Mother. Servant. Clinician.
Jamila Jaye Woods has been a Social Justice Activist for more than 30 years. She works with individuals, community and faith-based organizations, to help them recognize the power they possess to transform the world as it is, to the world as it should be. Jamila is dedicated to serving the men, women, and children of District 26, Prince George's County, and the State of Maryland.
Jamila Jaye Woods is a native of Chesilhurst, New Jersey. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree (Political Science, 1990) and a Master of Divinity degree (1999) from Howard University. She received numerous academic scholarships during her tenure at Howard University and the Howard Divinity school. Her achievements include the “There is Hope” Scholarship, The Ford Foundation Fellowship, The Marlowe and Howard Stone Anderson Award, the Gerald Durley Award, and two Howard University Trustee Scholarships,
Jamila earned a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from the University of Maryland at Baltimore (2002), and received a Maryland Delegate Scholarship during her tenure there. She was also honored to be featured in the School of Social Work Recruitment magazine, as a result of her commitment toward social justice advocacy.
Jamila was ordained an Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in 2004 and served as the Pastor of the Cornerstone AME Church of LaPlata (MD) from 2005 until 2012. She commenced service as the Pastor of the Jabez Christian Community Church (White Plains, MD) which she founded, on April 29, 2012.
Jamila was appointed to a four-year term on the New Americans Council, by Governor Martin O’Malley in 2009, and served on the Council for four years. This Council was created to promote the full integration of immigrants into the economic and civic life of Maryland.
Jamila was elected Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Ministers Alliance of Charles County and Vicinity (Maryland) in November 2012. She was also elected to the Board of Directors of the Collective Empowerment Group (Prince George’s County, MD) in December 2013. She stepped down from both positions to further her efforts to realize her vision for Gabriel’s Lyric Therapeutic Services, LLC, in 2015.
Jamila has worked in the past, with BRIDGE (Baltimore Regional Initiative Developing Genuine Equality), performing faith-based social justice advocacy. She is currently serving as Interim President of the Partnership for Renewal in Central and Southern Maryland (PRISCM). She served as past Vice President of the African-American Leadership Commission (Gamaliel Foundation, Chicago, Il.), where President Barack Obama received his Community organizer training.
As a Certified Domestic Violence (DV) Assesor, DV Counselor and DV Group Facilitator Jamila has previously provided individual and Group Domestic Violence Counseling. She is also certified as a Certified Anger Management Specialist (CAMS-I).
Jamila launched Gabriel’s Lyric Therapeutic Services, LLC, in July, 2014. This organization offers a wide range of therapeutic services in the Southern Maryland area. Jamila is a certified Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor and a Certified Adult Mental Health First Aid Instructor. She also is a Broadcast Partner with JamzRock Radio, and hosts a radio broadcast, each Monday evening at 8:00 pm, entitled, “Conversations on Faith and Mental Health.” Her broadcast is played simultaneously, over a total of 9 additional FM and Internet Radio Stations, reaching more than 25,000 people internationally on a monthly basis.
Jamila’s commitment to meeting the needs of others through social justice and political advocacy are reflected by her work with numerous social justice organizations and political advocacy Campaigns. She met with former Maryland State Governor Martin O’Malley on two occasions, and was also invited and served as the Mistress of Ceremonies for the Raise Maryland rally, held in Annapolis, MD, where Governor O’Malley and then Lt. Governor Anthony Brown committed their support to an increase of the Minimum wage in Maryland. She actively worked with the Raise Maryland campaign, and subsequently testified before the State’s Senate Finance Committee on the Maryland Minimum Wage bill proposed by the House of Delegates (HB295).
Jamila was invited to serve on the program, and participated in the campaign for a living wage, for workers at Johns Hopkins University on May 13, 2014. The event gathered thousands of participants at Maryland’s Inner Harbor. Actors/activists Danny Glover and Wendell Pierce also served as speakers on this program.
On June 24, 2014, Jamila was elected to the Office of Democratic Central Committee, for Prince George’s County, Maryland’s 26th Legislative District. The Democratic Central Committee governs the Democratic Party in the State of Maryland. In 2016, she was elected First Vice President of the Democratic Central Committee for Prince George’s County, MD.
Jamila testified before the Maryland Health and Government Operations Committee on HB 602, in support of a Uterine Fibroid Study. That bill was signed on April 13, 2015.
In 2016, Jamila was invited and served as a Facilitator for Maryland Working Family’s campaigns around equal pay for equal work, in both Charles County and Baltimore, MD. The bill succeeded and was signed into law on May 19, 2016. In 2016, she also testified in Annapolis (MD) on the Police Accountability Bill, calling for more police accountability and for citizen participation on a Review Board, during instances when officers are alleged to have used brutality.
On May 11, 2016, Jamila met with Corporate Executives from Giant Food Stores, in Largo, MD, to discuss an alternative to closing 8 stores in the Maryland area. She was invited to advocate, as a clergy representative, on behalf of the United Food and Worker’s Union, Local 400, and Giant employees, who would be adversely affected, if decisions were not made to maintain their employment with Giant or another Grocery store, if Giant sold the aforementioned local stores.
More recently, Jamila has advocated issues of racial equality and an end to racism, prison re-entry and the war on drugs. She remains a very strong advocate regarding issues of mental health and continues to sponsor mental health conferences and speak at mental health events.
Jamila is the proud mother of two children, whom she refers to as her Angels: Gabriel Tyrell, recently deceased, and Lyric MiKayla.