JESSE WILLIAMS (REV. JAMES LAWSON)
A native of Chicago and graduate of Temple University, Williams began his professional career teaching American, African and African-American History in low income Philadelphia public charter schools. From there Williams moved to New York City and, after working at a law firm, began his professional acting career, performing off- Broadway at The Cherry Lane Theatre, under the direction of award-winning playwright Edward Albee in “The Sandbox.” This year Williams enters his 5th season as Dr. Jackson Avery in ABC’s hit series “Grey’s Anatomy.” His feature credits include “Brooklyn’s Finest”, “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2″ and “The Cabin in the Woods.”
Williams performed in two festival bound short films this summer: the comedy RICH GIRL PROBLEMS with Ellie Kemper and the western THEY DIE BY DAWN, with Michael K Williams, Rosario Dawson, Erykah Badu and many more. The film enjoyed its world premiere at the 2013 South By Southwest Film Festival.
Williams founded the production company, farWord Inc. with his wife Aryn Drakelee- Williams out of a desire to examine and affect the relationship between historical/cultural comprehension and the ways in which media content influences our [collective and individual] health and behavior. Through the development of valuable curriculum, literary, film/TV and new media projects, farWord Inc. is dedicated to developing an honest and innovative presence necessary for cultural leadership, creative and psychological independence.
Williams is an executive producer of Question Bridge: Black Males, a transmedia and video installation that is being exhibited in museums nationwide as well as the Sundance Film Festival & Los Angeles Film Festival. A free curriculum and website are currently in development and will launch as a 24-hour dialogue hub, facilitating exchanges around identity among a critical mass of American Black men, before welcoming nationwide interaction among and across all demographics.