Centering BIPOC Voices at Shipley: Sergio Jackson, Director of Athletic Performance

Shipley's Director of Athletic Performance and Physical Education Teacher, Sergio Jackson, talks about having a positive attitude, his life experiences, and what he loves about his culture.

What are some important aspects of your identity? 

I am a Black male, father, husband, and coach. 

What do these identities mean to you? 
Being a father, husband, and coach means the world to me. I take my roles very seriously and try to set a positive example for the people I spend time with. 

Just as many folks of different backgrounds have, as a Black man I’ve learned to recognize stereotypes and disparities about who I am, how I behave, or what I am capable of. I certainly have found myself in a number of circumstances that I felt were unfair or that could have been racially fueled. All the while, I make it a point to live the values that I believe in, which include showing sincerity, kindness, love, and respect for everyone. I have seen a lot of not-so-good things in my years, and I fully believe that I am far too blessed with a great wife, kids, and career to show anger or hatred. Life is good!

Tell me about growing up. 
Growing up I spent plenty of time alone or separated from peers because my family dynamic was pretty non-traditional. I lost both parents at a young age so I spent a lot of time living with aunts, uncles, and friends through high school. 

What are your favorite parts of your culture? 
My favorite parts of my culture would be the food, fashion, and music. Growing up my family would have many cookouts; gatherings where everyone would dress up really sharp, make music, and prepare great dishes to enjoy together. 

What can you share with Shipley faculty and home caregivers about fostering inclusion?
Ultimately, I believe everyone should try to avoid associating certain characteristics, behavior, or emotions with any one culture. I believe that we all have an opportunity to focus on positive things like being empathetic to one another’s circumstances or open to one another’s ideas, thoughts, and beliefs. Through my years I have learned to choose peace and love above all else, and I try to make those two things evident in all that I do.
The Shipley School is a private, coeducational day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world.