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Life & Work with Jamez Kinnard

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jamez Kinnard.

Hi Jamez, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I permeated the public health field in 2016 and have had the pleasure of dominating the healthcare ecosystem ever since. I have championed policies and programs that require systemic change and improved the lives lived in communities of color and in other places where racial and social inequities exist. I was even dubbed a ‘servant leader’ by Kimberly Ann Collins, Missouri State Representative District 77,

Previously, I worked as a Director of Health, Pharmacy Technician, Medical Lab Specialist, and Researcher, in which I continue to build clinical(theoretical and practical) knowledge for facilitating learning. In turn, this enables me to leverage capacity across several audiences. I graduated with honors from Harris-Stowe State University with a degree in Biology. I serve as a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the Human Rights Campaign(HRC), Planned Parenthood, and the American Civil Liberties Union(ACLU).

In my free time, I continue to show commitment to life through activism. I also love all things art, whether it be dance, fashion, technology, photography, or music.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
(Laughs) The journey is no easy feat. As a being who is enlightened about the systemic barriers we face daily, I must say that every day there is a struggle, whether it be mentally, physically, or spiritually. What I have learned though, is to remain calm. I don’t argue with reality, and instead of dwelling on why struggle exists, I honor my feelings and move forward.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Well, I work primarily in public health, with my specialty being in mental health, substance use, and harm reduction. It’s pretty funny when I’m asked this question though, because one would expect me to say that I’m something related to health, I’m actually known for dressing well, and smelling good (LOL) but also for service. My passion is related to people and the arts, so in essence, I’m a Servant Artist. I say that because I embody a certain je ne sais quoi that is eclectic, innovative, and compassionate, and I interweave that into everything I do. I can be setting someone up for free therapy and counseling, mentoring, getting hot meals to those who are unhoused, or even supporting my Artist friends at the galleries and social clubs; my energy is very upbeat, but poised and that’s what sets me apart from everyone else.

What I’m most proud of? I’d say that I’m most proud of the impact that I or my programming has on the community. Whether it be professional work or volunteerism, there’s no greater feeling.

What are your plans for the future?
Well, I have a massive project that I’m working on that I can’t say much about. It’s incredibly cutting edge, and I hope it will shift how we look at mental well-being and overall health moving forward. But in the meantime, I’ll be facilitating a Free Breakfast Program (2nd year) this summer starting in June, in North City St. Louis. I will need donors and volunteers so please find me on the socials if you’re interested!

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Desmond Butler

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