Jamila is a first­ generation Tunisian­ Arab American mixed person of color community organizer & social worker from the south, now based in NYC.

Jamila began organizing in 2003, with the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and have been heavily involved in pro- soldier/ anti- war organizing as a child and partner of veterans ever since. More recently, they are a founder and was the Executive Director of the Queer Detainee Empowerment Project. Founded in 2014, Jamila has worked with LGBTQI/ HIV+ immigrants in detention and post- detention. They have specifically worked on service provision, program development, organizing, advocacy and policy around the realities of immigrant prisons, violent xenophobic policies and Islamaphobia; while uplifting the voices of LGBTQIA+/ HIV+ immigrants that were previously detained.

Jamila is currently a PhD student studying Social Welfare with a concentration in Community Organizing. They’re a professor of Community Organizing at Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, located at Hunter College Main. Jamila’s writing exclusively discusses immigrant rights, immigration injustice, mass incarceration/ industrialized punishment, prison abolition, and labor.

Jamila comes to this work with personal and familial experiences with the incarceration system and the military industrial complex, a background in reproductive justice, working to center woman, specifically trans and queer, of color’s voices in movements, and witnessing the impacts of migration and racism in their formative years in Texas. Jamila is a survivor of police brutality and the carceral system; but is fortunate to have been able to remain in the free world based on civil rights violations.


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