to serve as its next Executive Director, effective July 20, 2020. This selection is the culmination of a transition process initiated by the Jackson Center’s Board of Directors more than one year ago, and which led us to reflect in a deliberate and meaningful way on the Center’s future. The open call for applications produced a competitive, national search from which George emerged as our preferred candidate based on his combination of vision, experience and abilities. We want to thank the members of the Search and Transition Committee for all of their tireless work that has ensured the Jackson Center’s continued success.

George has worked at the Jackson Center since his time as an undergraduate student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and served most recently as its Associate Director. His commitment to engage UNC student residents and implicate them in the life of the neighborhood has blossomed and born fruit. Over the past few years, he has provided pivotal support to the Northside Neighborhood Initiative and the land bank’s efforts to prevent displacement of long-term neighbors and support homeownership. We see George’s own experiences through the Jackson Center and in the neighborhood as embodying the notion of community justice, and this reassures us that he is our best choice to be the next Executive Director of the Marian Cheek Jackson Center.

George will succeed Interim Executive Director Hudson Vaughan, who begins seminary at Duke Divinity School next month. The Jackson Center is immensely grateful to Hudson for his steady, thoughtful leadership and careful vision over many years, and never more than during the COVID-19 pandemic when so many of our neighbors and friends have rallied together through crisis. With Hudson’s 10+ years of service to the community through the Jackson Center, as a co-founder and long serving Deputy to founding Executive Director, Della Pollock, he has been a rock of stability through times of turbulent change, and has consistently put the community’s interests front and center in the work of the Jackson Center. Hudson will continue to collaborate with us and advise us on the Northside Neighborhood Initiative, and he and his family remain Northside neighbors. We are immensely grateful for his service, and we wish Hudson much success in the next steps of his educational and professional journey.

All of us at the Marian Cheek Jackson Center, staff and Directors, remain profoundly committed to honoring, renewing and building communities in the historic Northside and Pine Knolls neighborhoods of Chapel Hill, NC. We are confident that, with George Barrett as our new Executive Director, the Jackson Center is well poised to extend and intensify our engagement with the community, working with one eye on our past and one eye towards the future.


Rev. Dr. Mark Royster & Dr. Seth Murray

Co-chairs, Board of Directors, Marian Cheek Jackson Center

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