Can jelly beans change the world?
At a time when our country is the most divided since the Civil War, many people are searching for ways to unify our county, team, office, school, and/or community.
Diversity Beans were created for such a time as this.
Born in 2000 to combat prejudice, Diversity Beans are an experience that forces people to question their basic judgments. Because their colors may not match their anticipated flavors, people are repeatedly surprised when they bite into a jelly bean expecting one thing and getting another.
Used in trainings by companies like Apple, Amazon, and Disney, and schools like Harvard, NYU, and primary and secondary schools across the nation, Diversity Beans inspire conversations around biases, equity, and inclusion. You know, the type of dialogue needed to open hearts and change the world.
How it all started
I’ve tried to write this "about page" hundreds of times over the years. It has never felt authentic because, well, it’s just so hard to be vulnerable. I don't want to feel judged. Then it dawned on me, everything about Diversity Beans is about being vulnerable. I mean really, it’s hard putting a diverse group of people together to discuss such personal feelings and experiences, without being vulnerable.
So, here it goes...
Hi, my name is Tracy Jackson and I’m the maker of Diversity Beans, brainchild of Professor Delane McUne.
My experience is fairly common. I left home at 18, joined the Air Force, met a cute boy, fell in love, got married, had children, and the like.
Pretty typical, right?
Until I share that, in 33 years, my [white] parents have never met my [Black] husband.
So, trust me, I know this work is needed. It's very personal to me.
Back to my original question, do I believe that jelly beans can change the world? No, not exactly. But, I know Diversity Beans are memorable, I know they are effective, I know people like them, and I know they bring people together. In the big picture…those are all good things.
I hope Diversity Beans can be a tool in your toolbox as you do the important work day-in and day-out. Maybe together we can create the change we hope to see in the world!
Before Diversity Beans
My online entrepreneurial journey began in 2001. I started a website called iMeltingpot.com. I discovered the name worked against everything I was advocating for, so I relaunched the following year as iCelebrateDiversity.com. I created the site because it was difficult to find products that reflected diversity. I carried artwork, jewelry, clothing (like the cute little dresses my daughters are wearing in some of the pictures below), and all kinds of neat stuff. While iCelebrateDiversity.com is still around, when Diversity Beans arrived in 2005, they stole my heart and I became the owner in 2011.
Meet Diversity Bean's original mascot: Jelly "the bean"
Learn about our 2020 Impact Initiative
A final note
I'm sharing some things from my personal journey with race and racism on the blog that is attached to this site. I’m not a writer and the blog is not intended to be anything other than a space to be open and authentic. I’m giving myself permission to be vulnerable and messy. I am making it public because I have spent a lifetime being ashamed of my story and I want to change that. My hope is that the blog will hold me accountable to my healing journey.
Below are a few snapshots of my family and business journey. My life, love and inspiration!
(day before quarantine) 2020
(10,000 lbs of jelly beans) 2012
(new opportunities) 2011
(CMSGT USAF) 2005
(Civil Rights Activist) 2003
(loved that dress!) 2003
(launched 1st website) 2001
(idea for business)1991
(young & innocent)1987