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New Faculty Interview Series: Jeremiah Jackson

New Faculty Interview Series: Jeremiah Jackson

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Photography by Lena M. (’15)

 

Jeremiah Jackson

Director of Diversity Inclusion

 

What is a Diversity Director?

The Director of Diversity and Inclusion … is someone who leads the way in helping us achieve our goals around issues of diversity and inclusion… Diversity is making sure that our community is reflective of the broader community as well as the fact that our faculty and staff reflect our student body. The reason for that is because we know through science, data, literature and experience that a diversified learning environment is a superior work environment … because you need different perspectives, points of views, and ways of solving problems to really challenge what’s happening in the classroom and the assumptions that we make.

Inclusion is ensuring that each member of our community is accepted for whom that person is to empower and inspire them to their highest potential. This fundamental need for love and belonging is a fundamental need for physical, psychological and spiritual health as described by Abraham Maslow. The asset of inclusion (belonging) is especially critical in the healthy development of adolescent adults based on the specific developmental needs of young persons.

 

What do you hope to achieve in your years to come here?

Five or ten years down the road, I would love for people to say that The College Preparatory School is a leader in equity and justice, that the leaders who matriculate here lead the way in all fields and truly embody the concept of “mens conscia recti” and that we put people first, because I think that’s our greatest resource. I think that’s our greatest commitment and I think that’s what makes the world a wonderful, wonderful place.

 

What is Connections, Pride and Spirit Day?

Connections, Pride and Spirit Day is born out of the tradition of the International Day and Multicultural Evenings of past years.

In the broadest context, it is a learning opportunity to share stories about ourselves, to foster the connections between us, embrace our deep cultural and ethnic traditions, affirm our individual identities and inspire a commitment to learning about one another. All in the context of collaboration and teamwork.

 

What was the best part of high school for you?

High school was really tough for me in a lot of ways, but I would say that there were people who made high school really great… I had a teacher that would really push me and really cared about me as an individual. One of my favorite memories from school is when my teacher, Mrs. Mogen, made me rewrite a paper on War and Peace that I had literally slapped together the night before. She comes up and tells me, “If any other child had written this paper, I would give them an A. But you wrote this paper, and I know what you’re capable of, so you can take a D- or I can hand it back to you and you can work on it over break and come back with another paper.” So I took the paper, and I grumbled about it but I redid the paper and I was really grateful for that because I think what it shows is she knew me. Her expectations were rooted in my personal talents and skills and she expected excellence from me and every other student based on our personal gifts. It is the quintessential definition of inclusion. She is a great teacher!