Kareem Willis

Kareem, wearing a suit and tie, posed outdoors by a flowering plant and a river. He has round glasses and an elaborate hairstyle.
Recorded by:
Interview Date(s):Friday, October 12, 2018
Location:Rutgers University-Newark, NJ
Transcript(s):PDF icon transcript
Kareem Willis is a scholar, activist and proud member of the LGBTQ Community. As a Ph.D student currently enrolled in the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University- Newark, Kareem is learning how to harness his passion for social advocacy,change and empowerment for the betterment of the lives of other persons. As a nonprofit enthusiast, hisfocus is on researching methods that nonprofit organizations and others charged with fulfilling the public good can deploy to better maximize their impact. This research initiative is important as nonprofits will need to craft more innovative solutions and deploy more sustainable practices to ensure they develop successfully. Other research areas of interest include: diversity management and inclusion, advancing social equity and Public Management and Leadership. He also hopes to help improve the plight of LGBTQ+ individuals and organizations that serve that community through research and academia.

As an immigrant, person of color and member of the LGBTQ+ Community Kareem became motivated and empowered to join in the fight to break social, economic and racial barriers. His desired career is in Community and Social Development especially in the LGBTQ+ Community therefore, he constantly seeks opportunities that will continually enhance his leadership skills and mold him into that dedicated, ardent and passionate being he strives to be. He wants to help others develop, nurture and maximize their own potentials to become thoughtful and well-respected individuals. Through serving as co-coordinator for the OUTFront Mentorship Program and on the executive board for RU Pride, Kareem was given the opportunity and platform to inform and effect change within the LGBTQ+ community on the Rutgers University-Newark campus. His experiences as both a volunteer and an employee at the Newark LGBTQ Community Center has equipped him with a host of skills needed to properly navigate this intricate and interesting community. His work afforded him a nomination for the Them Cloud Kids “Love Is Love” Ubuntu Awards and was the recipient of the “Rutgers University Clement A. Price Human Dignity Award” as well as the “JanHerman Veenker Leadership and Vision Award” from Circle of Friends. In 2018, he was the recipient of the inaugural Rodney Gilbert award from Newark Proud and Out and Proud Magazine. Kareem firmly believes that every individual has within them the limitless potential to become someone of worth and an effervescent force. It is his hope that with the right opportunities, guidance and mentorship his passion and enthusiasm will be fueled to make an even greater impact in the future.