James is a consultant and facilitator in diversity & inclusion, leadership training, strategic planning, conflict resolution and mediation. His background includes extensive work with audiences ranging from elementary & middle school, to high school and college, adult staff, administrators and executive leadership, dealing with the challenges presented by race/ethnicity, generational differences, sexual orientation, gender, and religion & spirituality.
With an extensive background in corporate America including such companies as IBM, AT&T, Metropolitan Life, Becton Dickenson (BD), Pfizer, and Novartis as well as work with a broad range of academic institutions and nonprofit organizations, James brings to his training and facilitation a keen understanding of the need for diversity, inclusion, and conflict resolution skills in all sectors, as well as the positive impact of effective leadership, and the need for strategy as individuals and organizations serve their communities. Through both experiential exercises and open forum discussions, he brings to the surface important issues of multi-cultural awareness. His open and often humorous style of communication energizes and challenges participants as he fosters the “unlearning” of foundational concepts upon which many of society’s problematic interactions are based.
James served as the Director of the Human Rights Commission for the City of Kingston, New York from 1997 until 2007. He has also worked as the Leadership Development Trainer for the Ulster YouthBuild/AmeriCorps Program, in upstate New York, Youth Director with the Ulster County Multi-Service Center and served on the Board of the United Way, and the advisory council of Kingston Community Development, as well as the Board of Directors for the Kingston Housing Authority and the Rural Ulster Preservation Corporation (RUPCO). His independent consulting business, JaRa Consulting, LLC, also includes high-end image creation and graphic design. James received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the State University of New York – College at New Paltz in 1986. In May 2007, James received his Master of Divinity degree as well as a Master of Arts degree in Human Service Counseling from Regent University – Virginia Beach, VA. James lives in Kingston, New York with his wife and four children.