Jamilah Nasheed

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Jamilah Nasheed
Member of the Missouri Senate
from the 5th district
Assumed office
January 2013
Preceded by Robin Wright-Jones
Member of the Missouri House of Representatives
from the 60th district
In office
January 2007 – January 2013
Personal details
Born Jenise Williams
October 17, 1972 (1972-10-17) (age 44)
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Fahim Nasheed[1]
Occupation Small business owner (Sankofa Books and Gifts)[1]

Jamilah Nasheed (born Jenise Williams; October 17, 1972) is an American politician from the state of Missouri. Nasheed represents the fifth district in the Missouri Senate, and formerly served in the Missouri House of Representatives. She is a member of the Democratic Party.

Early life and education[edit]

Born Jenise Williams, she was raised with her three brothers by their grandmother in a St. Louis housing project. Her father was shot dead in a drive-by shooting several months before she was born.[2]

She attended Roosevelt High School in St. Louis.[3] She later took classes at Florissant Valley Community College in 2012.[4] As an adolescent, Nasheed began visiting a mosque on Grand Boulevard. After two years of studying Islam, she converted to the religion.[5]

Political career[edit]

Missouri Senate[edit]

Nasheed ran for the Missouri Senate in the 2012 elections. A St. Louis Circuit Court judge ordered she be removed from the ballot because she did not live in the boundaries of the district at the time of the election, although district boundaries were to change through redistricting.[6] She appealed the decision to the Missouri Supreme Court, which allowed her to remain on the ballot. She defeated incumbent Robin Wright-Jones and fellow State Representative Jeanette Mott Oxford in the Democratic primary,[7] and won the general election. In December, she was chosen to chair the Missouri Black Legislative Caucus.[8][9]

2017 St. Louis mayoral election[edit]

Nasheed was a declared candidate for Mayor of St. Louis in the 2017 election, but she dropped out of the race in January 2017.[10][11]


2014 arrest

Nasheed was taken into police custody on October 20, 2014, in front of the Ferguson, Missouri police station. News reports indicated she was in possession of a firearm at the time of her arrest.[12] She was criticized for possessing a weapon after having sponsored anti-gun legislation.[13]

Another protester said Nasheed refused to get off the street even after police gave instructions to the protesters to do so. After police smelled alcohol, they prompted her to take a breathalyzer, which she refused to do.[14]

Nasheed went on record publicly saying "Sometimes you have to break the law"[15]


In September 2016, Nasheed sat while while her colleagues recited the Pledge of Allegiance in the Missouri Capitol. She said she acted in solidarity with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in protest of police brutality and racial oppression, although many of her colleagues saw this as unpatriotic.[16]

Personal life[edit]

On November 22, 2014, Nasheed was the victim of a carjacking attempt.[17]


  1. ^ a b Profile, votesmart.org; accessed November 25, 2014.
  2. ^ Jamilah Nasheed profile, riverfronttimes.com; accessed November 25, 2014.
  3. ^ Profile, aopavotes.org; accessed November 25, 2014.
  4. ^ Profile, kre8tiveinspired.com; accessed November 25, 2014.
  5. ^ Nasheed's conversion to Islam, themissouritimes.com; accessed November 25, 2014.
  6. ^ Jake Wagman (May 16, 2012). "Judge orders Jamilah Nasheed removed from state Senate ballot". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 
  7. ^ Kevin Killeen (August 7, 2012). "Jamilah Nasheed Wins State Senate Contest". CBS St. Louis. 
  8. ^ "Jamilah Nasheed elected Caucus Chairman". St. Louis American. November 21, 2012. 
  9. ^ Virginia Young (November 8, 2012). "Nasheed to head Legislative Black Caucus". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 
  10. ^ "Nasheed files campaign committee to run for STL mayor - The Missouri Times". themissouritimes.com. 
  11. ^ Zimpfer, Travis (January 6, 2017). "Nasheed drops out of St. Louis mayoral election". The Missouri Times. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  12. ^ "Protester: 'All Hell is Going to Break Loose' if Darren Wilson Isn't Indicted". CBS News. October 21, 2014. 
  13. ^ Jason Howerton (21 October 2014). "Just Guess What Ferguson Police Found on Missouri Democrat Who Has Sponsored Several ‘Anti-Gun’ Bills…". TheBlaze. Retrieved November 25, 2014. 
  14. ^ Lee Enterprises (October 21, 2014). "State Sen. Nasheed freed from jail, explains her 'symbolic' arrest". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 
  15. ^ "Armed with Hypocrisy". lifezette.com. 7 July 2016. 
  16. ^ "Missouri senator sits during Pledge of Allegiance in protest". 
  17. ^ State Senator Nasheed alleges armed man tried to carjack her, fox2now.com, November 25, 2014.

External links[edit]