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Senior Advisor for Diversity: John Jackson

January 10, 2012, Volume 58, No. 17


Provost Vincent Price is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. John L. Jackson, Jr. as Senior Advisor to the Provost for Diversity, effective January 1, 2012. 

In this new, three-year position, Dr. Jackson will serve as a key strategic advisor to the Provost on diversity initiatives.  He will work closely with the Deans, Vice Provosts, Faculty Senate, and other University leaders to make recommendations for diversity goals and programs, develop appropriate means of assessment, and help implement Penn’s Action Plan for Faculty Diversity and Excellence. 

“John Jackson will be an invaluable partner in helping us chart the future of diversity at Penn,” said Provost Price.  “He brings a comprehensive understanding not only of Penn but also of the entire national and global landscape —as well as the dynamic energy and strong commitment to help us achieve our ambitious goals in the years ahead.” 

Dr. Jackson is Richard Perry University Professor of Communication and Anthropology, with appointments in the Annenberg School for Communication and the department of anthropology in the School of Arts and Sciences.  He was the University’s first Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor, appointed in 2006. 

He is the author of Racial Paranoia: The Unintended Consequences of Political Correctness (Basic Books, 2008); Real Black: Adventures in Racial Sincerity (University of Chicago Press, 2005); and Harlemworld: Doing Race and Class in Contemporary Black America (University of Chicago Press, 2001).  His current book project, to be published by Harvard University Press, focuses on African Hebrews in the US and Israel as a globally diverse spiritual diaspora. 

His work as a documentary filmmaker most recently includes Bad Friday: Rastafari After Coral Gardens—co-directed with Deborah Thomas, Professor and Graduate Group Chair of Anthropology in the School of Arts and Sciences—which examines the history of violence in Jamaica through the eyes of its most iconic community.  His writing is also featured on the Brainstorm blog of The Chronicle of Higher Education and his own blog, “From the Annals of Anthroman.”

Dr. Jackson earned a PhD with Distinction in anthropology from Columbia University (2000) and a BA summa cum laude in communications from Howard University (1993).  Before coming to Penn, he taught at Duke University (2002-2006) and was a Junior Fellow in the Society of Fellows at Harvard University (1999-2002). 

Almanac - January 10, 2012, Volume 58, No. 17