Professor, Communication Studies (Class III)
Della Pollock is a professor in the Department of Communication Studies. She currently serves as the interim director of the Southern Oral History Program in the Center for the Study of the American South at UNC and is the executive director of the Marian Cheek Jackson Center for Saving and Making History, which was the focus of her project for the Faculty Engaged Scholars program.
Located at the gateway to Chapel Hill’s formerly segregated Northside, the Jackson Center is dedicated to preserving, honoring and advancing the leadership exemplified in the oral histories of Northside community members. During Pollock’s time in the Faculty Engaged Scholars program, Jackson Center staff and student affiliates added more than 30 interviews to the Center’s digital collection, taking it to approximately 120. In addition, Pollock worked with the Sustaining OurSelves Coalition (SOS) to advance a historic moratorium on development in Northside, to shape the town’s new Northside Planning Framework and neighborhood ordinances, and to build a partnership between the University and the Self-Help Center for Community Development for design of community-driven strategies for neighborhood renewal. Pollock also helped the Jackson Center develop an award-winning youth radio program, FYR, which provided the model and leadership for WUNC’s summer youth radio institute in 2012. Through their collaborative efforts, the Jackson Center also organized and provided support staff for Heavenly Groceries, the only daily, grocery-style, perishable food distribution center in the region, now serving over 5,000 people from four counties per month. Pollock also assisted the Jackson Center in developing a popular community newspaper, hand-delivered to 800 residents and local businesses; and sponsored numerous occasions for community reflection and celebration, including the spring May Day Festival and the Civil Rights in Chapel Hill weekend.
“The Faculty Engaged Scholars program was like being hauled on board a freighter when I was at best treading in deep waters! I have come out of the program with resources, insights, a network of courageous and ingenious colleagues and, perhaps most important, a new way to identify my work and so to build its many aspects into a distinct profile. I’m on much firmer ground now, and in remarkably good company.”