Jack Kirkland is a nationally known scholar who lectures, consults, and writes on the African-American family. He has a keen interest in issues of multicultural classroom environments. As a result, he has designed and led numerous workshops in African-American culture for public school teachers across the country. He has lectured on multiculturalism and economic development across the world. Internationally known, he has given numerous presentation on almost every continent on a variety of subjects including multicultural education and economic development. He served as Co-founder/Director of Black Studies, now known as African American Studies. He was an activist and strategist in the Civil Rights Movement.
He has worked with public, non-profit, and for-profit organizations, serving on numerous local, regional, and national Boards of Directors. He has served as program director and executive director of Settlement Houses in the east and midwest. Additionally, he has worked as a consultant to mayors of several cities. Originally, he did research under the leadership of Stanford University and the Department of Education for the formulation of what are now termed "charter schools." He provided consultation for five years with the Department of Indian Affairs, Washington, D.C., for American Indian Nations in the Southwest. Kirkland also served as Director of Community Development for the Peace Corps in Latin America.
A former director of the Missouri Department of Transportation, he testified on U.S. Congressional Committees. He was elected to the Board of Education in University City, MO. In 2010, he was appointed to the Executive Board of the St. Louis County Economic Council and to the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority for St. Louis County, as well as served as a member for International Trade Mission to Indonesia in 2012. He also served as a member of the Mission of the Niagra Foundation for Cultural Exchange to Turkey, for Missouri State Legislators, in the spring of 2012, and again on an International Trade Mission to China in 2012.
A popular teacher, he brings issues of community work, group relations, international social development, racism, social planning, and urban environments alive in the classroom. Kirkland served as the first Chair of the Social & Economic Development concentration. Kirkland has been voted most outstanding teacher of the year for Washington University in St. Louis 1975, most outstanding teacher at the Brown School in 1988 and 1995. In addition, he was awarded the Distinguished Faculty Alumni Award in 2010 and listed in the National History Makers in Chicago 2008, listed in the Library of Congress 2014, and in several Who's Who including the Who's Who in Black America.
He is the recipient of the 1996 National Service Award from the National Association of Homes and Services for Children and a 1997 Spirit of Crazy Horse award from the Black Hills Seminars on Reclaiming Youth at Risk for his contributions in bringing together people of diverse cultural backgrounds to work on behalf of children and youth at risk. He was inducted into the City of McKeesport, Penn., High School Hall of Fame in 2000. Currently, he serves as the Social Economic Developer of "The Helping Village" in East St. Louis.