A native of Chicago and graduate of Temple University, Jesse 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.”
This year, Williams enters his 8th season as Dr. Jackson Avery in ABC’s hit series Grey’s Anatomy and is also senior producer and correspondent for the upcoming EPIX docuseries America Divided w Norman Lear. He next stars in the thrilling feature Jacob’s Ladder, distributed by Universal and executive produced the documentary Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement, which premiered this summer. His feature credits also include “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” “The Cabin in the Woods,” “Brooklyn’s Finest,” and “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2” as well as the acclaimed western short “They Die By Dawn.”
Williams is founder of the production company, farWord Inc. and the executive producer of “Question Bridge: Black Males,” a series of transmedia art installations, films, 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. Williams is co-founder of the Ebroji mobile app, a curated GIF keyboard and partner in Scholly, a leading scholarship mobile app, while also co-hosting Open Run, one of itunes‘ top sports podcasts, he co-owns with Lebron James’ Uninterrupted Network.
Williams earned the 2016 BET Humanitarian Award as a champion of civil rights. He also sits on the Board of Directors of Advancement Project, a leading national civil rights advocacy organization and Harry Belafonte’s arts and social justice organization Sankofa.org.