Bruce Jackson's Inspiring Journey: From Brooklyn to Hip Hop, Microsoft, and the Law
In his new memoir, “Never Far from Home; My Journey from Brooklyn to Hip Hop, Microsoft, and the Law,” Bruce Jackson, opens up about his extraordinary life story. From growing up in the colorful neighborhood of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, to working alongside music legends and making a significant impact at Microsoft, Jackson’s journey is as inspiring as it is remarkable.
Jackson’s early years included briefly running a newspaper stealing operation and witnessing the murder of a friend, but shortly after graduating from Georgetown Law he found himself advising some of the biggest stars in music and today he finds himself working with Microsoft’s president, Brad Smith.
Jackson led a team at Microsoft that supported a $20 billion business, comprising individuals from diverse backgrounds, including women and people of color. His commitment to excellence and diversity has earned him the admiration of colleagues, who recognize the rarity and significance of being part of such an inclusive team.
“I think we had a probably a $20 billion team, and we had about 15 women, seven were black. We also had three black men, two Asian men, and two Latino men, so it was a very diverse team,” said Jackson.
This commitment to diversity stems from his time at Georgetown Law where Jackson recalled feeling a sense of disconnection from his peers, both black and white, and sought solace at Howard University, where he spent most of his time after the first year of law school. In Jackson’s view, it is crucial to seize the opportunity to promote diversity and inclusion while you can. He believes that true commitment to diversity can be measured by the impact it has on an organization, rather than just the activities or initiatives undertaken.
“We have these score cards, but what I’m advocating for is a carve out where diversity and diversity and inclusion represents 5% of people’s compensation. And that’s when you’re gonna see the difference. If you impact people’s money, whether they want to actually do anything, they’re gonna do it because let’s face the fact, not everyone cares about this diversity thing,” said Jackson.
When it comes to law firms, Jackson stresses the need for pressure from corporate clients to drive change. He suggests that companies should hold law firms accountable for his diversity efforts and consider consequences for firms that do not prioritize diversity and inclusion.
Jackson emphasizes that the struggle for equity extends beyond urban areas and affects people in rural communities as well. He highlights the importance of unity and fighting against biases that pit different groups against each other. By recognizing shared struggles and lack of support from society, Jackson advocates for collaboration in overcoming these challenges.
Jackson’s journey serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of resilience, sacrifice, and advocacy in creating a more inclusive and equitable world.