Jamil Wright: Harnessing the power of assembly for positive change

Jamil Wright in a black shirt

Jamil Wright: Harnessing the power of assembly for positive change

There are few students on Ohio State's campus who understand the idea of a movement quite like Jamil Wright. An Akron native, Wright spoke out on the frontlines of protest following the death of Jayland Walker, a 25-year-old Black man. There, Wright learned how to organize demonstrations and mobilize communities—all before his twenty-first birthday.

Before coming to Ohio State and throughout his time as Buckeye, Wright has been heavily involved in the Akron area, working with organizations like the Lebron James Family Foundation, Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank, and Mayor's Youth Leadership Council. His community activism led him to be chosen as a speaker at an NAACP protest during the summer of 2022.

“It was a different experience, not just being there but actually saying something. It became more real in a sense. Being a voice for something is different, especially as a young person,” Wright commented. “That's when you really get to see yourself and really determine who you are as a person. Situations like that will really tell you where you stand.”

Now, as member of the Black, Caribbean, and Latine Student Associations, Black Men Talk, Black Mental Health Coalition, and other student organizations, Wright works to empower other students through community and conversation.

A third-year Morrill Scholar, Wright is also a member of the University Honors Program and is majoring in City and Regional Planning and minoring in theatre. He dreams of one day performing on stages even larger than the ones in downtown streets; however, he remains devoted to the Akron community.

Like his scholarship namesake, Wright believes his ability to connect with and relate to his communities makes him a strong leader.

“[MLK] wasn't just seeing stuff from the outside looking in, but he actually experienced what other people experienced,” Wright explained. “He's a good example of what a leader should look like. I think everyone can learn something from what he did.”