Ainka Sanders Jackson
Ainka Jackson is the founding Executive Director of the Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth and Reconciliation, which is committed to bridging divides and building the Beloved Community.
She was previously the Metro Guardian ad Litem for the Metro Nashville Public Defender's Office, Juvenile Division where she represented children who were abused and neglected. She has also been a case manager in the foster care system, a teacher and an adult Public Defender. Born in Montgomery, Alabama and raised in Selma, Alabama, Jackson appreciates that every successful legal and legislative movement required a people movement. Therefore, she also helps to organize the community to address racial and economic inequities. Jackson has presented at numerous conferences and institutions including, on truancy and the school to prison pipeline at the annual Samuel Dewitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocate Ministry and spoke at the United Nations in Switzerland about economic and racial equity. Jackson has also been featured in Essence Magazine for her voter mobilization efforts.
Jackson received the first annual In Peace & Freedom Award in 2016 and is a level 3 certified Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation trainer. Jackson was instrumental in Selma being chosen as 1 of 14 sites for the Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation initiative and she currently leads Selma’s programmatic work for that initiative. She is the co-creator of the Beyond Divide and Conquer: Unite and Build Racial Equity Training, which explores how the social construct of race was created to divide and conquer (especially poor whites and people of color). Using first person historical narratives, the training questions what’s the cost of racism for people of color and white people and how we can resist divide and conquer and unite and build. Jackson is a Special Advisor for the ABA Commission for Homelessness and Poverty, Special Counsel to the ABA Civil Rights and Social Justice Section, and a member of the ABA Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council as well as a W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network Class Two Fellow. In addition to her amazing work, Jackson was chosen from a highly competitive pool of applications to join the Obama Foundation’s Leaders USA program for her leadership in reducing violence through innovative programs like the Violence Intervention Program and her dedication to building a safe, supportive Beloved Community, especially for people of color in Selma and Dallas County, AL.
Jackson is the creator and editor of the Selma Superheroes Children’s Book Series that shares the history of Selma’s foot soldiers and encourages youth to be Selma 2.0 Superheroes. Jackson is a graduate of Spelman College and Vanderbilt Law School. She has three beautiful, brilliant, benevolent children. She speaks these descriptions to other children she encounters.