Born in Florida but raised in Iowa, Jamie Williams created a life for himself “beyond social limitations” through reconnecting to his roots and tapping into his Midwestern ideology. While chatting with The Trust, Williams sheds light on varying perspectives regarding a Black man’s self-image, internal purpose, and choices. He uses his childhood, experience in the NFL, and extensive academic studies in order to expand upon his leadership and advocate for change of the Black male perception.
Jamie Williams is a former TE who played 12 seasons in the NFL. A lifelong learner and a leader in local and international communities, Jamie has used his upbringing, academic experiences, and career to redefine the notion that a black man can only be measured by the sport he plays.
Following his retirement from the NFL, Jamie received a Doctorate of Education in Organization and Leadership. While working on his dissertation, he had the opportunity to also write, act and work with Oliver Stone in developing the quintessential pro football film, ANY GIVEN SUNDAY. As an actor, he played Shark’s tight end, number 83. ANY GIVEN SUNDAY gave Jamie the opportunity to offer a realistic narrative of black men by representing the multiplicity and dynamic of their journeys not often represented in popular films.
“ ANY GIVEN SUNDAY gave Jamie the opportunity to offer a realistic narrative of black men by representing the multiplicity and dynamic of their journeys not often represented in popular films. ”
“. . . That’s why I pushed Oliver to make the co-protagonist about the black quarterback, who offers up a new type of leadership, culturally.” Having played with a number of black quarterbacks, including Hall of Famer Warren Moon, Jamie says, “There’s no question today that these same leadership qualities are both color and gender-blind and should be highly sought in business, education and politics.”
“ There’s no question today that these same leadership qualities are both color and gender-blind and should be highly sought in business, education and politics. ”
Black male figures in Jamie’s life whispered universal truths into his ear he still adheres to today. “I believe everyone needs those types of figures in their life, because they represent the wise wizard everyone needs to complete a tough journey.” A longtime mentor helped him realize that he was actually an Artist and Athlete.
“ A longtime mentor helped him realize that he was actually an Artist and Athlete. ”
Jamie is the CEO and President of TEAM81 Inc., a professional services company that provides lean, adaptable technology and supply chain services. The company is about team, service, execution and a great place to work. Williams is the change that he hopes for — by being intentional in his perspectives, his willingness to research beyond American history, his self-study and persistence in surrounding himself with influences that add value to his life. He hopes all realize you too can redefine and reinvent your life at any point in time.
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