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The City of Jackson, TN has been selected as one of eight U.S. cities that will receive a $100,000 grant to participate in Love Your Block (LYB), a grant program that brings city leaders and residents together to build stronger neighborhoods, one block at a time. Through the program, the City of Jackson, TN will award mini-grants to residents and community partners to reduce blight and spur neighborhood-driven change.

The Love Your Block Fellow is a two-year commitment. The Fellow will work collaboratively with the AmeriCorps VISTA member. The Fellow is expected to provide guidance and support to the AmeriCorps VISTA member in addition to receiving guidance from the Love Your Block Program Supervisor. Working closely with the Love Your Block team, the Fellow is responsible for coordinating a robust community engagement strategy and facilitating ongoing programmatic activities.

Abby Palmer (AmeriCorpVISTA), Jameson Colbert (Fellow)

Contact Us:

Love Your Block - Jackson, TN
121 E. Main St., Suite 301
Jackson, TN 38301

Phone: 731-425-8329
Email: [email protected]

LYB will provide competitive mini-grants to community groups to purchase the supplies needed to implement local, volunteer-led projects. As part of a mayoral priority, Jackson’s LYB will help to prevent and eliminate property blight and revitalize portions of East Jackson. Please take time to complete our community survey below so that we may have a better understanding of the community's needs.

Project Winners

Small Home Repair Grant: Eligibility requirements include three or more homeowners residing in East Jackson within visible distance of each other per application, project proposals that do not exceed $1,500 per home, and the ability to recruit neighbors and other residents of East Jackson to participate in project.

  • Project Name: Cartmell St.
    Homeowners and Project Leads: Celestine Miller, Helen Borner, Ermogene Bond
    Project: Painting, walkway/driveway repair and installation, porch repair, pressure washing, landscaping
  • Project Name: Lincoln St.
    Homeowners and Project Leads: Marilyn Rucker, Gwendolyn Majors, Marcella Thomas
    Project: Porch repair, door replacement, concrete repair, pressure washing
  • Project Name: Gates St.
    Homeowners and Project Leads: Glenda Bonds, Cynthia Jones, Jonah Affordable Housing
    Project: Door replacement, porch repair, painting, landscaping, pressure washing

Mini-Grant Project Winners: Eligibility requirements include project proposal for location within East Jackson that will be open to the public, project proposal budget that does not exceed $1,500, and the ability to recruit neighbors and other residents of East Jackson to approve and participate in project.

  • Project Name: Jackson's Black Trailblazers: Past, Present, and Future
    Project Leads: Trunetta Atwater, Stephanie Graham
    Project: Banner photographs/art for light poles in the parking lot of the Train Depot, home of Soul Collective, that represent black trailblazers in Jackson over time.
  • Project Name: Booker St. Community Garden
    Project Leads: Marilyn Rucker, Gwendolyn Majors, Terrica Cole
    Project: Community garden to be used by the neighborhood and to supply healthy, fresh food to the surrounding community.
  • Project Name: Sarah's House
    Project Leads: Wendellyn Trice Martin, Jennifer Bron, Joe Martin
    Project: Historical museum dedicated to pictorial Black History in Jackson.
  • Project Name: Majors Enterprises, LLC
    Project Leads: Gwendolyn Majors, William Scarborough, Marilyn Rucker
    Project: Solar panel installation project to provide a free energy source to the community for charging phones, hooking up small equipment, and more in a communal meeting space.


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About Cities of Service

Cities of Service helps mayors build stronger cities by changing the way local government and residents work together. We help our coalition cities tap into resident insights, skills, and service to identify and solve critical public problems. Founded in 2009 by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Cities of Service supports a coalition of more than 280 cities, representing more than 84 million people across the Americas and Europe. Now situated at Johns Hopkins University, you can learn more about Cities of Service at citiesofservice.jhu.edu and by following us on Twitter @citiesofservice.

Since its founding, Cities of Service has helped cities implement change through the use of its Impact Volunteering strategy. This signature strategy engages resident volunteers to identify and solve pressing public problems alongside municipal government. It is a participatory process in which residents and city officials develop a shared vision, set short- and long-term goals for their community, and then work together to achieve those goals. As partners, they communicate throughout the process and reflect on their work – discussing and evaluating what they have done and holding themselves accountable for results.

About Love Your Block

The Cities of Service Love Your Block program brings city leaders and residents together to build stronger neighborhoods, one block at a time. Typically, cities implementing Love Your Block invite community groups to identify priority projects and award mini-grants to support neighborhood-driven solutions that the community can implement. From turning vacant lots into community gardens to helping elderly neighbors with home repairs to avoid fines and safely age in place, resident volunteers are “loving their blocks'' and making them, and their cities, better places to live.

The benefits of Love Your Block go well beyond physical improvements. A 2021 Urban Institute study found that social networks sparked by deep resident-to-city-hall engagement can instigate neighborhood-level improvements in addition to larger, sustainable improvements to municipal practices and policies. Love Your Block activates and builds social networks between residents, their neighbors, and city hall. This resident-to-city hall engagement can lead to collective efficacy that is often bidirectional: city officials can leverage neighborhood social capital in service of mayoral goals and residents can leverage greater responsiveness from officials to address their needs and priorities. In other words, Love Your Block is a starting point for cities to more meaningfully engage their residents and improve communities in holistic and sustainable ways.

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