FROM NASHVILLE LIFESTYLES • STORY BY ALISON ABBEY HUDAK • PHOTO BY JAMES ISAAC JONES—
As director of operations and community engagement for Meharry Medical College’s Center for Health Policy, Mariah Williams has the chance to better the lives of students and community members everyday. And the Mississippi native wouldn’t have it any other way—nor would her family.
“My parents were critically influential in the development of my ideas around hard work, justice and faith,” she says.
“When my dad was a freshman at the University of Mississippi—the same university I graduated from 40 years later—he was involved in protests that actually led to his arrest and expulsion. He later earned a doctorate and worked at the university for over 25 years. Meanwhile, my mom was an ordained minister and taught us Bible stories for fun. So, justice and faith were at the core of my upbringing and certainly guided my desire to do work that improves people’s lives and guarantees their well-being in this country and in the world.”
Williams went on to secure a law degree but wasn’t sure what to do with it. After taking a series of temporary legal positions, she landed in higher education, and hasn’t looked back.
“I get to think about how our organizational and public policies influence health outcomes and how we can be more intentional about ensuring health equity for vulnerable populations,” she says of her position at Meharry.
CLICK HERE to read the story at Nashville Lifestyles.