Mr. Cosby, who came to Waterloo, Iowa in 1945 after serving in World War II brought joy and happiness to the lives of many people. Using his musical talents and square dance-calling skills, he made an immediate impact in both the White and African American communities. In addition to providing leisure and recreation activities in the African American community, Cosby also created some of the Cedar Valley's first racially integrated social venues, bringing the entire community together. His efforts to bridge the racial gap were recognized at the National White House Conference on Children and Youth in Washington, D.C. in 1950.
Cosby formed a community A Capella Choir that performed spiritual songs throughout Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota. The community choir is a tradition that endures to this day, as the Jesse Cosby Neighborhood Choir presents an annual community performance at the Center or a local church.
The Center, which was donated by the Archdiocese of Dubuque, was named in honor of Jesse Cosby and fulfills his wish to serve and strengthen the community. It serves as a liaison between the community and available resources to help those in need.
A gift to the Jesse Cosby Neighborhood Center Endowment Fund, a fund of the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa will help improve the lives of those we serve for generations to come. A gift to the endowment may be eligible for a 25% state tax credit, in addition to the normal federal deductions for charitable gifts. To make a donation or get information regarding volunteer or community service, please contact the Center at (319) 234-1793. All donations are tax-deductible (tax ID number available upon request). The Jesse Cosby Neighborhood Center thanks you for your time and support.