Meet Joy & Liberation host committee member Jamila Justine Willis!

Meet Jamila Justine Willis! Jamila is a corporate restructuring attorney, a long-time supporter of Sadie Nash, and member of our Joy and Liberation Host Committee.

How did you become involved in Sadie Nash?

I became involved after attending a showcase of nonprofits in 2010. Although I hadn’t been planning to join any junior boards that night, I was compelled by Sadie Nash’s mission and joined Leadership Council.

Tell us about a memorable moment you’ve had at Sadie Nash.
I attended an event where Nashers spoke about their time with the program to visitors wanting to learn more. During breakout sessions Nashers met with us in small groups. I was so impressed by their thoughtfulness and maturity, world view, and understanding of their own abilities. Teaching young women activism makes them unafraid of their own voice.

In other organizations, there’s often a distance between volunteers and donors and participants. They have very separate roles. But not here. I love sitting around talking and doing the same activities Nashers do to learn about myself and other New Yorkers. That’s an incredible experience.

What makes Sadie Nash special?
The amazing thing about Sadie Nash is the community. It strikes me how warm people are here. I had to take a step back from my involvement in 2016, but everyone was understanding and gentle. They trusted my decision. That was a lovely response.

What gives you hope?
In my line of work, I interact with people in some of the most distressing, problematic times in their lives. But I am constantly inspired by human resilience and compassion and the fact that people can and will get up and try again to defeat the odds.