Jack and Jill Celebrates 50 Year Legacy of Parenting with Exhibit

Shown are charter members Lydia Wooden and Joyce Lawson in front of the exhibit’s unveiled portrait of the ir collegaues, the original charter members

Pictured: Charter members Lydia Wooden and Joyce Lawson in front of the unveiled portrait of the charter members

A vast majority of parents want their children to be successful and live well-rounded meaningful lives. The notion that “It takes a village to raise a child” is certainly not a new concept. In 1938, an organization was formed in Philadelphia to help be the village that African American children need to ensure a successful transition into adulthood.

That organization was Jack and Jill of America, Inc., which was founded by the late Marion Stubbs Thomas. Her purpose was simple yet profound. The goal was to provide a social and cultural outlet for children that gave them the exposure and foundation needed for success.

Jack and Jill of America Inc.’s Jacksonville Chapter culminated the yearlong celebration of its 50th Anniversary with the opening of its Exhibit at the Ritz Theatre and LaVilla Museum. The exhibit displays the chronology of and artifacts from the inception of the Jacksonville Chapter through the present.

The exhibit program featured some of the organization’s most prized members as presenters – the children. The chapter also honored its charter members with a portrait unveiling. Charter members, Lydia Wooden and Joyce Lawson, offered reflections on the Jacksonville Chapter’s founding.

Today, there are over 12,000 members of the organization with over 240 chapters throughout the United States. The Jacksonville Chapter has 50 dedicated families who focus on nurturing children and providing programming through leadership development, volunteer service, philanthropic giving, and civic duty.

The exhibit will remain open through January 26, 2019. The chapter invites members of the community to visit its exhibit and share in its 50 years of Excellence celebrating parenting, leadership and legacy.



Pictured: The Associate Members of the Jacksonville Chapter (seated) Shauna Allen, Wanda Willis, Minnie Smith , Jean Gilmore, Gloria Belton, Felecia Wimbish and Patricia Gillum Sams. Standing: Brenda Thomas, Susan Jones, Cassandra Barlow, Betty Cody, Carolyn Newton, Joyce Couch, Gayle Hardy, Tiphanie Mattis, Madeline Scales-Taylor, Deirdre Gregory, Cynthia Nixon, and Anest McCarthy.


Pictured: Members of the Jacksonville Chapter Shelita McGowan, Deidra Johnson, LaWanda Gray, Felicia Cruse (Chapter President), Charlene Daniels, LaTara Davis and Monique Brown standing Sharon Cooley, Aleizha Batson, Kia Kemp Angelette Walker, Staci Williams, Tonya Pearson, Tracee Holzendorf, Walette Stanford, Nicole Rodgers, LaFonda Middleton, Kimberly Wheatley, Marshana Bush, Latasha Garrison, Tanya Nunn, and Danese Tremble.

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