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Former communications director embarks on a new journey

By Joshua Burley
On January 30, 2020

Jovan Hackley

Former Communications Director and Associate Vice-President of Strategic Initiatives and Marketing for Grambling State University Jovan Hackley vacated his position last semester to accept a communications director position for Community Progress in Washington, D.C.

Hackley held the position of Communications Director at GSU for two years. 

Hackley said that he recieved news about his new position last summer and immediately began transitioning into his new position through the fall semester. 

“It’s a pretty large charge to do the work that I have been doing,” said Hackley. 

“We have got the longest standing community developing organization in the country.”

According to the Center for Community Progress’ website,   their mission is “to foster strong, equitable communities where vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties are transformed into assets for neighbors and neighborhoods. 

“It is similar to what HBCUs face,” Hackley said.

“The world does not know about what we are doing and how we are helping American communities.”

Hackley said that the Community Progress focuses on helping folks that have been historically disinvested in, especially a community of color.

Founded in 2010, the Center for Community Progress currently stands as the only national nonprofit organization committed to help a restore a future for communities in need of a strong support. 

“We are partnering with other programs such as the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act,” said Hackley. 

“It is going to help close the gap as far as what it takes to update a home in a community. We are continuing to develop new strategies to ensure that African-American communities as well as people of color with disadvantages have a leg up in building their wealth and overcoming some of the stereotypes that have reflected on community help.” 

Although Hackley said that he is excited to work in this new program, he recalls the moments that he has had to work with the students at Grambling State University. 

“There is always a lot of good that needs to be done,” said Hackley. 

““It was really challenging trying to make sure that we have enough coverage going into big moments such as Bayou Classic and graduation.”

Hackley said that his goal at Grambling State University was always to capture positive stories in hopes for people to see the university outside of band and football. 

“There is a lot of Grambling innovation such as our NASA engagement and our degree programs,” said Hackley. 

“It was definitely a team wide effort to make sure that our students remain supported on one side and that there was some good documentation in place to continue some of the stories that wehelped build with the last two and a half years,” said Hackley. 

“With an HBCU environment there is more good to come.”

Hackley said that working the students at Grambling State University was one of the best experiences of his career. 

Hackley said that the students are one thing that he will miss the most about owrking on campus.

Next to having a sit down conversation with Magic Johnson and meeting Beyonce, Hackley said his favorite moment was calling names on graduation day.

“I remember what the moment was like for me,” said Hackley. 

“To see so many of them celebrate and reach the finish line that was the largest, biggest honor that I think I ever had in life thus far.”

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