Jamillah graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a BA in Psychology and Community Studies in 2004. She has researched the effects of globalization and free trade on indigenous youth in Chiapas, Mexico and coordinated several teach-ins in California to raise awareness and link the political and economic struggles of indigenous Mexicans to low-income communities of color in the U.S. Jamillah has also served as a community organizer working on environmental and social justice issues in New York City and has authored numerous articles and reports on the environmental health risks associated with poor quality housing in urban communities.
Field placement: Solid Ground
Jamillah conducted the Grocery Gap Project, a pilot study that assessed the availability and cost of healthy foods in two Seattle neighborhoods of distinctly different socio-economic backgrounds, using the USDA’s Thrifty Food Plan. Utilizing the principles of community-based participatory research, Jamillah coordinated a series of community discussions and in-depth interviews with residents and local stakeholders to explore the intricate relationship between race, poverty, and food access.
Policy placement: Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
Jamillah worked with the Place Matters Initiative, a project designed to identify and address social determinants of health disparities at the local level. Jamillah created food security and poverty profiles for select counties throughout the nation and developed a training toolkit designed to provide Place Matters teams and their constituents with the necessary resources to understand the local hunger and poverty issues within their communities, and innovative ways to address those problems.