Edwardsville Native and Influential African American Leader Mannie Jackson to Present Memoir at Book Signing Event April 24 Jackson Will Also Announce the Formation of the Mannie Jackson Endowment and Center for the Humanities
EDWARDSVILLE – Former Edwardsville resident Mannie Jackson will return to his hometown this month to discuss his memoir, “Boxcar to Board Rooms,” and announce the creation of the Mannie Jackson Endowment and Center for the Humanities.
Jackson, a former Edwardsville High School basketball standout, all-Big Ten basketball superstar at the University of Illinois and former owner of the Harlem Globetrotters, will speak about his life and promote his memoir, “ Boxcar to Board Rooms,” at 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 24, at the N.O. Nelson campus of Lewis and Clark Community College. The program will take place under a large tent in the courtyard area of the campus, and the public is invited to attend.
“Boxcar to Board Rooms” focuses on how Jackson was born in a railroad boxcar in Illmo, Mo. before moving to Edwardsville and finding success on the basketball court. He was recruited to play college basketball at the University of Illinois, where he became one of the school’s first
African-American student-athletes. He then went on to a playing career for the Harlem Globetrotters before rising through the ranks at Honeywell to become one of the senior corporate officers and one of the most influential African-American corporate executives in the country. Jackson later bought the Harlem Globetrotters and became the nation's first African-American
owner of a global sports and entertainment brand.
During the book signing event, Jackson will also be announcing the formation of the Mannie Jackson Endowment and Center for the Humanities. The endowment will help to match a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Challenge Grant awarded to Lewis and Clark Community College and will support lectures, readings, dialogues, public service opportunities and humanities programs for the community. These programs will bring together diverse modes of intellectual exploration and examples of transformational leadership. Jackson serves as the first model of transformational leadership, demonstrating how a place and era can provide experiences that
transform lives. Initially, the center will not be a physical location, but a locus of activities with the power to bring together diverse audiences and humanities programming. The second phase of the project will focus on the renovation of the Edwardsville Lincoln School as the physical Center
for the Humanities.
Jackson’s hope for his namesake endowment and Center for the Humanities is that people will remember the challenges of the past and learn how transformational leaders take those challenges and turn them into aspirations and goal achievement. He envisions an international center that ignites students’ imaginations, nurtures community service and sustains the humanities, and is looking forward to increasing cultural opportunities in the region.
“I have faced many societal challenges during my life. The formation of the endowment and 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,” Jackson said.
Lewis and Clark President Dale Chapman said Jackson’s decision to establish the center will have a major impact on the region and across the country.
“Mannie’s vision in establishing the center will be recognized throughout the United States. One goal of the partnership is national dissemination of the humanities project in terms of lessons learned, cultural and educational programs, and transformational leadership. This project will
serve as a model of collaborative institutional advancement for other community colleges with interests in strategies for building capacity in the humanities,” Chapman said.
Edwardsville School District Superintendent Ed Hightower said the plan emerged when he and Chapman met with Jackson after Jackson purchased the historic Lincoln School in Edwardsville.
“Jackson attended the segregated Lincoln School as a child,” Hightower said. “School segregation ended in Edwardsville just before Jackson went to high school, and he and six others comprised the second group of African-American students to enroll in Edwardsville High School. His commitment to the humanities correlates perfectly with his involvement in Lincoln School.”
Lewis and Clark Dean Jill Lane explained that while the NEH grant presents a unique opportunity for the region, Jackson’s support is a key factor in fulfilling the mission of the grant.
“The NEH grant is $250,000 and comes with a required $500,000 match,” Lane said. “The creation of the Mannie Jackson Endowment and Center for the Humanities will assist Lewis and Clark in reaching the required match.”
Lane also added that the initial themes that will direct center programming will emanate from Jackson’s own experiences growing up in Edwardsville.
“The overarching theme of intellectual exploration will be centered around the concept of sense of place, and how a sense of place can transform people,” said Linda Chapman, vice president for Academic Affairs at Lewis and Clark. “Jackson serves as a model of transformational leadership. His childhood place and era had a transformative impact on his aspirations and life achievements. The center will bring together the humanities on the Lewis and Clark and Edwardsville High School campuses and in public venues by annually presenting humanities programming.”
Jackson has served on multiple boards of Fortune 500 companies. He is currently president of Boxcar Holdings LLC, former chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, chairman of the board and former owner of the Harlem Globetrotters, and a successful philanthropist. His book is available at Amazon.com and at www.boxcarholding.com. There will be a limited number of books available to buy at the book signing.
For more information on this event, call the Lewis and Clark Public Relations Department at (618) 468-3200.
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