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Jamira Burley
Recognized by the White House as a Champion of Change, Jamira Burley is the essence of perseverance. Driven by her past hardships, she is dedicated to reshaping communities and disrupting the status quo.

Over the last eleven years, Jamira has made it her mission to employ her personal experiences as the driving force to improve the lives of others. From implementing anti-violence initiatives throughout the Philadelphia School District to organizing youth trainings around the world, her ardor for personal and social advancement is undeniable.

Jamira is a nationally recognized speaker, youth and social justice advocate, as well as international trainer for adult and youth leaders. Jamira leads with marked expertise on youth engagement, education reform, global citizenship, corporate social responsibility, gun violence prevention and criminal justice reform.

As the first of 16 children to graduate from high school and pursue higher education, Jamira is a Temple University graduate with a Bachelor of Business Administration in International Business and Legal Studies.

Having worked over six years for The School District of Philadelphia as a youth development leader, Jamira was recruited by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter to lead the City of Philadelphia Youth Commission. As Executive Director for the Youth Commission, she represented the interests of over 600,000 Philadelphia youths and worked in the intersection of youth engagement and policy.

Presently, Jamira works as the Senior Campaigner for Amnesty International USA—one of the first and largest human rights organizations in the world. Overseeing collaboration with partners as well as Amnesty’s national and international membership base, Jamira develops and implements human rights driven campaigns on gun violence prevention and criminal justice reform.

Appointed by Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell to the Pennsylvania Commission on Children and Families, Mayor Michael Nutter Police Advisory Commission and Fund For Philadelphia Board, Jamira has served on both city and state commissions. Always looking to serve the communities she lives and works in, Jamira was appointed by United Nations Secretary General, Ban Kim-moon, to United Nations Global Education First Initiative, Youth Advocacy Group. For the last three years, she has traveled to over 15 countries advocating for the rights of every child to have access to quality education.

Previously sharing the stage with world leaders including President of the World Bank, Jim Young Kim; United Nations Secretary General, Ban Kim-moon; Global education advocate, Malala Yousafzai; and social rights leader Desmond Mpilo Tut, her perseverance continues to inspire on a grand platform. Jamira has been featured in Forbes, Glamour Magazine, The New York Times, The Huffington Post and USA Today.

As she upholds her mission to inspire others to strive for the betterment of society, for Jamira Burley the journey has merely begun.

Entries by Jamira Burley

Remembering Natasha McKenna: A Promise Unfulfilled

(0) Comments | Posted February 10, 2016 | 3:08 PM

Do you know the name Natasha McKenna?

You may have heard her name and her story, and been outraged. You may have heard it once or twice last year amid the alarming list of other names of those who died at the hands of law enforcement. You may have forgotten....

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The Call for a National Crime and Justice Task Force

(2) Comments | Posted March 25, 2015 | 6:38 PM

Recently, the Department of Justice (DOJ) released its findings in two investigations involving the Ferguson Police Department. After officially closing its investigation into the shooting death of Michael Brown, the DOJ has decided not to file criminal charges against Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson. That announcement came within hours of...

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How Philadelphia Is Bringing Together the Country's Top Millennials

(0) Comments | Posted October 20, 2014 | 1:21 PM

The new school has arrived, ushering in more than 80 million classmates, better known as the millennial generation. This Internet savvy, socially conscious and world-changing generation is pushing back from the political, social and economic constraints left by our predecessors and we are now forging our own path. In every...

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A Childhood Behind Bars

(1) Comments | Posted March 13, 2014 | 12:39 PM

I co-authored this post with a colleague of mine, Philadelphia native and former juvenile delinquent Marvin Bing. Marvin (@MarvinBing) is a product of the foster care system and currently working on the "Raise The Age" New York Campaign.

We've all witnessed a 5-year-old temper tantrum but if you're...

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'She Could Be Your Daughter' #DayOfTheGirl

(0) Comments | Posted October 11, 2013 | 3:30 PM

"One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world," said Malala Yousafzai, a young woman who was shot in the head by the Taliban. But not every child has that opportunity. There are nearly 31 million girls worldwide who are out of school at...

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Malala Day: UN Youth Takeover

(0) Comments | Posted June 24, 2013 | 2:46 PM

If there was ever a time for world leaders to step aside and allow for the next generation of change-makers to make their mark, that time will be on July 12th. Young people from all over the world will descend on New York as the United Nations Youth Take Over...

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One Death Is Too Many: Why We Need Gun Violence Prevention Reforms

(28) Comments | Posted February 27, 2013 | 4:08 PM

Eight years ago, in 2005, I was just a normal high school student. I faced my share of adversity, but nothing I thought I couldn't handle -- even after the repeat incarcerations of both my parents and all 10 of my older brothers. That is, until I received a phone...

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An Open Letter to Undecided Voters

(1) Comments | Posted November 1, 2012 | 1:01 PM

Dear Undecided Voters,

There are many people who unfortunately think you don't exist but as many polls have indicated, you not only exist, you account for millions of likely voters (5-7 percent of likely voters). This is important to note because your decision could very well change the course of...

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Don't Forget About Me... What It Takes To Get My VOTE 2012

(1) Comments | Posted October 2, 2012 | 5:51 PM

In 2008 there was so much excitement surrounding the Presidential election it was contagious. For many, like myself it would be one of our first opportunities to vote for the United States highest office... President. As a 20-year-old, just started my second semester in college it turned into one of...

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