Overcoming Obstacles and Leaving a Lasting Impact: Lessons from Judy Jackson’s Career Journey as an Immigrant
How do you feel being an immigrant/child of an immigrant impacted what you saw as career possibilities?
Being a child of Jamaican parents made me feel that I could do anything. I did not know what I could NOT do or what rooms I would not be allowed to enter. I did not feel there were any barriers to my success.
Do you feel the Black American experience is different than the experience of Black Immigrants?
I think that Black immigrants believe they can achieve whatever they aspire to as long as they work hard. I don’t think we grow up feeling there are limits to our success. Later on in life we learn that there are obstacles that we were not aware of as a child and we develop resilience and keep trying.
What was the goal for you? What helped to drive you to your accomplishments?
I did not have a specific goal. I always wanted to make a lasting impact and help others find their passion.
Were there any rules of thumb or sayings repeated to you in your childhood that you live by to this very day?
My mother would also tell me “This too shall pass” which may develop a strong sense of resilience. They Maya Angelou quote “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel” is a quote that has also kept me focused on what’s really important.
Pick three theme songs for your life. One for childhood, one for when you just entered the working world, and what’s your current theme song?
Childhood: This Little Light of Mine, Gospel song by Harry Dixon Loes
Working World: Man in the Mirror, Michael Jackson
Current Song: Girls on Fire, Alicia Keys
Did you know that by being who you are and pursuing your aspirations, you would be helping to write the following chapters of Black History? How does that make you feel?
I never saw myself as making history. I saw myself as doing the best I could and giving the best of myself to others. I can only hope that I made a difference in the rooms that I enter, the companies I’ve worked with, and the organizations I supported.