New Hope Baptist Church (5202 Watkins Drive) will host its eighth annual "Back in the Day" Black History Month celebration every Thursday during February.
The celebration begins with "New Hope Legacy Night" on Feb. 7. The featured speaker of the evening will be newly elected Hinds County Chancery Court Judge Crystal Wise Martin. Martin succeeded her mother, Judge Patricia Wise, who retired in January 2019 after 30 years on the bench. New Hope will also honor other local, county and state judges, along with church member Mike Espy, who ran against Cindy Hyde-Smith in the 2018 senate race.
On Feb. 14, New Hope will host "Tribute to Mississippi Living Legends," which will pay tribute to still-living trailblazers from the Civil Rights Movement. Guests will include Dolores Williams and Frankye Johnson, who were part of the original Freedom Riders; Isaac Byrd, who has served as a civil-rights lawyer for more than 40 years; and John Perkins, who founded Voice of Calvary Ministries in Jackson. Youth members of the church will introduce each guest, and violinist John Eze Uzodinma II will play a special tribute for them.
"Youth Heritage Night: Committed to Moving Forward" will take place on Feb. 21. During the event, New Hope will honor former Jackson Public Schools interim Superintendent Fredderick Murray and former JSU president John Peoples, along with more than 100 current and retired educators who are members of the church. Marquise Hunt, president of the Mississippi State Conference Youth and College Division of the NAACP, will be the guest speaker for the evening.
The grand finale of the Black History Month celebration will take place on Feb. 28. Darius Prier, associate dean of education at Duguesne University in Pittsburgh, Pa., will speak about the importance of education in combating crime, and the problems young people face and what adults can do to help them. Jackson native gospel singer Lannie Spann-Mcbride will be the guest vocalist for the event.
"Our goal in hosting these events is to educate and inspire the people of Jackson while we tell the stories of the struggles and victories of our culture," Flonzie Brown-Wright, project director for New Hope's Black History Committee, told the Jackson Free Press. "By teaching and sharing that history, we hope to inspire everyone to be their best self."
The event will also feature choir performances and presentations from students in New Hope Christian School in Jackson.
All four events are free and open to the public. At 5:45 p.m. on the night of each event, New Hope will screen portions of civil rights films and speeches.
Mississippi Arboretum Trail
The Canadian Railroad recently donated $25,000 to Jackson and five other cities in Mississippi to support the Mississippi Arboretum Trail, an initiative to establish community parks and green spaces throughout the state.
The Mississippi Urban Forest Council, a statewide nonprofit, is working together with national nonprofit America in Bloom to create the trail. The other five cities involved in the project are Byram, McComb, Canton, Yazoo City and Terry.
MUFC will focus its Jackson efforts on converting previously abandoned properties into parks, Donna Yowell, the council's executive director, told the Jackson Free Press. The Jackson arboretum will include a fruit tree orchard, flowers and pollinator plants, and shrubs. MUFC began small planting efforts on Monday, Jan. 21.
"Green spaces and trees are important for quality of life," Yowell says. "Having them nearby helps raise property values, and there tends to be less vandalism around green spaces. They can also attract businesses and overall make a community a better place to live."
MUFC will host a press event in Jackson officially announcing the Mississippi Arboretum Trail at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12, at Bottoms Garden (4301 Officer Thomas Catchings Sr. Drive). The event is open to the public.
For more information on the Mississippi Urban Forest Council, visit msurbanforest.com. For information on volunteering for the Mississippi Arboretum Trail project, visit the MUFC Facebook page.
New Hours, Menu at ISH Grill & Bar
ISH Grill & Bar (5105 Interstate 55 N.) recently announced a number of updates to the restaurant, including new hours, new dishes and a new cocktail menu.
ISH is now open Wednesday and Thursday from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. ISH will also have happy hour from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday.
The new menu at ISH includes items such as wings in flavors such as honey bourbon and lemon garlic Parmesan, tomato-and-herb or Cajun pasta, pan-seared salmon, fried green tomatoes, pound cake and more. The new cocktail menu includes pomegranate martinis, Patron margaritas and more.
ISH is currently hiring servers, cooks and hostesses. For more information, call 601-691-1690. For more information about the restaurant and menus, call 769-257-5204 or visit the ISH Facebook page.
Corelle Brands Moving Factory to Mississippi
Corelle Brands, a kitchenware maker based in Rosemont, Ill., recently announced that it will move one of its factories and a distribution center from California to a 786,000-square-foot complex near Interstate 269 in Byhalia, Miss. The company will also invest $28 million into Mississippi as part of the move.
The Associated Press reported that the company plans to hire 400 people for the new facilities by June 2020. AP also reported that The Mississippi Development Authority gave Corelle $3.25 million to relocate and install equipment, and $300,000 for worker training. Marshall County gave the company a $600,000 grant and property tax abatements.
Corelle's brands include Pyrex, Corningware and Chicago Cutlery. For more information, visit corellebrands.com.