From Illinois Business Journal news services
EDWARDSVILLE – Hundreds of guests were on hand Thursday night for a VIP reception to help launch the new Mannie Jackson Center for the Humanities.
Hundreds more are expected during a public open house on Monday, Dec. 7.
The building, located at 1210 N. Main St. in Edwardsville, Illinois, will be open Monday from 1 to 6 p.m. for tours. Light refreshments will be served as visitors make their way through the halls that were once part of the Historic Lincoln School.
Mannie Jackson, a longtime Edwardsville benefactor and the owner of the Harlem Globetrotters, was not present for Thursday’s event because he is recovering from recent shoulder surgery.
However, in a statement, the Lincoln School alumnus talked about his plans for the center.
“I have faced many societal challenges during my life,” he said. “The formation of this center will result in programs that give people a better understanding of societal differences and how we should embrace those differences. Without that understanding, people throughout the world will continue to have conflicts with other cultures.”
Ongoing, the center aims to work toward these goals and influence positive social change in the community and beyond through major speakers, community and youth programming, and other educational activities, including those related to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
“The Mannie Jackson Center for the Humanities will serve as a ground for discussions and dialogue about respect, dignity, understanding and forgiveness, with a goal of improving and changing relationships,” said MJCHF Executive Director Ed Hightower. “Young people will be provided with a range of opportunities to engage in activities that promote tolerance, respect, dignity and a sense of self-worth.”
Lewis and Clark Community College President Dale Chapman encourages the public to attend Monday’s open house.
“Take an early look inside the center, which will promote a better understanding and appreciation for differences in our increasingly pluralistic world, and help inform our way forward to solutions and progress,” Chapman said.
The center has large banquet facilities that can be leased by the public. The first of those took place Wednesday night, a fund-raiser for Circuit Judge William Mudge. Workers put in long days leading up to this week’s opening to complete the transition.
The Mannie Jackson Center for the Humanities is a division of Lewis and Clark Community College and is supported by the Mannie Jackson Center for the Humanities Foundation (MJCHF), a 501(c)(3) organization.
For more information, visit www.mjchf.org. To reach the MJCHF, call (618) 655-2881.