Reverend Jacques Andre De Graff has served on the pastoral staff at historic Canaan Baptist Church, where he was ordained under the Reverend Wyatt Tee Walker, (Reverend Dr. MLK’s former Chief of Staff) and is a renowned champion for equity and inclusion.
A graduate of Hunter College, and alumnus of the NYU School of Real Estate; New York Theological Seminary, and The Kennedy School of Government at Harvard Kennedy, DeGraff has been an outspoken advocate for economic and social justice for communities of color. Well known and respected in New York leadership circles, he has been a tireless advocate for Minority and Women owned businesses which create jobs in our communities, and he helped to lead the passage of Local Law1 to create municipal opportunities for MWBE contracts.
City and State Magazine featured him in a recent cover story, as a leader in the national Black Church initiative to combat COVID in NYC. His activities also earned him inclusion on the list of
New York’s Black Power 100.
De Graff served as Co-Chair on the African American Council on matters of economic development and diversity for the Nielsen Corporation, the leading global provider of consumer information and analysis.
DeGraff was the featured speaker and U.S. Representative at the United Nations at its Commission on Violence against Women. He has been a leader and activist against gun violence working with the One Hundred Black Men, the Manhattan District Attorney, Cy Vance and New York Police Department. DeGraff helped spearhead the acclaimed gun buyback program. He is also a founding member of the world-famous Harlem Week.
Reverend DeGraff served as Chairman of the NewsCorp Community Philanthropic Awards and Scholarships Program, and the past Chairman of Diversity Council for properties including Wall Street Journal, Fox News, 20th Century Fox Films and other properties.
He is the past chairman of the Board of the Urban Assembly, an innovative educational foundation that has created over twenty-two public schools in the City of New York. and serves as Chairman and President of The Friends of Harlem Hospital, the fund-raising organization for the enhancement of the hospital and patient care.
In the recent past DeGraff was:
Honored for his advocacy in building NYC as part of the 50 Most Powerful New Yorkers in
Cited as the NYC MWBE Advocate of the Year by the City of New York having been nominated by the Building Trades Council.
Leader of an historic delegation of African American clergy on Israel Mission of Bridge Building and interfaith fellowship and education with NYC Jewish Community Relations Council.
Co-chairman of the New York Friends of Puerto Rico, an economic development and bridge building organization. Co-chairing annual conference in Puerto Rico as part of Somos El Futoro fostering opportunities and relationships between businesses, government and civic leaders in New York and Puerto Rico.
Reverend De Graff has served as the 1 st Vice President of the One Hundred Black Men, New York, where he has been a founding member of two public high schools; The Eagle Academy for Young Men and the Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice (Urban Assembly).
Reverend De Graff’s prodigious organizing and communications skills keep him in constant demand in the media on matters concerning political analysis, diversity, social justice and minority affairs. A much sought-after speaker he is also a regular contributor on FOX NEWS and his leadership has been featured in the New York Times, Crain’s New York, Positive Community, City and State, Wall Street Journal and other leading publications in articles on MWBE issues, the Black Church, education and social justice.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Expert -- Economic & Social Justice Advocate, Rev. Jacques A. DeGraff