Featured Stories

Susie Weaver record

WUNC: Susie Weaver Sang of “Freedom in Chapel Hill”

This WUNC interview is a real treasure. Reporter Leoneda Inge talks to sisters Wanda Weaver and Kathy Atwater about Northside legend Susie Weaver whose song, “Freedom in Chapel Hill” was a local hit and a tribute to those who were part of the local civil rights struggle.

Marian Cheek Jackson Center on CSPAN

CSPAN: Chapel Hill’s Civil Rights History

CSPAN featured the Marian Cheek Jackson Center on its Cities Tour: Chapel Hill. Jackson Center staff discuss local civil rights history, including the Chapel Hill Nine sit-in on February 28, 1960, and the importance of preserving the history of the Northside, Pine Knolls, and Tin Top communities.

Ms. Marian Cheek Jackson

DTH: Marian Cheek Jackson Remembered for a Life of Friendship

The Daily Tar Heel honors the life and legacy of Ms. Marian Cheek Jackson, the namesake of the Jackson Center. The article features stories from Ms. Jackson’s life, accomplishments, and lived spirit of community.

News Archives

Northside Development

The Northside neighborhood has organized to encourage responsible development that meets the needs of the community. Northside has also mobilized in response to gentrification, investor encroachment, and planned developments, such as multi-story student housing, in and near the historic Northside neighborhood.


Northside District

Northside community members are integral to debates about development regulations in the Northside Conservation District. Northside was established as a Neighborhood Conservation District in 2004.


Affordable Housing

For the last fifteen years or more, Northside neighbors, many of whom have lived here for decades, have faced rapidly increasing property taxes, making it increasingly difficult for long-term neighbors to stay rooted in our community. Through a process of community-first organizing, we engage a robust set of communication and organizing tools that brings neighbors and other stakeholders into active and realistic planning discussions focused on change that enhances community and regional goals


Marian Cheek Jackson

Ms. Marian Cheek Jackson, namesake of the Jackson Center, was a long-term Northside resident who succeeded her father, Mr. Kennan Cheek Jackson, as the historian at St. Joseph C.M.E. since the early 1950s. Mrs. Jackson lived for 100 years in her family home, built by her grandfather, a former slave from Warren County who came to Chapel Hill at the turn of the century to work for UNC-CH. Interviews with Mrs. Jackson led us to establish a Center where community members could continue to build a history of which we can all be proud.


Northside Neighborhood Initiative

The Jackson Center’s Northside Neighborhood Initiative is a broad-based partnership effort to control the dirt in Northside, have neighbors determine the future of properties, and preserve the future of this diverse, family-friendly neighborhood while working to bend the market toward justice.


Student Relations

The rapid “studentification” of the historically Black Northside, Pine Knolls, and Tin Top neighborhoods in the early 2000s saw an influx of student residents who were unaware of the history and values of the Northside neighborhood. Thus began a collaboration between the Jackson Center, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, local municipalities, and other community partners to transform students’ relationships with the neighborhoods. Today, students experience the rich history, values, and traditions of the Northside, Pine Knolls, and Tin Top neighborhoods by engaging as partners in service and advocacy for the community.


Remembering & Preserving Northside History


Summer Fellows


About the Jackson Center


Celebrations & Events

We see cause for celebration everywhere — in the wisdom of our elders, in the abundance of Northside community, in our century of struggle to claim, protect, and enjoy local rights, in the generosity of neighbors, and the stalwart dedication of local leaders.


Historical Markers: Chapel Hill Nine, Freedom Fighters, Navy B-1 Band

The Jackson Center has facilitated the creation of historical markers to remember and celebrate Black history-makers in Chapel Hill. In 2017, a historical marker in Chapel Hill was unveiled on Memorial Day weekend 2017 to remember the African American men who officially integrated the U.S. Navy during World War II. Also in 2017, the Northside Gateway historical markers were unveiled, which honor Freedom Fighters in Chapel Hill. And in 2020, another historical marker was dedicated to the Chapel Hill Nine, who staged a sit-in in Chapel Hill in 1960.


Northside Festival

The Jackson Center’s Northside Festival is a celebration of past, present, and future with over 400 of our closest neighbors creating community on the front lawn of St. Joseph’s CME. The Northside Festival dates back to the May Day celebrations of Orange County Training School, the historically black segregated school of Chapel Hill during Jim Crow.


A Brush With Kindness Event

Habitat for Humanity of Orange County partnered with the Northside neighborhood to do exterior beautification on four homes as a part of National A Brush With Kindness Week.


Good Neighbor Initiative (Community Cookout & Walk Around)

The Good Neighbor Initiative, a town-wide initiative sponsored by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and Community Involvement at UNC-Chapel Hill, includes a door-to-door walk around to over 1,000 homes in various neighborhoods of Chapel Hill and Carrboro involving over 80 volunteers to welcome new students to the neighborhoods and share resources/tips on how to be a good neighbor in our community. The walk around is followed by the Cookout at Hargraves Community Center in the heart of the Northside neighborhood.


Lincoln High School Reunion

Chapel Hill’s Lincoln High School, since Reconstruction and the establishment of the first Freedmen’s School on the western edge of Chapel Hill (where Crook’s Corner is now) in the mid-1800s, the Black community has invested in the education of its youth. Parents, teachers, and church members locked arms to support, monitor, and mentor each child.  Learn more from oral histories about how the community fought for and created Lincoln High School.