With a personal mantra of striving to uplift and inspire lives across the GLOBE, twenty-six year old Jabari Smith is certainly a man on a great mission. A PROUD native of New Orleans, LA, Jabari credits his Big Easy roots for his intense love of people and culture. Raised by two hard-working and relentlessly supportive parents, he grew up knowing that success and excellence were not options but the standard. As a result, Jabari was pushed to excel in every phase of life. As an elementary & middle school student at St. Peter Claver and St. Rita he was regularly cast as the lead speaker role in school plays, however it wasn't until seventh grade that the former "Mr. St. Rita" uncovered his innate passion for public speaking.
At De La Salle High School Jabari was determined to make his mark and did so by immersing himself in numerous extra-curricular activities, most notably serving as Student Body President his senior year and competing in Speech & Debate competitions which led him to the National Catholic Forensics League's nation-wide competition all 4 years of high school. Such talent and commitment carried Jabari far as he was awarded a special talent forensics scholarship to attend his top choice school, Howard University in Washington, DC. As a student at Howard he excitedly became an active member of several note-worthy organizations and clubs, including serving the Howard University Board of Trustees as the elected Undergraduate Student Trustee. It was through this position that Jabari began to cultivate his passion for mentoring as he created the inaugural Undergraduate Trustee Committee, which served as a training ground for younger student leaders on campus.
Upon graduation in May 2007, Jabari was eager to put all of the invaluable skills he gained at Howard to use in the Global community and that he did. In August of that year he boldly moved to Japan joining the ranks of the competitive Japanese Exchange & Teaching (JET) Programme. The experience of living and teaching English to pre-school, elementary, junior high, and adult students in rural Fujisaki, Aomori-ken, Japan for two years was life changing. For the first time Jabari had the opportunity to indulge in a culture uniquely different from his own. As a result he learned a new language and began to view himself as not just an African-American, but also as a Global Citizen. During his 24 months abroad Jabari traveled extensively throughout Japan and to 7 other countries in S.E. Asia and the South Pacific region. The exposure he gained to the variety of cultures that comprise our world was awe-inspiring and he routinely shared pictures and posts of such experiences with his network of family and friends via social media. Through the immensely positive feedback he received sharing such experiences, Jabari began to recognize the power of inspiration being manifested within. Moving forward, he knew that his life would serve a greater purpose.
After returning stateside in August 2009, Jabari was determined to move back to NYC where he had spent the summer before moving to Japan interning for Black Enterprise Magazine, and he eagerly did so after being hired as a Program Coordinator for iMentor, a Financial District based non-profit mentoring organization. His passion for service and uplifting others was re-affirmed through his work with iMentor and consequently drove him to dig deeper within himself to figure out his greater calling. As fate would have it that calling would soon be revealed. Following a short, but full 7 months helping to carry out iMentor's mission Jabari's path would lead him to the entrepreneurial lane. On July 16, 2010 he launched the "Jabari Inspires: Motivational YouTube VLOG" which found him happily back in familiar territory as an orator. The launch of his VLOG series would also serve as the official launch of the Jabari Inspires brand, a multi-tier platform that encompasses Jabari's Motivational Speaking, World Traveling, and Hosting endeavors. In November of 2010 the Jabari Inspires brand expanded its reach and visibility when Jabari entered the Paradise Hunter Global Host Search competition. The intense on-line voting competition lasted for four months as Jabari's entry video stood out amongst an initial pool of over 600 applicants from 20 countries to advance to the Top 40 Semi-Finalist round, and ultimately to the top 2 of the Finalist heap. Throughout the course of the competition Jabari made promotional appearances on DC-based radio and television programs, created an impressive grassroots inspirational campaign, and received overwhelming support with substantive on-line press and a total vote count of over 31,000. Despite not winning the Paradise Hunter Host job, he was still handsomely rewarded as an Executive Producer, Tracy Gross of Neopolitan Pony Productions, caught wind of his campaign and offered him the opportunity to Host a travel series she had been developing called, Black Diaspora Travels. With the theme of "uncovering the history and presence of Black people throughout the Globe" driving the series, Jabari is extremely passionate about the inspiring work he is fortunate to do with Black Diaspora Travels. Having filmed the show's pilot episode/commercial between New Orleans and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada during the summer of 2011, Jabari is excited to showcase the informative and compelling project to the world this fall when it begins the shopping process amongst networks and investors. It is his hope that Black Diaspora Travels can empower more people of color to explore the greater Global community while simultaneously serving as a tool that educates people of all cultures about the beauty and breadth of the Black Diaspora.
Currently based in New Orleans where he also does inspired work with LivingSocial Adventures and the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, Jabari is confident that his dream of owning and hosting his own internationally syndicated talk show will come to fruition. He acknowledges that none of his blessings would be possible without the awesome grace of GOD, the unyielding support of his loving Family, and the continued encouragement of his extremely supportive Friends. Indeed, Jabari knows that the BEST is yet to come…