Charleston dedicates street in honor of former YWCA director, trailblazer

Christine O. Jackson, now 94, led the organization for 37 years, serving from 1966 through her retirement in 2003.
Published: May. 12, 2023 at 10:53 AM EDT|Updated: May. 12, 2023 at 12:10 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The city of Charleston renamed a portion of Coming Street Friday morning in honor of a woman who led the city’s YWCA for 37 years.

Christine O. Jackson served as executive director of the organization from 1966 to 2003. A portion of Coming Street near the former site of the YWCA, will be renamed Christine O. Jackson Way in her honor.

Jackson, now 94, led the organization through the era of forced segregation to establish the organization’s current all-inclusive mission of “empowering women and eliminating racism,” a release states.

In 1972, Jackson founded the annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, which is now considered the state’s largest tribute to King. Jackson was the first cousin of King’s widow, the late Corette Scott King.

The city of Charleston dedicated a portion of Coming Street at the former YWCA site as...
The city of Charleston dedicated a portion of Coming Street at the former YWCA site as Christine O. Jackson Way Friday morning. Jackson served as the organization's executive director from 1966 until her retirement in 2003.(Live 5)

“YWCA Greater Charleston’s board and staff consider it an honor and a duty to continue the legacy of Mrs. Jackson,” current YWCA Greater Charleston Executive Director LaVanda Brown said. “She laid the foundation that we continue to build upon.”

In addition to the street dedication, Dr. Kim Cliett Long, the executive director of the Lowcountry Rice Culture Project also presented presented Jackson with the President’s Volunteer Service Award, a White House citation from President Joseph Biden.