Director Jackson delivered the keynote address at the 2019 People of Nia Commencement Ceremony at his alma mater, Iowa State University. The topic of his address was “Alma (or Neglegentia) Mater: The Black Collegiate Experience.”
Created in 1997 in response to low retention rates and high attrition rates of Black students at Iowa State University, the ceremony occurs every semester as a celebration of Black heritage, an acknowledgement of the historical contributions of Black people at Iowa State, and to honor the accomplishments of Black students.
The honor was especially meaningful for Dr. Jackson, as he was President of the Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA) at the time of the conceptualization of the ceremony. BGSA was the chief driving organization behind the establishment of the People of Nia Commencement Ceremony.