The West Jackson Community Development Corporation (West Jackson CDC) is a non-profit organization which serves an entity for community-based leadership to revitalize and redevelop the area surrounding the campus of Jackson State University. This effort was initiated by Jackson State University in 1984. At that time, a task force comprised of community residents, as well as business and civic leaders, was formed to assess the deteriorating conditions and future of the community surrounding the University.

Efforts of the task force resulted in the city of Jackson declaring the area an Urban Renewal Area. The University and the Jackson Redevelopment Authority, subsequently, conducted a study which was used as a basis for developing a conceptual model for redevelopment of the area. The city of Jackson adopted the model as part of its official, long-range plans.

In June 1990, Jackson State University submitted a planning grant proposal to Seedco, an intermediary for the Ford and Charles Stewart Mott Foundations. Funding of the grant resulted in the formation of the West Jackson CDC, which is charged with the mission of unifying the community on major issues, developing and coordinating strategies and to generate solutions to bridge the gap between the public sector and the community; thus, maximizing the effectiveness of various development programs.

The WJCDC represents an inner city, urban university community in the city of Jackson. The community has experienced significant systemic decline in the past 25 years. The West Jackson CDC is in partnership with community residents and businesses, the greater business community, Jackson State University, Jackson Public Schools, churches, the city of Jackson, Hinds County and the of Mississippi.

The West Jackson CDC’s ten year strategic plan addresses the following issues affecting the west Jackson community: (1) housing, development (2) economic development, (3) youth Development and (4) community/organizational development.

Today, the West Jackson CDC is governed by a 13 person Board of Directors, comprised of community residents and business owners, city of Jackson representatives and other civic and business leaders. Daily operations are the responsibility of Mrs. Linda H. Carter who serves as Executive Director. Under Mrs. Carter’s direction and leadership, the West Jackson CDC has grown from a three person operation to providing programs and services managed by a thirteen full-time staff, two contractual persons and several part-time staff and volunteers.