Creative, PhD Student, Culture Maven

Hey, y’all! I am Imani, a Millennial multi-hyphenate. While I am a University of Florida Cultural Heritage Communications PhD student, independent writer/journalist, university lecturer and public speaker, my latest pivot is ethno-culture consulting. This means I observe, research, explore, synthesize and inform others about the layered ways that ethnic origins, cultural practices, language(s), and customs help shape how we communicate as human beings.

As a PhD student, I explore communication practices, histories and mechanisms. I research these issues to help place into contemporary context many ways that diverse cultural groups communicate with people who are both “in” their group(s) and “outside” of their group(s). 

As a multigenerational Black/Afro-Atlantic woman from Florida, who was educated in art school, two HBCUs and an R-1 flagship institution, I know diverse ways of knowing and cultural customs. I developed practices (code switches, networking strategies and more) that reflect sensitivity to different social groups (without sacrificing personal integrity and honesty).

I use my academic training, lived experiences and acute personal observations to help guide different “kinds” of people toward more humane and representative ways of connecting. In an era of extreme social separation, I’m trying to help build cultural bridges.

My network includes economic, social and political elites, immigrants, foundational Black Americans, folksy community connections (interpersonal “plugs” as it were), culturally curious European Americans and people from many generations. I am uniquely equipped to help individuals unpack scary topics. Many well-intentioned people express profound social fears that I work with them to address.

Some of these fears include:

  • Interpersonal or social isolation for having “politically incorrect” beliefs. (Sometimes people need a loving ideological nudge in another direction.)
  • Presumptions of hatred when interacting with people from different social realities (including races, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, neuro-diversity etc.).
  • Corporate fears of committing a gaffe.
  • Personal fears about calling a person who is socially different the “wrong” term. (Colleagues and consultees who happen to be racially white often wrestle with this. Many sought my professional input.  Even as a research assistant in my LLM program, I caught and corrected culturally inaccurate/insensitive references to communities of color in a revised casebook.)

Email inquiries to jacksonjimani at gmail dot com.