A native of Chicago and graduate of Temple University, Jesse Williams was a high school history teacher before beginning his professional acting career, performing off-Broadway at The Cherry Lane Theatre under the direction of award-winning playwright Edward Albee in The Sandbox. Jesse has played Dr. Jackson Avery in the hit series Grey’s Anatomy for seven seasons and his feature credits include Lee Daniels’ The Butler, The Cabin in the Woods and upcoming thriller Jacob’s Ladder.
Jesse is the youngest member of the Board of Directors at Advancement Project, a leading national civil rights and policy organization. Jesse also sits on the Advisory Board of Harry Belafonte’s social justice think tank, Sankofa.org.
Jesse founded his own production company, farWord films, with Aryn DrakeLee-Williams and is both correspondent and senior producer on Norman Lear’s documentary series America Divided, airing this fall. Williams is also executive producer of the documentary Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement, which aired on BET May 26, 2016.
Jesse is co-founder of the wickedly funny GIF keyboard and mobile app, Ebroji, a tech sensation that addresses the clear void in social ownership, perceptions of language and the currency of culture.
Williams is exec producer of Question Bridge: Black Males (QuestionBridge.com) and cohost of NBA podcast Open Run Show.