Yabome Gilpin-Jackson Speaking

Speaking & Publications

Yabome is a dynamic and articulate speaker who engages easily with her audience. She was born in Germany, grew up in Sierra Leone, West Africa, and completed her undergraduate and graduate studies in Canada and the United States. Her diverse personal and professional background enables her to speak locally, while engaging to the strategic, global and system-wide impacts of decisions and choices. She speaks locally and globally on her areas of passionate interest and subject matter expertise, including those listed below:
Yabome’s skills are incredibly strong. She is a brilliant presenter, storyteller and facilitator of connection and dialogue – her intellect is surpassed only by her engaging manner and authenticity. Client Feedback

Where are you from?

Where are you from? Where are you really from? What is your background? What is your story? I call this Identity Interrogation. The commonplace experience for me, as a Black African Women living in the West, of being asked biographical questions by strangers.

In this talk, I share the difference between the experience of Identity Interrogation, which creates an impact of social disconnection and the polar opposite experience of Relational Connection, in which I have felt socially included, and respected. I discuss how shifting our language and interactions with diverse others matters and how and why we can promote mutual inclusion and relationship-building in everyday cross-cultural encounters.

The initial conference paper and talk for Where are you from? inspired my book, Identities, a short story collection of global African experiences. Click here to find Identities on Amazon.


A talk/dialogue/workshop on global African identities as well as the growing world diversity and what it means for how we understand each other. In a Story Circle, participants will share identity stories of their own inspired by readings from the the book, Identities. Identities may be purchased on Amazon by clicking here.

“…contemporary Africa has a hybrid cultural character that is the product of local and alien mentalities and lifestyles living together in the same communities and individuals. The cultural braid this duality engenders is, theoretically speaking, a more complex lived reality than has hitherto been articulated.” (A. Bame Nsamenang)

Identities is a short story collection of global African experiences. The stories in this collection evoke the lived experiences of Africans of diverse backgrounds, races, ethnicities and identities. It explores everyday identity concerns of diasporan Africans such as experiences of being asked where are you from? immigrant and refugee integration, personal vs. ascribed social standing, remittance responsibilities, traditional vs. contemporary cultural values and many others. This collection is ultimately about the experiences of bridging, balancing and weaving together the multiple strands that form contemporary African Identities on and off the continent.

Stories included in the collection are titled:

1. Where are you from?
-A young woman experiences and describes frequent encounters of being asked: Where are you from?
2. Too much water in the garri
-First generation Canadian siblings take their first journey to Sierra Leone, West Africa, orchestrated by their parents.
3. Once upon a time at Fourah Bay College
-A student describes the carefree campus life that is interrupted by war and unexpectedly propels a group of friends far and wide into the diaspora.
4. The Rainbow
-A mother contends with explaining to her adopted daughter, who is an Ebola survivor, why bad things happen to children.
5. Back to the beginning
-The story of the struggle of one of the young couples from Fourah Bay College affected by the Sierra Leone war, to adjust to life and immigration to Gambia and Canada afterwards, told through the lens of the wife’s postpartum depression experience.
6. The day Aunty Amie died
-A young man’s experience in Canada on the day his once formidable Aunt dies back in Sierra Leone, that ends in a serendipitous encounter.
7. The Conference
-A scholar and her best friend struggle to reconcile the ongoing discrepancies and complexities of a conference community working for social change in Africa.
8. Standing in the rain
-A group of students of diverse African backgrounds and descent form a life-long community support group.
9. When I became a Black man
-A young man describes his first police encounter with racial profiling.
10.The Wedding
-The journey of a Canadian university administrator and an African graduate student to their wedding in Freetown, Sierra Leone that takes them back into the history and connection between the black American loyalists that settled in Nova Scotia, Canada and the Creole Peoples of Sierra Leone.

Identities may be purchased on Amazon by clicking here or on one of the images below.

Identities by Yabome Gilpin-Jackson, A Collection of Short Stories, Kindle - ImageIdentities by Yabome Gilpin-Jackson, A Collection of Short Stories, Kindle - Image

“I want more than change, I want transformation!” Transformational Leadership/Transformational Learning

This statement and variations of it are popular among organization leaders who want to see a shift in the issues that matter most to them. However, there is little understanding of how leaders can practically support the transformational shifts they desire. This interactive speaking engagement introduces participants to research and practical application of the transformational learning process and the transformational leadership required of change agents to create needed shifts in their groups, organizations and communities. In this talk, Yabome introduces audiences to a simple mental model that can help leader’s access their own transformational capacity, and model transformational learning in everyday interactions. See past example of Yabome delivering a version of this talk here.

Transforming Trauma in Society or Organizations

This presentation or speaking engagement introduces thinking and processes to capitalize on opportunities for transformation in organizations or society, whether proactively or in the aftermaths of difficult – even traumatic – circumstances. This work is grounded in the principles and research of posttraumatic growth and the idea that transformation and thriving, not just stress, are realistic outcomes in the midst of ongoing complexity, chaos, change and traumatic circumstances. Audience members leave with Yabome’s research findings of the one thing that is at the heart of transforming complex and traumatic circumstances.

We will lead Africa. An African Leadership model: Now and for the Future

This presentation or speaking engagement introduces participants to an African Leadership Model that Yabome has developed based on the research and literature on leadership in the context of African knowledge systems, norms and contexts. This model is principle-based and practical and applicable to leadership in Africa at every level, from grassroots to organizational to national/political leadership, and presents a relevant alternative to western models of leadership. This principle-based model provides a framework for leadership development at all levels in Africa.

Unstuck! Human Systems Dynamics/Leading Change in Complexity

Yabome is a certified Human Systems Dynamics Professional. In this talk, she introduces audiences to the science and practice behind how they find themselves stuck and entangled in complex situations and what they can do to get unstuck.

We need to Transform – Now send me the Briefing Note!

An interactive keynote presentation for change leaders and change agents who find themselves stuck between the worlds of facilitating complex emergent change within traditional hierarchical structures and traditional change management mental models. Yabome engages audiences to discuss and share possibilities for navigating this grey zone in the world between planned and emergent change process.

List of Publications
  • Gilpin-Jackson, Y. (2016). Where are you from?” Shifting Identity Interrogation for Interpersonal and Social Transformative Learnings in XII International Transformative Learning Conference, Engaging at the Intersections Proceedings. October 20-October 23, 2016 Tacoma, Washington.
  • Gilpin-Jackson, Y. (2016). Why today’s global OD practice is local: Lessons from transnational experience. Organization Development Practitioner, 48(3), 31-36.
  • Gilpin-Jackson, Y. (2016). African Leadership: Now and for the Future, in Quist-Adade and Royal (Eds.), Re-engaging the African Diasporas: Pan-Africanism in the Age of Globalization. Cambridge Scholars
  • Episode 174 – Dr. Yabome Gilpin-Jackson: Post-Traumatic Growth and Moments of Resonance: Narratives on Ebola in West Africa. (2015, August 31). inSocialWork® Podcast Series. [Audio Podcast] Retrieved from http://www.insocialwork.org/episode.asp?ep=174.
  • Gilpin-Jackson, Y. (2015). Transformational Learning in Dialogic OD, in G.R Bushe and R. J. Marshak (Eds.), Dialogic Organization Development. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
  • Gilpin-Jackson, Y. (2014). Resonance as transformative learning moment: The key to transformation in sociocultural and post-trauma contexts. Journal of Transformative Education, OnlineFirst, 1-25. doi:10.1177/1541344614541547.
  • Gilpin-Jackson, Y. (2013). Practicing in the grey area between dialogic and diagnostic organization development. Organization Development Practitioner, 45(1), 60-66.
  • Gilpin-Jackson, Y., & Bushe, G. R. (2007). Leadership development training transfer: a case study of posttraining determinants. Journal of Management Development, 26(10), 980-1004.
  • Gilpin-Jackson, Y. (2006), The Symbolism and Changing Patterns of Traditional Marriage Practices in a West African Society: Sierra Leone, in Simmonds, I., Demming, K., Lewis-Perry, C., and Solanki, A. (Eds.), We Have a Voice: An Anthology of African and Caribbean Student writing in BC, Rhino Print Solutions, Richmond, BC, pp.67-78.