Johnson Y Celebrates 75 years

Photo at the table: Cynthia Barlow with granddaughter Abrielle Dennis registering for the day’s activities
Jason Jones, Sheila Adams, Jarrett Green and Bobby Parks
Shown are Board Members Kevin Waters, Kim McKissick and Sam Newby.

As the mantra states it takes a village to raise a child, one cannot help but consider our community entities play in shaping those foundations. Founded in 1948, as the Davis Street Branch ‘Colored YMCA,’ The James Weldon Johnson Family YMCA recently celebrated 75 Years of Service on Jacksonville’s Northside. The center hosted the themed ‘Family Reunion’ to commemorate this milestone anniversary, James Weldon Johnson’s birthday and Juneteenth with the free community event. Hundreds of supporters, staff and center members partook in food, fun and fellowship for the entire family. The event featured live musical guests, a DJ, free hair cuts, wellness info, interactive and hands-on S.T.E.A.M activities, tours of the facility and access to the center’s staff for questions and concerns. Within the 75 years of the YMCA existence: the centers were desegregated in 1948; women were permitted to join as members in 1971 and their 2009 partnership with Tiger Academy northside school that is focused on  academic standards, character development, self-discipline, personal and social responsibility and family involvement. In addition, the center recently finalized a 3.5 million expansion that included a new swim pool, teen center, lobby, basketball court and fitness upgrades.

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