THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2013, 9:00 a.m.

ON OCTOBER 1, 2013 - JANUARY 1, 2014

JACKSON, TN-  Please join the Citizens’ Commission on Unity, Mayor Jerry Gist, and the city of Jackson, to launch the 93-day Season of Unity. The Citizens’ Commission on Unity connects through diversity to create a spirit of education and non-violence.  The mission of the Season of Unity is to care, thank, and believe in the worth of all people and within each culture to raise awareness of non-violence. The 93-day period will begin on October 1, 2013 and continue through January 1, 2014.

The co-chairs for this year’s Season of Unity campaign are Ms. Helen Owens, retired public school and higher education teacher and administrator, and Ms. Wanda Stanfill, director of student services, West Tennessee Business College.

The idea for a Season of Unity and Non-Violence grew out of a series of meetings that were convened to look at the Jackson community and make suggestions for making it a better, more unified place for all of the diverse citizens to live. Mayor Jerry Gist voiced the importance of this Season of Unity, “Violence has many faces…emotional, physical, psychological, and mental…and reaches every realm of society within the city. It is my hope that drawing from the strength of each culture, we come to value our children, youth, elderly and families, choose the way of non-violence, and live united.”

Dr. Helen Owens states, “One of the Season’s purposes is to create an environment that aligns with the mission of unity within our community by helping to create a culture of non-violence and positive co-existence for 93 days.” The Citizens’ Commission on Unity will serve as the planning and oversight organization, with activities facilitated by community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, police and crime prevention programs, educational and healthcare streams and individuals. Planned programs and activities are guided by four core tenets: Compassion Driven, Others Centered, Respectfully Connected, and Everyone Valued. Wanda Stanfill relates, “The Season of Unity is launching in October, because October is the month for both cultural diversity and domestic violence awareness. We also realize that while holiday seasons are generally a time of joy, for many people, the holidays are a time of great loneliness and depression, there is an increase in domestic violence with an increase in silent suffering, and violent outbursts occur due to environmental stress. One of Jackson’s greatest strengths is the rich diversity in culture. Through diversity training, citizens become better educated, and a platform is crafted to learn together how to better create a place of non-violence.” Activities are intended to reach people who sometimes seem unreachable, to share the message that each person is of value, and recognize that activities will be unique to each community; yet, the common aim of non-violence is the same. The 93-day period will begin on October 1, 2013, and continue through January 1, 2014.  The Season of Unity will focus on Care in October, Thank in November, and Believe in December.” 

For information, please visit the City of Jackson website,
Contact Ms. Tammy Buchanan, the city of Jackson, Tennessee, Office of Mayor Jerry Gist, (731) 927-8786,