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A FORCE FOR CHANGE

Jamira Burley walking around DC.

Name: Jamira Burley
Grad Year: Fox School of Business ’12
Gun Violence Prevention Advocate

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Jamira Burley
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Jamira Burley, FOX ’12, was born in Philadelphia at the height of the city’s drug epidemic. From an early age, she watched as violence overtook her community and knew she wanted better for herself. She just wasn’t sure how to go about it.

Then tragedy struck home.

When she was 15 years old, her 20-year-old brother Andre was shot and killed in Philadelphia. That same year, her father was convicted of a different murder in Virginia.

It was then that Burley knew how she would channel her energy.

She started at her school, West Philadelphia’s Overbrook High, where she co-founded an anti-violence peer mediation group. The program reduced violence in the school by 30 percent—and earned Burley a $50,000 grant to develop the program in 10 of Philadelphia’s most violent high schools.

Clearly, being a catalyst for change suited her.

At Temple, Burley majored in business and honed her leadership skills as an Owl Ambassador and a member of the Black Student Union and student government.

After graduating, she was appointed executive director of the Philadelphia Youth Commission at age 23—the city’s youngest agency executive.

The position gave her the opportunity to lead youth engagement programs for more than 600,000 people under the age of 25 in Philadelphia. After two years in the role, she was ready for her next challenge.

In 2014, she expanded the scale of her work when she became a senior campaigner who focuses on criminal justice, gun violence and human rights for the global nonprofit Amnesty International. That same year, she was recognized by the White House as a Champion for Change for gun violence prevention.

In a world without Temple, a voice against violence might not be heard. 

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