About Dr Cari
God is as close as your very breath.
Dr. Cari Jackson is the youngest child and only girl of the four children of Robert and Gladys Jackson. Raised in Baltimore, Maryland, her parents shaped in her a deep love and compassion for people across social and demographic lines, a strong sense of social responsibility and justice, and a profound connection with the sacredness in all of life. These passions are powerfully reflected in her personal and public life.
As a prolific writer and dynamic speaker, Rev. Dr. Cari Jackson inspires and challenges diverse audiences around the world on a range of topics, from interpersonal and intercultural communications to power dynamics and social justice. She uses her unique insights as a scholar, pastor, counselor, and organizational consultant to help individuals, organizations and communities realize and achieve greater purpose by helping them identify and overcome self-imposed limitations and systemic barriers.
Dr. Cari has a deep passion and a grand vision of helping people discover and live their deepest, most authentic selves. She strongly believes that “only as we live our lives authentically can we fully experience inner peace and be shapers of peace and justice in the world.” She addresses issues at micro interpersonal levels as well as macro political, social and economic levels with impact across racial groups, cultures, and nations. This unique approach enables her to discuss controversial social issues, such as classism and poverty, racial discrimination and criminal profiling, gender and marriage equality in fresh, transformative ways.
Dr. Cari is the President of Excellent Way Consulting, a capacity-building consulting group specializing in strengthening leadership and organizational effectiveness and impact. She has had an extensive career in leadership coaching, staff development, management training, organizational development, and mediation for Fortune 500 companies, smaller businesses, faith-based, and community organizations.
She is alos founding director of Center of Spiritual Light, a non-profit community services organization which integrates resources from diverse spiritual traditions to help individuals and organizations reimagine, reinvent, and reposition themselves for greater happiness, freedom and power in their lives.
An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ (UCC), Dr. Cari works ecumenically across religious and spiritual traditions. She has served as pastor of congregations in three Christian denominations – UCC, United Methodist Church, and Presbyterian Church-USA. She has served as interim worship coordinator at The Riverside Church and Conference Preacher for the UCC Connecticut Conference.
As an educator, Dr. Cari has been adjunct faculty at Union Theological Seminary and One Spirit Interfaith Seminary, both in New York City, where she taught such courses as “The Christian Chase for Power” and “Ministry in Multicultural Contexts.” She was the 2010 lecturer for the J.C. Wynn Lecture Series at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. She has taught, lectured, and preached in Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Buddhist, and Interfaith spiritual gatherings.
Dr. Cari's commitment to using social justice as a resource for spiritual wellness is clearly evident through her life-long service and civic involvement. She has been a community organizer, an adult literacy instructor, a life skills coordinator for homeless individuals, and board member of interfaith councils and organizations, a leader in denominational committees and a mentor to a host of ministers.
Dr. Cari earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Christian Social Ethics from Drew University, a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary, a Juris Doctorate from the University of Maryland, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Sociology from Oberlin College. She is the author of five books: Still Got Game (2015, co-author Carlton Greene), Love Like You’ve Never Been Hurt (2013), For the Souls of Black Folks (2013), For the Least of These (2012), and The Gift to Listen, The Courage to Hear (2003).
Dr. Cari lives in New York City where her delight is to share her home and heart with her local and global family in celebrations of love and life.