Southeastern Regional History

The Sweet, Sweet Southeastern Region

Established as one of the seven regions under the 1957 Regional Plan, the Southeastern Region has distinguished itself as one of the premier regions of the national organization. With a rich legacy of leadership, both as elected and appointed leaders and as developers of signature programs that address the needs of children and families, other regions have traditionally viewed the Southeastern Region as a model organization.


First Southeastern Region Chapter…
The Nashville (TN) Chapter was the first chapter chartered in the Southeastern Region in April 1947 and the twelfth (12th) chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated. Today, more than fifteen hundred (1,500) families are members of the forty-three (43) chapters that make up this region.

Nashville, TN Chapter hosted the first Southeastern Regional Teen Conference on the campus of Fisk University and served as host for the next three years. Just as it should be, the Nashville Chapter co-hosted, along with the Williamson County Chapter, the 58th Teen Leadership Conference in June 2014.

The mission of the Southeastern Region is to be the most effective organization in the Southeast advocating for the welfare of children. Resultantly, we have embraced innovative activities that leverage the talents of our mothers and benefit children and teens.

Children’s Clusters mark expanded programming for children…

During the 1991-1993 administration of Regional Director Sylvia W. McGee, the concept of Children’s Clusters began to take shape. Delegates at the 1993 Southeastern Mother’s Regional Conference hosted by the Williamson (TN) Chapter voted unanimously that a portion of the regional budget be allocated to fund programming specific to children between 2-12. With that mandate, the first Children’s Clusters in the nation unfolded in the Southeastern Region on Saturday, April 16, 1994, on the Green Forest Baptist Church campus in Decatur, GA. Umoja, the first principle of Kwanzaa, was the first Children’s Cluster theme. Children’s Clusters are now being held annually by chapters across the country.

Family Leadership Conference takes center stage…

Some nearly fifty years after the introduction of the Mothers’ Regional Conferences, the mothers of the Southeastern Region seized the opportunity to continue the trademark of focused and strategic leadership and best practices by introducing the Inaugural Family Leadership Conference.

Under the leadership of Regional Director Marjorie Belton, the members of the Southeastern Region hosted its Inaugural Family Leadership Conference in Atlanta, GA, June 28-July 3, 2005. Over these five days, the traditionally separate Mother’s Regional Conference, the Regional Teen Leadership Conference, and the Children’s Clusters were coordinated to unfold at a single site.

Building on the past… Four members of the Southeastern Region have served as National Presidents of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated:


  • Dr. Mirian C. Shropshire 9th National President 1970-1974
  • Dr. Eva C. Wanton 13th National President 1986-1990
  • Mrs. Shirley Barber James 15th National President 1994-1996
  • Mrs. Tamara Turnley Robinson 23rd National President 2012-2014
  • Mrs. Joli Cooper-Nelson 25th National President 2016-2018

The Southeastern Region is pleased to have contributed many innovative programs and initiatives still adding value in the region and across the nation. Each of these programs reflects the commitment of the Southeastern mothers and leaders to the aims and objects of the national organization. Included among these are the following signature projects
and programs:

  • Regional Officers Directory-Regional Advisory Board
  • Loose Change Program for the Jack and Jill of America Foundation
  • Children’s Clusters
  • Annual President’s Retreat
  • Children’s Pen Pal Program
  • Teen Senior Recognition and Medallion Ceremony
  • Annual Regional Trips including the groundbreaking trip to President Barack Obama’s 2009 Inauguration
  • Teen Stock Market Online Game
  • Regional Online Book Club
  • Annual Treasurer’s, Program Director’s and Vice-President’s Retreat
  • Annual Programming Roundtable and Idea Swap at Mother’s Workday

The Southeastern Region launched in 1959 under its first Regional Director, Alpha Robertson (Birmingham, AL Chapter). The theme, “Forward-Through Organization, Friendship, and Service,” continues in 2015 under Regional Director Gail Ash Dotson (South Miami, FL Chapter). The 2013-15 theme, ”A Legacy of Service, Excellence & Leadership for our Children 2017 under the leadership of Regional Director Kornisha Brown (Columbus, GA Chapter). The 2017-19 theme, “Igniting, Inspiring, and Impacting Change for All Children,” ensures that Jack and Jill remain relevant as one of the most influential organizations in the Southeast advocating for the welfare of children.

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