Author and diversity advocate who helps organizations and audiences across the U.S. face and overcome bigotry and barriers of understanding.
Author and diversity advocate Bruce A. Jacobs helps organizations and audiences across the United States to face and overcome bigotry and barriers of understanding.
Bruce's most recent book, Race Manners for the 21st Century, is a real-life guide to challenging and moving beyond bias. With his dynamic presence, his plain-spoken clarity on difficult issues, and his empathy with audiences, Bruce is able to encourage people of good will to create more truthful and humanly productive relationships.
Bruce, a Harvard graduate, has appeared on C-SPAN, National Public Radio, Sirius Satellite Radio and other media, and he is a featured participant in "Race and Reconciliation in America," an annual forum in Washington, D.C. bringing together national leaders for a truthful dialogue about race.
Bruce has been called "masterful" by Best Buy Company, "a catalyst for positive change" by Loyola College, and "an incredible impact on relationships" by citywide diversity leadership in the city of Toledo, Ohio. Bruce tells it like it is while helping all of us to move forward. He is also a widely-published poet, a drummer, and a slowly improving saxophonist.
He lives in Baltimore.
Our country’s current presidency pretty much scraps most of our reliable rules about how to safely navigate politics in the workplace. Whatever your opinions or mine, it is a fact that the administration of President Donald Trump reshapes the powers and directions of the presidency like no other in recent historical memory. In so doing, it rips up our shared rulebook for appropriate conversation between co-workers. Read more
The longtime rule of thumb is that you don't. It is a good rule. But in today's political climate, with the heat literally and figuratively soaring in matters both national and global, the venerable "check your politics at the door" axiom is harder than ever to follow. Read more
I want to talk about a social grouping that we rarely discuss in anything but the most banal terms: losers. I mean losers as opposed to winners. I mean those two terms in all of the manufactured and biased ways in which we define them: by money, power, luck, athletic competition, academic success, social stature, attractiveness, popularity. Read more
A white friend of mine told me how she heard a black woman declare that she wishes she could try being white. The black woman, a well-known artist, had given a talk at which she made the “white” remark. My white friend, who attended, was taken aback. Read more
As those of us fortunate enough to now be making a living recover from our Thanksgiving overeating, the annual myth of our nation's origins takes center stage once again. It is, after all, a myth, and the horrible secrets it hides in our national basement account for much of the difficulty of what we try to do as diversity professionals. Read more
Every day, most of us accept the term “tolerance” as an ethical underpinning for healthy diversity in our organizational life. We seek diverse workforces by energetically applying the principle of “tolerance” in our hiring practices. We aim to create an organizational culture of “tolerance” to improve morale, productivity and fairness. Read more
One afternoon not long ago, 14 of us, a collection of adults who had never met one another, spent an hour together in a room with the door closed. We were there as part of a Baltimore program called Be More ("B'More" is local slang for "Baltimore")...Read more
Sooner or later, we all face confrontive situations. Getting what you want out of them begins with with choosing what you want. Let’s say a stranger behaves in an outrageously bigoted or stereotyped way toward you. You’re a black guest waiting in a hotel lobby, for instance, and a white stranger walks up and asks you to help him with his bags. Read more
If we wait to get “cured” of all our bigotry before we get busy resisting bias, we’ll wait forever. The truth is that, immersed as we are in a culture of explicit and implicit bigotry from birth, none of us will ever be 100 percent “cured.” You and I will never be bias-free creatures. As my mother used to jokingly quote the apocryphal man who saw his first giraffe, “There isn’t any such animal.” Read more
True, the groups planning hate crimes, and the mobs who spat upon black legislators and hurled racial epithets during the health-care-reform wars, and the Holocaust deniers, and other assorted residents of alternate realities, are people twisted into possibly irreversible states of inner sickness. Read more
As a former advertising vice president, I am accustomed to asking questions about market audiences: Who are we talking to? What are their needs? How can we fulfill them? Read more
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