Jamala Rogers spent her childhood growing up in a working class neighborhood with her four siblings in Kansas City, MO. She came of political and cultural age during the tumultuous 60’s and became active in the black student movement. She’s been organizing and raising hell ever since.
Jamala has devoted all of her adult life to advocating and organizing for a community that is child-centered, believing in the African proverb that if it’s good for the children, it’s good for the community. Her fight has always been to celebrate and protect the human rights for all citizens regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or religion. Because of the persistent barriers to this goal, it has naturally led her to being a leader in the struggle for justice, equality and peace–barriers such as racism, homophobia, and patriarchy.
Jamala has held and currently holds leadership and membership in organizations that share her vision for a more just and peaceful world. She is committed to a radical transformation of a society where Black people, especially children, can reach their full potential and prosper.
Jamala is an unapologetic feminist and is deeply involved in the development of women and increasing their full participation in social movements. She works tirelessly on issues such as health, violence and reproductive rights. She has been a faculty member at the Black Feminist Organizing School (BFOS).
Jamala been a keynote speaker, workshop presenter and panelist at various conferences. Her presentations focused on the issues she has organized around for decades like the prison industrial complex, police accountability, feminist leadership, organization development, movement-building, etc. She is associated with the wrongful convictions and exonerations of several Missouri men and women including Ellen Reasonover, Joseph Amrine, Darryl Burton and recently, Lamar Johnson.
Jamala is a featured columnist for the award-winning St. Louis American newspaper, St. Louis’ largest black weekly. She is on the editorial board of BlackCommentator.com and is a featured contributor. Her columns also appear in the Capital City Hues (Madison, WI) and the LA Progressive. She has authored many articles for both local and national publications on issues that she is passionately involved in. Jamala is the author of The Best of the Way I See It, a compilation of her political writings over a 20-year period. She is also the author Ferguson is America: Roots of Rebellion. She is host of Voices from the Battlefield, a weekly radio program on Black Radio Hall of Fame. Jamala is co-host of Black Work Talk, a production of Convergence Magazine. She also does a weekly podcast of short takes called Just Expressin’ Myself on Black World Media Network.
Jamala has received numerous awards for her commitment to racial justice and gender equity. Her story is celebrated and archived at HistoryMaker®.