by Amber Helsel
On Robinson Street in west Jackson, an Ethiopian flag and a U.S. flag on a yellow house waft in a breeze. Inside, the house is filled with artifacts from different countries, including an ornately painted fan from Japan and a brown vase with a raised design of a church from Croatia.
The house is colloquially known as the "International House," and though its original purpose was to house international Jackson State University students, it's now home of the nonprofit organization the Center for Social Entrepreneurship.
Executive Director Shante Crockett says that when the students would come back from a break, they would bring items back to the house. Systems Consulting Associates founded the organization in 2007. In April 2016, it moved into the International House. When CSE moved there, organization staff asked JSU Gallery1 director Shon McCarthy help them identify and put the items together.
"When we moved in, stuff was everywhere," Crockett says.
CSE is a nonprofit that tries to improve the lives of the people in the surrounding 13 blocks (their target area), she says. "We use this area as a proof of concept, meaning this is our baby, our little sample area," she says.
The area's boundaries are Central, Rose, Grand and Prentiss streets. CSE focuses on education, community engagement, economic development and housing improvements.
For more information, visit cse-ms.org or find the organization on Facebook.
Boom Jackson in the business + lifestyle publication for Jackson, Mississippi and surrounding counties.