CEO and Founder, Innovative Community Solutions
SUPERPOWER: DOT CONNECTOR
As a child, Jamila Jones wanted to be a pediatrician when she grew up. Her childhood pediatrician, a Dr. Clark, inspired her to see that she, as an African American, could do that, too. Raising her family in Columbus, Ohio, Jones’ mother was persistent and made sure that Jones was involved in African American communities in the area. They engaged in fellowship in the community and attended cultural events like the annual Heritage Music Festival Concert Series at the Martin Luther King Jr. Performing and Cultural Arts Complex in Columbus. After college at Howard University in Washington, D.C., Jones moved to the Eastern Panhandle in 2005 and eventually enrolled her children in private school. Many times, her children were the only African Americans in their classes. “During Black History Month, no information or curriculum had come about going over Black History Month,” Jones explains. “I felt obligated to make a more positive environment.”
Jones is the CEO and founder of Martinsburg-based Innovative Community Solutions, the mission of which is to increase leadership capacity of minority businesses. Her goal is to strengthen the Eastern Panhandle through community and nonprofits. “Just because this area is doing well doesn’t mean we can’t leverage opportunities,” she says. Recent ICS projects preserve history in Harpers Ferry, including saving historic houses from being demolished, and working with WVU students on an amphitheater. She hopes to start a project soon to connect African Americans to Appalachian trails.
Written by Elizabeth Howard
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