Akilah Williams is the program supervisor of the AdvocacyWorx program within HopeWorx, which provides individual and system advocacy services to adults involved with the behavioral health system. After two decades in the hospitality field, while pursuing an associate degree, she came across a flyer that advertised an information session for something called “peer support”. She could not believe that she would be able to take some of the most painful experiences of her life and use them as a beacon of light to inspire hope in others going through similar experiences. She became a Certified Peer Specialist in the fall of 2018 and graduated with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Human Services in May 2019. She obtained a Bachelor of Art degree in Social Work in spring 2023 from Millersville University and looks forward to pursuing a MSW in Social Work at West Chester University this summer.
During her time providing direct service to peers in Montgomery County she has supported transition age youth and families. She has taken advantage of opportunities to increase her knowledge through numerous trainings such as self-injury, paranoia, intentional peer support, grief and bereavement, mental health advanced directive, and is a WRAP facilitator. Akilah is dedicated to supporting those who are accustomed to being silenced by ensuring that they have the support of advocates with similar experiences and the opportunity to learn how to empower themselves to gain control of their lives.
What does power mean to you?
Power means that an individual (or organization) has the ability to influence others and to shape outcomes for the better. While power can be experienced through observation, it’s most potent form is when it is felt, so powerfully, that it inspires others to envision endless possibilities.
What excites you about the Dr. Frank E. Boston Black Justice Fund?
What excites me the most about the Dr. Frank E. Boston Justice Fund is the rare opportunity that I have been presented with to carry on the legacy of such an impressive man that I had, sadly, never even heard of before becoming acquainted with the Healthspark Foundation. The scope of what he was able to accomplish in one lifetime during a time in history when Black people were not afforded the rights we currently enjoy is astounding and humbling simultaneously.