A department of the Jersey City Free Public Library, the Community Awareness Series (CAS) presents music concerts, especially jazz and gospel, to the public; hosts in-person forums on current events; and offers music lessons for children, young adults and adults. Initiated in 1977 at the Miller Branch Library, in cooperation with the Spirit of Life Ensemble, CAS presents two cable Public Access programs, aired weekly: Urban Forum and Cultural Odyssey.
CAS presents monthly programs at the Miller Branch, with some programs presented directly within the Jersey City public schools system, providing cultural performances and workshops to students. The department attempts to document many of its programs on video, providing a source for Jersey City public access cable television programming, designating the Jersey City Free Public Library as programmer/producer.
For over its 35 years, the wide scope of the Community Awareness Series has changed. Though many of the programs included in its “Accomplishments & Contributions” listing are not presented anymore, CAS continues to present jazz and gospel performances, two mainstays of African-American culture, and to provide cultural programs to students.