By Ericia Henry
Director of Staff Equity and Diversity and Deputy Title IX Coordinator Dr. James Wilkerson was recently named to Louisville Business First’s 2021 Forty Under 40 list.
Nearly 600 nominations were submitted for this year’s honor. Out of those nominations, 300 were considered to be reviewed by the judges, while only 40 people were selected.
This was Wilkerson’s third nomination, and the third time was the charm.
“This time everything just clicked,” said Wilkerson. “The judges looked at my service projects and looked at my professional achievements and were like okay he’s got it. Knowing that I have been nominated twice makes me appreciate it more.”
Wilkerson said it feels great to see all his hard work and achievements come to fruition.
“I believe that when you do great things in life, you’re not supposed to do it to be honored or to try to get noticed, but you should do things just to do them, however it does feel nice to get noticed,” he said.
A native of New Albany, Indiana, he holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Louisville. He also holds a Master of Arts in communication from Bellarmine University.
Wilkerson joined the IU Southeast community in the spring of 2020. His arrival came at an uncertain time due to COVID-19. This didn’t stop Wilkerson’s plans to make every person at IU Southeast feel welcomed, valued and supported.
His successes and achievements don’t stop there. He continues to share his message about sexual assault and toxic masculinity through various magazine columns and his book, “The Title IX Guy: Several Short Essays on Rape Culture, Masculinity (the good kind and the bad kind), and Other Things We Should Be Talking About,” which was released in June of 2021. He was named one of Louisville Business First’s 20 People You Should Know in Law in 2019, and he is a two-time Spirit of Service award winner at the University of Louisville.
In 2016, he founded Greek Law, a program that allowed him to give lectures on sexual assault prevention and consent at various fraternity and sorority chapters. Since then, Greek Law has grown into a nonprofit organization that educates middle school, high school and college students.
Every experience, good or bad, has allowed Wilkerson to be where he is today. According to Wilkerson, taking a lesson away from every job we have is crucial to our future success because through it all, there is room to learn and grow.
“You might not do everything you wanted to do right out of college, but use that experience to catapult you to that next level. Carve your own path despite what everyone says or does. It’s never too late. You’re never too old. Everything happens the way it’s supposed to,” said Wilkerson.