Black History Month: An Interview with Latane Brackett, HonNAI

As we continue in our celebration of Black History Month, Latane Brackett, HonNAI, Innovation Program Manager at Jackson State University, discusses his journey into innovation as well as how institutions can foster an innovative ecosystem that is both sustainable and inclusive.

Q: What was your journey into the innovation ecosystem?

A: My personal journey into the inclusive innovation ecosystem has unfolded organically, stemming from my multidisciplinary background, extensive industry experience, and a genuine passion for leadership development and lifelong learning. This path has been filled with unexpected twists and turns. Customer discovery, building meaningful relationships, and intentionally collaborating have been my guiding principles, enabling me to expand participation, drive innovation, and empower aspiring innovators through strong partnerships.

Q: As the Innovation Program Manager at Jackson State University, how do you feel institutions can encourage a sustainable and inclusive innovative ecosystem?

A: To encourage sustainable and inclusive innovative ecosystems, institutions should prioritize diverse leadership, promote equitable access to resources, and foster inclusive curricula and research. This includes creating support programs for underrepresented groups and implementing inclusive hiring practices. Institutions should also foster community engagement, offer cultural competence training, build intentional collaborations with all stakeholders, and establish accountability mechanisms to ensure an environment that promotes innovation and inclusivity.

To read about JSU’s Center For Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development and I-Corps Program, visit: