St. Louis Born and Raised
Born in St. Louis and raised by her Grandmother, Evelyn Williams, Jamilah has called the city home her entire life. Though she was pushed out of public schools, Jamilah found purpose and direction in reading and in activism. At the age of 19 she opened Sankofa Books and Gifts, hoping to provide that same purpose for others.
Sankofa quickly became a meeting place for community discussions and debate, bringing together concerned citizens with a desire to improve the city. Those discussions inspired Jamilah to action, and an enduring career of activism and public service to the city of St. Louis.
Serving Our City
In 2006, Jamilah sold her bookstore, ran for office, and was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives. In Jeff City, Senator Nasheed served for a decade on the House and Senate appropriations committees, shaping our state’s budget and fighting for resources for St. Louis. In 2018 alone, she secured over $14 million in the budget for additional education, health care, and jobs programs in the city.
But during her time in the Legislature, Senator Nasheed has never forgotten the principles and values that led her to public service in the first place.
Voice For the Voiceless
The folks who need our help the most are often the first to be ignored, cast aside, and given up on. Growing up, Jamilah experienced that trend firsthand; as an activist and legislator she has focused on reversing it. So, whether it was organizing to end discrimination against minority owned businesses or fighting for police and criminal justice reform, Jamilah has never been afraid to speak truth to power.
Jamilah’s commitment to reform followed her to the legislature. In Jefferson City, she wrote and passed legislation restoring local control to our city’s public schools and police department, giving our community a stronger voice in our own governance. She also worked to ‘Ban the Box’ and end discrimination against those with a criminal record.
Fighting for Our Futures
Jamilah has made it her mission to bring resources and opportunity to the people of St. Louis. In the capitol, she has fought to get funding for job training resources and youth summer jobs programs. In the St. Louis community, she is committed to helping our children succeed in the classroom. Jamilah founded the “In it 2 Win” Coalition, and is active in the Fresh Start program, which both support students who have dropped out of school return to the classrooms to earn their diplomas.