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Star, ABC's "Grey's Anatomy"

Speaker Snapshot
  • Stars as Dr. Jackson Avery on ABC’s "Grey's Anatomy"
  • Received the 2016 BET Humanitarian Award
  • Senior producer and correspondent for docu-series "America Divided"
  • Executive produced the 2016 documentary "Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement" and 2012 multimedia project "Question Bridge: Black Males"
  • Co-founded the production company farWord Inc.
Biography
Star, ABC's "Grey's Anatomy"

Jesse Williams is an actor, director, producer, and activist best known for his role as Dr. Jackson Avery in ABC’s hit medical drama "Grey’s Anatomy," currently in his 8th season. For his role, Williams was nominated for Favorite Dramatic TV Actor by the People’s Choice Awards.

Williams currently serves as senior producer and correspondent for EPIX docu-series "America Divided," which focuses on inequality in America. He will star in upcoming psychological horror film "Jacob’s Ladder."

Williams other feature credits include "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2," "Brooklyn’s Finest," "The Cabin in the Woods," "The Butler," "They Die By Dawn," "Money," and "Band Aid." He is also the founder of the production company, farWord Inc.

Williams is a widely recognized civil rights activist, who received the 2016 BET Humanitarian Award and gained international attention for his acceptance speech decrying racial injustice and police brutality. He is the youngest board member of The Advancement Project, a leading national civil rights advocacy organization, and also sits on the board of Harry Belafonte's arts and social justice organization Sankofa.org.

Williams was an executive producer on the documentary "Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement," which premiered Summer 2016, and also on "Question Bridge: Black Males," a transmedia project, art installation, curriculum, and website (QuestionBridge.com). The exhibition was an official selection of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival New Frontiers and continues to be exhibited in museums nationwide, including the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

He is a board member, brand ambassador, and partner in the company Scholly, a mobile app that connect students to scholarships for which they're eligible. Additionally, Williams and his wife, Aryn Drake Lee-Williams, alongside renowned artist Glenn Kaino, launched Ebroji, the first curated GIF keyboard designed specifically to enhance the way we already communicate.

A native of Chicago and graduate of Temple University, Williams began his professional career teaching high school in low income Philadelphia public charter schools. From there he 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."

Off screen, Williams hosts the sports and culture-themed podcast "Open Run," through a partnership with LeBron James' digital network, Uninterrupted.

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