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I’ve had the privilege of meeting some extraordinary individuals during my lifetime – artists, scholars, committed public servants, and successful entrepreneurs – who have served as touchstones of inspiration for me, encouraging my personal and professional development. Among that collective, perhaps no one has had as profound an impact on my life as our guest today, Ms. Jamila Canady. 

In our nearly thirty year friendship – one more like a mother/son relationship – she has counseled me; encouraged me; defended and corrected me, but more than that she has given me the gift of the Baha’i Faith, which she first shared with me while I was a 21-year-old student at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. 

A woman of remarkable insight and accomplishment, Jamilia has been a business owner, an actor and a playwright, an educator, a servant of the poor, a community builder, and a principled proponent of justice. Her frenetic pace – one difficult for someone half her age to match – centers on her life as a Baha’i and her commitment to advancing the Baha’i principle of the oneness of humankind. 

Not content to merely espouse the virtues of kindness, compassion, and friendliness, she consistently models these heavenly qualities as she greets the stranger; comforts the sorrowful, and encourages the downcast. In a society that increasingly seems incapable of living the values of its creed, she is a powerful example of someone striving to realize an integrated life, one that reflects the ideals of her beloved faith. I hope you will join us for a lively discussion on the topics of race, community, and faith.

4 Comments

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  • Hermione C Pickens
    Feb 04, 2020
    I’ve often read about heroes and heroines in the Bahá’í Faith, admiring their tenacity, will and resolve when it came to teaching and serving the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh. I moved to Atlanta 25 years ago and discovered a heroine in the flesh! Captivated by this essence of devotion, I marveled at Jamila’s innate ability to transmute tentative inquiry into solid investigation and once teased she could stop an 18-wheeler headed down I-75 in its tracks at 3pm and by 7:30 the driver would be ringing her doorbell for a fireside. She would be the last to admit same, preferring anonymity ...over adulation. Jamila is a precious gem who has inspired many and who selflessly continues to lead humanity to the well-spring of truth, love & everlasting life.
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  • LP Lekan Parsons
    Feb 02, 2020
    A Beautiful Sister, Queen & Servant to All. Powerful, Insightful, Sensitive and Loving. A Powerful Inner-G walking in this dimension. All praise to your Spirit.
  • Helen Butler
    Jan 21, 2020
    There is a paragraph in The Prosperity of Humankind that invites us to re-imagine power. Here character and example are identified as being powerful. "Force of character represents yet another means of mobilizing immense human response, as does the influence of example, whether in the lives of individual human beings or in human societies." My sister, Jamila, truly represents a person of powerful character and powerful example!
  • Mark David Vinzens
    Jan 18, 2020
    My first impression of her: The Divine Mother Spirit reflected through a human being :-)