Jewelle Taylor Gibbs is a noted author, clinical psychologist, college professor and member of the Santa Clara County Democratic Central Committee in California. She was born on November 4, 1933, to Margaret Morris and the Reverend Julian A. Taylor.
Gibbs grew up in Connecticut and in 1951 graduated from Ansonia High School. Gibbs attended Radcliffe College, graduating cum laude in 1955. She went on to study at the Harvard-Radcliffe Program in Business Administration, earning a certificate with distinction in 1959. Gibbs went to work at the Pillsbury Company that same year and stayed there until 1961.
In 1970, Gibbs graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with an M.S.W. From 1970 to 1975, she worked as a clinical social worker at Stanford University. Gibbs then continued her pursuit of education, receiving an M.A. in 1977 and a Ph.D. in psychology in 1980 from Berkeley. Gibbs began her teaching career in 1979 as a professor at the School of Social Welfare and also at Berkeley. Gibbs became the first African American professor appointed to an endowed chair in the University of California system as the Zellerbach Family Fund Professor of Social Policy, Community Change and Practice at Berkeley.
Gibbs is a regular commentator on issues relating to youth violence, adolescence, urban education, affirmative action, police misconduct and racial profiling – particularly as they affect the African American community. Gibbs is the author of numerous books on high-profile issues, including Preserving Privilege: California Politics, Propositions, and People of Color; Children of Color: Psychological Interventions with Culturally Diverse Youth; and Race and Justice: Rodney King and O.J. Simpson in a House Divided. She also edited Young, Black and Male in America: An Endangered Species. She is a sought-after speaker across the country and has delivered lectures in Canada, England, Japan, Hawaii and South Africa. Gibbs is married to James Lowell Gibbs, Jr.