Leadership and diversity speaker Justin Jones-Fosu visited the University of Indianapolis on Thursday, March 16. His lecture focused on diversity and how people are perceive it.
Jones-Fosu owns his own company, Justin Inspires International LLC, and frequently travels to different colleges to speak. The company officially started in March 24, 2007. Jones-Fosu has owned the company for eight years. He also published a book in 2012 called “Finding Your Glasses: Revealing and Achieving Authentic Success.”
Jones-Fosu said he got the inspiration for his book from his internship at Coca-Cola. He said that he wanted to be more connected with the company and who he was working with.
“I didn’t want to be like the normal intern,” Jones-Fosu said.
Jones-Fosu said that he asked his bosses whether they would do their lives over if they could, and two out of the three said that they would not. This inspired Jones-Fosu to pursue his passions in his career as well.
“For me, I walked away from that interview [thinking], I don’t want to wake up years from now realizing I’m not living my passion or values, the things that really stand out to me. So that was really the driving force behind it [the book],” Jones-Fosu said.
The book contains many of Jones-Fosu’s values, diversity being one of them. His presentation was high energy the entire time, and he said that having a good mix of energy and seriousness in a lecture gives it a better balance.
“I don’t really consider myself a motivational speaker now [but] more of a leadership and diversity speaker,” Jones-Fosu said.
Even when Jones-Fosu was an undergraduate, he still wanted to help people think about what exactly diversity was.
“I realized something in 2004 … part of my purpose was to be a bridge,” he said.
Jones-Fosu said that by being a bridge, he could connect many different types of people together. Freshman criminal justice major Tyyon Hurd attended the presentation and he said he learned a lot of important information about diversity,
“I felt that it [Jones-Fosu’s presentation] was very intriguing, and he gave some very good information,” Hurd said.
Hurd said he also learned a lot about how to connect with a wider variety of people. Freshman nursing major Mallorie Daum also felt that she had gotten a lot out of the presentation.
“I really want to start opening up and [start] talking to new people and getting out of my comfort zone,” Daum said.
Jones-Fosu said people should not be afraid to develop friendships with others.
“I think that the deeper thing that I can encourage people to do is to be vulnerable with each other–develop friendships across differences and … ask safe questions,” Jones-Fosu said.
Jones-Fosu is currently working on another master’s degree at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Miss. He said his biggest motivations in life are his wife and daughter. He will speak next at the Southeastern Panhellenic Association Conference in Atlanta, Ga.