Jamila Hammami is a Texan abolitionist cross-movement grassroots community organizer, movement and communications strategist, and scholar.

For twenty years, Jamila’s organizing work has focused on anti-imperialism/ militarism, human rights, racial, migratory, and queer justice; and bridging the prison-industrial complex and border abolition movements.

Jamila is a National Organizing Director defending activists, students, educators, organizers, and marginalized communities experiencing attacks on their First Amendment Rights and a Frederick Douglass 200 Bicentennial Abolitionist Honoree.

A Sundance Creative Change and an Opportunity Agenda Communications Institute alum, Jamila focuses on movement and communications strategy to build People Power.

Jamila’s scholarly writing and research explore human rights, race, MENA region, migration, political economy, empire, militarism, fascism, surveillance, labor, community organizing, movement strategy, borders/ boundaries, LGBTQI/PLHIV communities, and carceral studies.

Jamila’s several scholarly book chapter publications and journal articles include a co-authored chapter in the just-released Resistance and Abolition in the Borderlands: Confronting Trump’s Reign of Terror (2024), a co-authored journal article in Radical History Review’s Special Issue: Alternatives to the Anthropocene: A Roundtable on Environmental Injustice and Border Abolition (2023), solo-authored chapter in Queer and Trans Migrations: Dynamics of Illegalization, Detention, And Deportation (2020), and co-authored chapter in Queer Activism After Marriage Equality (2018). Jamila’s additional written work is in Common Dreams (2022) and Left Voice (2019). 

Jamila has given numerous talks, seminars, and panels, including testifying at the UNHCR Convenings in Geneva, Switzerland. Receiving international recognition, the International Detention Coalition’s 2016 LGBTI Position Paper Report cites Jamila’s work with LGBTQI/PLHIV in post-immigrant prisons as best practices for LGBTQI/PLHIV-sensitive case management support. 

Jamila has led numerous workshops and seminars and trained thousands of people over the last 15 years locally, nationally, and internationally on various Know Your Rights, political economy, labor, LGBTQI+/PLHIV migratory communities, migration, carceral state, community organizing, and resistance topics. 

Recently, Jamila spoke at the Stockton International Workshop on Refugees and Displacement to Mark 70 Years since the U.N. Refugee Convention, on “Queer and Trans Displacement, Pandemic Politics, and Racialized Borders”, as a part of the workshop, Protection Gaps: Politics, Law, and Activism. Jamila was also a part of the 2022 #ImmigrationAND Scholar Series, speaking at the closing scholar panel event, #ImmigrationANDAbolitionistFutures.

In 2021, Jamila provided a keynote address with Karma R. Chávez at the Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication Conference at the University of Pennsylvania entitled, “Communicating Abolition: Radical Possibilities for Post-Pandemic Futures: A Dialogue with Jamila Hammami and Karma R. Chávez”. In 2020, Jamila spoke on austerity and labor alongside Dean Spade, Hannah Appel, David Xu Borgonjon, Sami Disu, Nicholas Mirzoef, Yuh-Line Niou, Sandy Nurse, Naomi Zewde at the Vera Institute’s ART • WORK • PLACE: Emergency Sessions II, chaired by Nikki Columbus. 

Jamila is humbled to receive awards, honors, and recognition for their organizing, community, and advocacy work. Including the 2023 Recognition for Arab American Heritage Month from Pride at Work Philadelphia, the 2019 Frederick Douglass 200 Bicentennial Abolitionist Honoree from Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives, and the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University in Washington, D.C., among others.

Jamila is a SIFI-certified instructor through the Columbia School of Social Work, holds a Master of Social Work (MSW) in Community Organizing and Program Development, specializing in Immigrants and Refugees, from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College and a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from The University of North Texas.

Awards, Honors, & Fellowships

  • 2023 Recognition for Arab American Heritage Month, Pride at Work Philadelphia
  • 2021 Recognition for Arab American Heritage Month, Oregon Community Health Workers Association
  • 2020 Opportunity Agenda Communications Institute Fellow 
  • 2019 Frederick Douglass 200 Abolitionist Bicentennial Honoree, Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives and the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University in Washington DC
  • 2017 John Gutterman Legacy Award, Freedom for Immigrants
  • 2017 HEART Award, Metropolitan Community Church of NY
  • 2017 LGBT Caucus Champion, New York City Council
  • 2017 Top 20 Arab Activists List, Step Feed, International
  • 2017 Recognition for Women’s History Month: Uplifting Powerful Female Voices in Social Justice, Opportunity Agenda, NY, NY.
  • 2017 Top 10 Arab Women Fighting For Sexual & Gender Freedom, Step Feed, International
  • 2016 Emerging Leadership Award, New York City National Association of Social Worker
  • 2015 Opportunity Agenda Communications Institute Fellow 
  • 2010 Center for Health and Gender Equity Fellowship (CHANGE) Lobbying Fellow
  • 2009 Texas Equal Access Fund (TEA Fund) Fundraising Fellow