Chapter History

 

In 1978, a group of six mothers from Lansing, East Lansing, and Okemos met to discuss the unique challenges that were confronting their African American children in terms of their residence and schooling in a predominantly white social milieu. The mothers were Sharon Cardwell, Harriette Gillum, Carrie B. Jackson, Sarah Vern King, Patricia Little and JaMille Webster. As a result of their discussion, the six mothers decided to reach out to other families residing in the Greater Lansing area who felt similarly, and they began to collectively provide their children with varied experiences related to their Black heritage. This newly created network of friends eventually included over twenty families. A wide variety of stimulating and enjoyable experiences were arranged and shared over the next several years. The mothers affectionately called themselves “Our Group.” In January 1980, the Mid-Western Regional Office of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated contacted “Our Group” to explore the mutual benefits of affiliation. The required application was submitted and accepted by Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated in 1981. The Greater Lansing Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., was voted for approval at the National Convention in Chicago in 1982 and chartered by the National Office on March 12, 1982. While mothers hold membership in the organization, fathers are also an integral part of chapter activities and projects. A family focus is reflected in monthly children’s activities and various chapter events.

The Greater Lansing Chapter has had an opportunity to play an active role in developing mother and youth leaders in the organization by hosting several regional events for Jack and Jill of America, Inc. The chapter was honored with the responsibility of hosting the 34th and 49th Mid-Western Regional Teen Conference in June 1988 and June 2003. The beautiful Michigan State University campus in East Lansing, Michigan was the site of both memorable conferences. We have also twice extended a warm welcome to the Mid-Western Region mothers and teens as hosts of the Michigan/Ohio Area Workday Cluster in 2009 and 2013. We were happy to co-host this Cluster with Greater Grand Rapids in 2013. On February 28, 2009, Greater Lansing Chapter hosted Jack and Jill children from across the state at the Hannah Community Center for the Michigan Children’s Cluster. It was a day of fun and engaging activities. We are fortunate to be hosting this event again on March 11, 2017 at Lansing Community College – West Campus.

The Greater Lansing Chapter has also hosted two major inaugural Jack and Jill events for the state of Michigan. In January 2010, we served as hosts of the first Michigan Founders Day celebration, and in September 2010 we hosted the inaugural Michigan On the Hill Legislative Day Summit. We are also the proud sponsors of the Metro Kalamazoo and Greater Grand Rapids chapters.

The Chapter celebrated its 30th anniversary with a special weekend in April 2012. This celebration included alumni Jacks and Jills and their families. During this celebration, the Chapter held a community service activity at the Lansing Boys & Girls Club and gave back to the community through a fundraising event. In 2017 we are looking forward to celebrating 35 years of developing servant leaders in Greater Lansing and giving back to the community through Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated!

 

 
Inceptors

Sharon Cardwell
Harriette Gillum
Carrie B. Jackson
Jamille Jackson
Sarah Vern King
Patricia Little*
*Departed

CHARTER MEMBERS

Roberta Cannon
Patricia Lowrie
Loretta Mitchell
Sametta Turrentine

 

 
Associates


Viola Burton-Mitchell, Associate Chair

 

 

Theresa Blanks
Sylvia Buie
Roberta Cannon
Beverly Carnahan
Doris Copedge
Glorietta Flakes
Harriette Gillum
Mary Graddick
Yolanda Harris
Brenda Henderson
Arlena Hines
Sharon Hobbs
Jamille Jackson
Wanda Jones
Patricia Lake

Wanda Lipscomb
Patricia Lowrie
Melanie Lynn
Loretta Mitchell
Lisa Munroe
Lynette Overby
Lori Powell
Mary Riley
Theda Rudd
Monica Stafford
Alicia Evans Suber
Vivian Tansil
Sametta Turrentine
Penny Wali
Diane Wilhite

 

 
 
 

In 1978, a group of six mothers from Lansing, East Lansing, and Okemos met to discuss the unique challenges that were confronting their African American children in terms of their residence and schooling in a predominantly white social milieu. The mothers were Sharon Cardwell, Harriette Gillum, Carrie B. Jackson, Sarah Vern King, Patricia Little and JaMille Webster. As a result of their discussion, the six mothers decided to reach out to other families residing in the Greater Lansing area who felt similarly, and they began to collectively provide their children with varied experiences related to their Black heritage. This newly created network of friends eventually included over twenty families. A wide variety of stimulating and enjoyable experiences were arranged and shared over the next several years. The mothers affectionately called themselves “Our Group.” In January 1980, the Mid-Western Regional Office of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated contacted “Our Group” to explore the mutual benefits of affiliation. The required application was submitted and accepted by Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated in 1981. The Greater Lansing Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., was voted for approval at the National Convention in Chicago in 1982 and chartered by the National Office on March 12, 1982. While mothers hold membership in the organization, fathers are also an integral part of chapter activities and projects. A family focus is reflected in monthly children’s activities and various chapter events.

The Greater Lansing Chapter has had an opportunity to play an active role in developing mother and youth leaders in the organization by hosting several regional events for Jack and Jill of America, Inc. The chapter was honored with the responsibility of hosting the 34th and 49th Mid-Western Regional Teen Conference in June 1988 and June 2003. The beautiful Michigan State University campus in East Lansing, Michigan was the site of both memorable conferences. We have also twice extended a warm welcome to the Mid-Western Region mothers and teens as hosts of the Michigan/Ohio Area Workday Cluster in 2009 and 2013. We were happy to co-host this Cluster with Greater Grand Rapids in 2013. On February 28, 2009, Greater Lansing Chapter hosted Jack and Jill children from across the state at the Hannah Community Center for the Michigan Children’s Cluster. It was a day of fun and engaging activities. We are fortunate to be hosting this event again on March 11, 2017 at Lansing Community College – West Campus.

The Greater Lansing Chapter has also hosted two major inaugural Jack and Jill events for the state of Michigan. In January 2010, we served as hosts of the first Michigan Founders Day celebration, and in September 2010 we hosted the inaugural Michigan On the Hill Legislative Day Summit. We are also the proud sponsors of the Metro Kalamazoo and Greater Grand Rapids chapters.

The Chapter celebrated its 30th anniversary with a special weekend in April 2012. This celebration included alumni Jacks and Jills and their families. During this celebration, the Chapter held a community service activity at the Lansing Boys & Girls Club and gave back to the community through a fundraising event. In 2017 we are looking forward to celebrating 35 years of developing servant leaders in Greater Lansing and giving back to the community through Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated!

 

 
Inceptors

Sharon Cardwell
Harriette Gillum
Carrie B. Jackson
Jamille Jackson
Sarah Vern King
Patricia Little*
*Departed

CHARTER MEMBERS

Roberta Cannon
Patricia Lowrie
Loretta Mitchell
Sametta Turrentine

 

 
Associates Chair


Viola Burton-Mitchell, Associate Chair

 

 

Theresa Blanks
Sylvia Buie
Roberta Cannon
Beverly Carnahan
Doris Copedge
Glorietta Flakes
Harriette Gillum
Mary Graddick
Yolanda Harris
Brenda Henderson
Arlena Hines
Sharon Hobbs
Jamille Jackson
Wanda Jones
Patricia Lake

Wanda Lipscomb
Patricia Lowrie
Melanie Lynn
Loretta Mitchell
Lisa Munroe
Lynette Overby
Lori Powell
Mary Riley
Theda Rudd
Monica Stafford
Alicia Evans Suber
Vivian Tansil
Sametta Turrentine
Penny Wali
Diane Wilhite