PROVIDENCE, R.I. – At tonight’s City Council meeting, a resolution to name one of
Rhode Island’s most revered athletic facilities in honor of the councilman who
championed its creation will be referred to committee for further consideration.
Councilwoman Mary Kay Harris and Council President Luis Aponte have sponsored a
resolution to name the Providence Career and Technical Academy (PCTA) athletic
center after Councilman Kevin Jackson, who has dedicated his career to improving the
lives of Providence youth through track and field.
The PCTA athletic center is a state-of-the art facility that draws track and field
teams to Providence each year from all over the United States. The facility boasts
numerous design awards, including the 2013 Green Ribbon Award from the U.S.
Department of Education. Jackson is a longtime supporter of recreational programs
and was instrumental in bringing an athletic facility of this caliber to Providence.
Through his work in coaching, education, and program development, Councilman
Jackson’s work has benefitted countless young people from Providence and beyond. In
1978, Jackson founded Providence Cobras, a non-profit, year round, co-ed track and
field organization that has developed talent for hundreds of Providence youth and
given them access to quality recreational opportunities and higher education. To
date, 100 percent of the program’s graduates have gone to college.
In addition to his role as councilman, Jackson has served in a number of leadership
positions that support education and athletic programming. He is widely known as one
of the most prolific coaches in Rhode Island and has received multiple “Coach of the
Year” awards. Jackson currently coaches the men’s track and field team for Rhode
The resolution was drafted at the request of Robert Palazzo, Classical High School’s
athletic director, who reached out to Councilwoman Harris about naming the athletic
center in Jackson’s honor. Inspired by Jackson’s contributions to all of
Providence’s communities, Harris hopes to rally support from the rest of the
council. “Councilman Jackson’s work is important and I appreciate that the Council
President is supporting this with me,” said Harris. “Councilman Jackson’s resume is
broad, and he’s never narrowed his focus to serve just one area. He’s has been a
strong soldier for our recreation centers in South Providence. For me and my
community, Councilman Jackson’s contributions have earned him a great deal of
respect and this honor is well-deserved.”