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All inclusive: lustrum UG, 5-15 June 2019

Science programme Conference: “Growing together: Celebrating diversity and fostering inclusion”

Janet Thompson Jackson

Janet Thompson Jackson, photo Reyer Boxem
Janet Thompson Jackson, photo Reyer Boxem


A helpful definition of inclusion is forming a community where each person values others as they, themselves, wish to be valued. Creating inclusive societies requires overcoming the persistent cycle of exclusion. An inclusive society is not merely an outcome, but an intentional and persistent process that recognizes and honors differences, and works to dismantle barriers that disadvantage some members of society.

The process of building inclusive societies involves both costs and benefits. The costs include difficult conversations and upending the status quo. The benefits are a society where all people feel empowered and have a voice. This process requires engagement across all levels of society and needs to consider cultural and legal frameworks.

Creating inclusive societies requires an environment of sustainable peace. But, we tend not to focus on peace. Instead, we concentrate on violence and conflict, and consider peace only in their context, instead of focusing on the acts of creating and sustaining peace itself. We should understand that the absence of discrimination and exclusion is not enough to create peace. Rather, we need to be relentless in our pursuit of inclusion and peace in order to establish a culture that values all members of society.

Janet Thompson Jackson is currently a Visiting Professor with the University of Groningen Law Faculty. Professor Jackson has been a faculty member with the Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas since 2004.

Her teaching and research are in the areas of nonprofit law; entrepreneurial law; diversity, culture, and inclusion; and mindfulness. She is a frequent speaker in the area of nonprofit law & governance and serves on several nonprofit boards. She has hosted the public television monthly community affairs show, I’ve Got Issues LIVE, on KTWU-TV since 2011.

Prior to teaching , Professor Jackson practiced law and was the executive director of a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C., which provides housing and employment services to homeless and low-income families.

Professor Jackson seeks to maintain a mindful approach to life and encourages her students to do the same. She enjoys practicing and teaching yoga, reading, traveling, and spending time with her husband and daughter.

Last modified:02 April 2019 2.26 p.m.
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