Gerald (Jay) Williams graduated from City Honors School in Buffalo, NY with International Baccalaureate and scientific research diplomas.
During the fall of his first year at Harvard, Jay happened upon the existence of modern-day slavery when he decided to take a study break and attend a gospel concert sponsored by the American Anti-Slavery Group. Since then he has twice traveled to Sudan, Africa and helped to free more than 11,000 chattel slaves. His anti-slavery work was recognized in a Teen People cover story in September 2001.
Jay graduated from Harvard University in 2003. As a Mellon Foundation Undergraduate Research Scholar and Patrick Stewart/Amnesty International Human Rights Scholar he has combined academic research with his activist efforts. He majored in the Comparative Study of Religion and wrote a senior honors thesis on the role of religious language as ideological rhetoric in Sudan’s civil war.
After graduating, Jay began a two-year full-time job with Merrill Lynch, Global Private Client division.
Jay is active in The United Methodist Church; he co-chairs a denominational committee on ministry with young people. He was youngest person ever elected to lead a regional delegation to the denomination’s top legislative body.
Jay is currently working on a PhD in the Study of Religion at Harvard University Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.