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Judges Spotlight February 25, 2019

5 Things You Should Know About Jesse Williams

Jesse Williams is an activist, community organizer, actor, and tech entrepreneur. This fearless crusader is fighting for marginalized people across the tech industry, film, and beyond.

Many people recognize him as Jackson Avery on the hit series Grey’s Anatomy, but actor Jesse Williams’ talents extend beyond the television screen. As an outspoken activist, Williams has been addressing systemic oppression and the representation of people of color across the entertainment and tech industries for years—especially with his Ebroji GIF keyboard and mobile game BLeBRiTY.

We’re so honored to have Jesse Williams in the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences as an esteemed judge for The Webby Awards! Read on for 5 facts you might not know about him.

5 Things About Jesse Williams

Jesse Williams is an activist, community organizer, actor, and tech entrepreneur. This fearless crusader is fighting for marginalized people across the tech industry, film, and beyond.

Before Acting, He Was an Educator

Prior to kickstarting his acting career, Jesse Williams served low-income, Philadelphia public charter schools as an educator. His primary focus? Teaching American, African, and African American history to high school students.

Learn more: Watch this throwback of Williams dissecting the school-to-prison pipeline in the “America Divided” series.

BLeBRiTY Was Apple's App of the Day 📱🥇

Jesse Williams has been working to include black communities in the tech industry since 2014—from his Ebroji GIF to his inclusive game BLeBRiTY that celebrates black culture.

BLeBRiTY deserves recognition, and recently it was featured as Apple’s App Of The Day. Download the game, and read the related article on Williams and BLeBRiTY.

He's a Video Game Character 🎮🏃🏾‍♂️

In addition to excelling in tech and fighting systemic racism, you can catch Jesse Williams leading an android revolution as Markus in the video game Detroit: Become Human.

The game, and Williams’ character within it, questions what it means to be human and have agency over one’s life. Watch Williams talk about Markus here.

He Uses His Platform for Good

Jesse Williams isn’t about performative activism. While he uses his platform to uplift community organizers, and call out police killings and corporate appropriation of black people (like he did in his 2016 BET Humanitarian Award Speech), you’ll also find him in the trenches.

Williams sits on the Board of Directors of the Advancement Project, provides students scholarships through Scholly, has put himself on protest lines since he was a teen, and much more.

His Film Debut Was in a Teen Classic

We’d be remiss not give a quick #TBT to this truly fun fact: In 2008, Jesse Williams made his film debut in a teen classic: Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2.

Catch him as Leo in the cute, coming-of-age film.

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