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Dr. Joe-Joe, anti-racism educator, reading with child.
Dr. Joe-Joe, anti-racism educator, reading with child.

A Purpose Driven Life

The eldest of three boys, Joe-Joe was born to a Jewish mother and an Irish father. The family lived in an apartment behind the local “packie” (Massachusetts-speak for a convenience/liquor store). When he was just a year old, his parents adopted five-week-old Kacey, and a few years later, their surprise brother B-J was born.

Racism became an issue for the McManus boys early in life because of the racist reactions to Kacey, who was adopted and African American. Additional issues of anti-Semitism and classism piled on over time. From early childhood experiences until today, Joe-Joe continues to strive to live his best anti-racist life; continuing to learn, partnering with others working to make a difference, and fighting for equity, inclusion, and justice across the full spectrum of diversity in his personal life, in community, and professionally.

Today, Dr. Joe-Joe is a dad. Mak (they/them pronouns) identifies as racially mixed and non-binary. At ten-years-old, after viewing the footage of the murder of George Floyd with their dad, Makkie challenged him to do more. They knew about their fathers’ work. They had taken part in protests, participated in classes that he taught, and joined in on conversations about racism and intersecting oppression at home.


Still, after seeing the video, Makkie’s immediate response was to tell their dad that he needed to do more; that what he had done so far was not enough. That conversation was instrumental in pushing him to write his upcoming book which focuses on living an actively anti-racist life in solidarity against all forms of oppression. It also inspired Dr. Joe-Joe to return to speaking in public, after decades of work primarily behind the scenes. 

Dr. Joe-Joe with siblings, symbolizing multicultural family.
Dr. Joe-Joe, siblings celebrate Christmas, embracing diversity
Dr. Joe-Joe and child, sharing a moment outdoors.
Smiling Dr. Joe-Joe and child, promoting inclusivity.

A track record of excellence and impact.

Dr. Joe-Joe has held faculty, staff, and executive roles, including Chief Diversity Officer. He has served at an HBCU, an international university, an Ivy League institution, a religion affiliated university, and at the public university system level. He has lectured, served on panels, presented, and consulted in the U.S. and internationally for nearly three decades. His work has centered around how best to bring about and develop antiracist leadership and organizations actively engaged in inclusive excellence.

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Joe-Joe McManus is an awesome resource. His work is courageous, challenging, inclusive, and practical.”


Dr. Joe-Joe's current board service includes...

  • National Advisory Council for the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE)

  • Board of Directors for Diversity 2000 (D2K)

  • Advisory Team for RaceConvo Podcast

  • Board of Advisors for the Floyd Rights Campaign

Previously, McManus served on the Board of Directors for the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) and as an Expert Panelist for the Global Diversity and Inclusion Benchmarks (GDIB), among others. He also co-chaired the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education’s (NADOHE) Southern California Chapter (SCADOHE).

Floyed Rights for All Board Member
Global Diversity and Inclusion board member
National Association for Multicultural Education
Directors for Diversity Board Member
National Conference on Race and Ethnicity Board Member
Dr. Joe-Joe teaching, leading in educational equity.

Teaching at the Ernesto Malave Leadership Academy, where Dr. McManus served as the founding Executive Director. (2008)

The experience and expertise to help you make a difference.

A first-generation college student, Dr. Joe-Joe earned his B.S. in Psychology from Florida Institute of Technology, an M.A. in Multicultural Education from Alliant International University, and the Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Florida A&M University. More recently, he completed the University of Southern California (USC) Race & Equity Center’s Equity Institute and was a member of the inaugural cohort for the National Association for Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) Standards of Professional Practice Institute, served on the NADOHE President’s Task Group on Charlottesville, and co-chaired the Southern California Chapter of NADOHE. 


His work and guidance from mentors led him to higher education. He served as faculty in teacher education, took on multiple staff roles focused on curriculum and program development, and ultimately held the executive diversity, equity, and inclusion portfolio at the campus and state system levels. He has worked in a wide variety of higher education institutions including an Historically Black University (HBCU), an Ivy League institution, an international university, a religiously affiliated college, and a major state university system.

Dr. McManus has learned from his experience as an anti-racist and inclusive excellence practitioner over the past thirty years. Having started as an activist and advocate, he studied, taught, and spoke internationally and has consulted with leaders across sectors. His experience informs his writing, public speaking, and his current work as an advisor on anti-racism and inclusive excellence. 


years of experience as an activist promoting educational equity and social justice


years of program, curriculum, and organizational development


years advising leaders across sectors


years of teaching courses on diversity, leadership, and education


years serving on DEI think tanks across sectors

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