The Jackson, Mississippi, community faces two interconnected challenges: the decline of the Farish Street Historic District and the impact of climate change exacerbating the underinvestment in the area. Once a thriving Black Wall Street, the district has suffered from a loss of businesses and infrastructure due to White Flight and decades of neglect. Additionally, a recent water crisis caused by flooding further highlighted the need for investment and resilience in the face of environmental challenges.

To address these issues, FUSE Executive Fellow Yolanda R. Owens will work with the Jackson Redevelopment Authority (JRA) and its partners to revitalize the Farish Street Historic District. Yolanda will analyze and synthesize existing strategic plans focused on the neighborhood, identifying common goals and addressing capability and resource gaps. By securing implementation grants and private investment, she will facilitate the completion of strategic projects and build the operational capacity of JRA and its partners. Furthermore, she will develop marketing and communications materials to inform residents and attract additional investors to the district, promoting its long-term economic and climate resilience.

Ultimately, Yolanda’s efforts will involve building relationships with stakeholders, conducting a literature review of sustainable investment facilitation, synthesizing existing plans, securing resources, building operational capacity, and crafting effective marketing and communications strategies. By the end of the year, Yolanda aims to have established relationships, identified gaps and opportunities, secured funding, enhanced operational capacity, and developed communication materials that engage the public and attract investment to the Farish Street Historic District and its surrounding neighborhoods.