Friday Forum: ‘Passion Fuels Purpose’ – Justice Williams (M.B.E.)

‘Passion Fuels Purpose’ – Justice Williams (M.B.E.)

The first Friday Forum of the new term certainly left its audience feeling inspired.  Students were lucky enough to listen to Justice Williams, the youngest black woman ever to receive an M.B.E. from the Queen.

There is no doubt that Williams’ past life experiences of dropping out of school, stealing, becoming involved in drugs and gun crime have shaped her character and made her into the person she is today.  At the age of 21, she received a criminal record and spent 15 days in prison for theft. With her childhood dreams of studying law shattered, she had to prove to herself that she could change and, by doing so, turn her life around.

Left struggling to find full time employment due to her criminal record, Williams became involved in charity work.  For five years, with little financial gain, she campaigned in her own community against gun crime. She had previously witnessed the death of two friends at a New Year’s Eve party in Birmingham.

In 2009 Williams set up her own business and since then, she has continued to encourage, mentor and campaign about issues affecting the black community.  This, in turn, has enabled her to achieve a huge amount of media exposure which she has used to promote her business for social good. Her passion (which is almost tangible) is what she describes as “fuelling her cause”.

Williams’ closing remark, “Life is your legacy, you can achieve what you want, no matter what”, could not have failed to convince every member of the audience that anything is possible!  This was not only a fantastic first Friday Forum of the new school year; but, a spark to fuel the dreams and ambitions of all those students who attended.

Will Robinson, 6S1.