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Iron Arrow Spring 2018 Luncheon Speaker

Pamela "Lala" Jackson

Luncheon Speaker

Lala Jackson is a communications strategist, author, and health advocate. She is a marketing and communications manager at the international headquarters of JDRF, the leading global organization for type 1 diabetes research, and the author of the internationally best-selling Beyond Powerful: Your Chronic Illness is Not Your Kryptonite (BeyondPowerfulBook.com), which delves into the superpowers gained from a life with chronic illness.

At the age of 10, Lala was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease type 1 diabetes. She immediately jumped into advocacy and has met with numerous representatives and senators to speak on behalf of the rights of people living with chronic disease. As early as 2003 she was traveling to Washington D.C. to lobby for diabetes research funding on behalf of the American Diabetes Association.

After graduating high school in 2004 from Maryknoll High School in Honolulu, Hawaii, Lala headed off to the University of Miami after having never set foot in the state of Florida. Landing at Miami International and hearing Spanish over the announcement system before English, she realized she had gotten in a bit over her head. However, her love of communicating with people from differing backgrounds led her through a degree in Advertising in the Communications School and her love of multiculturalism helped her dive head first into student leadership.

She was involved at a variety of levels with the Confluence Undergraduate Humanities Journal, Hui Aloha, the Organization for Jamaican Unity, the Council of International Students and Organizations, the Patti & Allen Herbert Wellness Center Advisory Board, and was a regular speaker and panel member for general orientation, Horizons multicultural student orientation (for which she served as co-chair in 2008), and international student orientation. She was a member of the American Advertising Federation’s National Student Advertising Competition team, in 2007 as a copywriter and 2008 as an art director. She served as chair of Hispanic Heritage Month in 2008 and president of the Council of International Students and Organizations for the 2008-2009 academic year. She was tapped into Iron Arrow in Spring 2009 shortly before she conferred her B.S. in Communications in May.

Lala went on to study federal healthcare policy and management at Georgia State University and worked in a variety of healthcare and medical technology focused marketing roles before admitting to herself that JDRF was the logical place to be. She is an active healthcare advocate and a candid writer about healthcare policy, particularly as it affects those with chronic conditions. In addition to issues surrounding chronic illness, she bluntly writes about relationships, leadership, wellness, and many topics fellow young leaders deal with in their work and personal lives, being featured on sites such as The Mighty, I Told You I Was Sick, KNQR, and Lyfebulb. Her essays can be found at LalaJackson.com/WhatIWrite. Lala currently lives in Brooklyn, NY but dreams of warmer climates and returning to life near a beach.


In the Fall of 2010 at the Homecoming Tapping Luncehon, Jaret Davis addressed the Tappees. His words were so highly requested by both members and tappees in attendance that the Tribe has made his address available to all. Jaret's address to the Honored Tappees and to the Tribe can be found here.

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