Robin Jackson earned a MA in philanthropic studies through the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, with a certificate in Nonprofit Management from SPEA — both through IUPUI. The coursework she completed gave her a practical and philosophical insight to how and why people give. Through her personal experiences, undergraduate degree in sociology and minors in Africana studies & psychology, as well as the work she has done with AmeriCorps, Public Allies, the Journey Fellowship and other youth work opportunities, she has pursued and amassed great insight into urban communities.
She has chosen to follow this path to a doctoral degree program in urban education, which begins this fall, along with a graduate assistantship with the Great Lakes Equity Center at IUPUI. Her ultimate goal is to echo what has been done at the beginning of all revolutions: lift up the people who share her passions and concerns, and hopefully begin to help make the changes we have all been so desperately talking about.
1. What is your name?
Robin G. Jackson
2. How long have you lived in Indy?
Since I was 8 years old — so 22 years. I moved here from Chicago, IL.
3. Why have you focused your career on the nonprofit sector?
I knew early on that this is where I was supposed to be; I knew I wanted to help people. That desire funneled itself to working with and for youth; my path lead me to making a career from serving the under-served and underrepresented youth in our community. I knew that based on the impact I wanted to make, and how my spirit and heart is set up, nonprofit was the best route to take.
4. What would you say to another young professional considering a nonprofit job?
I would tell them to consider all the implications that come with working in nonprofit, and to do their own research. Going into anything armed only with assumptions and preconceived notions is a recipe for shock and ill-preparedness. There are certainly aspects to working in nonprofit that only particular personality types and goals will mesh. Please make sure your reasons align with your personal mission statement and goals; there is a reason that nonprofit professionals self-select into their field.
5. If you could learn a brand new skill, what would it be?
If I could learn a brand new skill, it would be to learn to make jewelry. I LOVE original pieces of jewelry, so to be able to make things specific to me would be lovely.
6. If you were an inanimate object, which would you be and why?
If I were an inanimate object, I would be a mirror. Hopefully I would be able to help reflect to people the beauty that is within them.
7. What do you hope to accomplish that you haven’t yet?
What I would love to accomplish is being on the board of some youth-serving organizations, so that I may begin truly get my feelers out on the scene. My ultimate goal is to be a walking resource!
Want to support Robin’s work?
The mission of The Great Lakes Equity Center is “to ensure equity in student access to and participation in high quality, research-based education by expanding states’ and school systems’ capacity to provide robust, effective opportunities to learn for all students, regardless of and responsive to race, sex, and national origin, and to reduce disparities among and between groups in educational outcomes.” Learn more about their work here.