"A Conversation about Community" - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

"A Conversation about Community"

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Operation Shoestrings annual fundraiser "A Conversation About Community" was held at the Jackson Convention Center Thursday.  

The event is a yearly fundraiser for the community activist group, based in the heart of Jackson.

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba and former Governor Haley Barbour served as panelists, along with Reverend Keith Tonkel of Well Methodist Church.  

The discussion focused on education, job training and solving problems in communities, like blight and crime.

Operation Shoestring Executive Director Robert Langford says, "Were really looking at basic fundamental things in terms of opportunities to have a great education opportunity for good meaningful employment and jobs that in turn really affects all of us, not just the kids in the heart of Jackson but it's also good for all of us throughout the metro area."

Operation Shoestring has been working in Jackson for over 40 years. They provide youth programs, professional development and workshops for families designed to promote economic empowerment.

The panel discussion mostly focused on fighting blight, declining tax bases, and education.

"I don't live here I live in Yazoo city, but the health and vitality, attractiveness of Jackson is very important to everybody in the state. It's our capitol, a lot of people come to Mississippi and it's the only place they see so everybody in Mississippi has an interest in Jackson being a thriving city," said former Governor Hayley Barbour.

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba says the city is ramping up their efforts to rid neighborhoods of abandoned houses, that often attract crime.

"If you've noticed we've tried to step up the pace of getting rid of dilapidated homes, on Farish Street 32 different properties just got torn down, were going to be looking at that," says Lumumba.

Over 500 people attended Thursday's event.








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