Jamila comes from a powerful lineage of trailblazing women such as her Great Grandma Lou, an entrepreneur, and landowner, in the Jim Crow South to her Aunt Lula, a Freedom Rider, detained at Mississippi’s Parchman Prison for integrating public transportation. Her ancestors instilled a deeply rooted commitment to wisdom, integrity, service, and justice, guiding her work. At 19, Jamila experienced Africa for the first time; she witnessed absolute beauty and poverty, and both looked like her. She learned about pre-colonial history and culture and felt one with the land and people. After university, she returned to Africa for almost a decade, learning from and with solidarity-based communities and African women’s cooperatives. Jamila realized that anti-black racism was exported and packaged international development; and advocated against anti-black racism in development, which led her back to D.C. to use her platform for influence. In 2020, she transitioned to start blakQuity, an aspiring Black love, and liberation cooperative.
Jamila serves her community in various ways, including volunteering with local Mutual Aid networks, mentoring students through College Bound, volunteering with her church and several local organizations, supporting HBCUs, and being active racial equity and justice activist. She co-founded the Geraldine N. Coleman “a Seat at the Kitchen Table” College Scholarship, a scholarship established to honor her late Grandmother, providing scholarships to first-generation college-bound seniors. Jamila is an elected Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in Ward 8 representing 8A05, the Anacostia community.
Jamila holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Hampton University and a Master’s in Public Administration with a concentration in Economic Development and International Affairs from Indiana University.
Jamila and her sister Aisha were raised by their mother in Fredericksburg, VA and their father in Washington D.C.