Jillian Blackwell

* * *
Nominee for Digital Literacy and Skilling; Policy, Advocacy, and Ecosystem

What is your company and title?

Amazon, Sr. Business Development Manager (North America and Canada)

 

Tell us why you’re best for the Digital Literacy and Skilling committee!

I am passionate about the future of our youth and have been an advocate for over 10 years ensuring that students understand the importance of developing their skills around STEM. I’ve led several initiatives at Microsoft and now Amazon where we have partnered with other businesses, higher education institutions and non-profits to develop programs around STEM and careers in technology. I believe the resources I have and the experience I’ve learned throughout these years can help support the vision of Connect313.

 

Tell us why you’re best for the Advocacy and Ecosystem committee!

I am passionate about the future of our youth and have been an advocate for over 10 years ensuring that students understand the importance of developing their skills around STEM. I’ve led several initiatives at Microsoft and now Amazon where we have partnered with other businesses, higher education institutions and non-profits to develop programs around STEM and careers in technology. I believe the resources I have and the experience I’ve learned throughout these years can help support the vision of Connect313.

 

Why are you interested in serving on a Connect 313 Committee? What do you hope to gain from the experience? 

I hope to change the future of Detroit and its citizens. I see the potential Detroiters have and want to lend the knowledge I’ve gained over the years working for Microsoft and Amazon to help with this effort. In addition, I believe I can help identify additional resources that can help with this effort.

 

What is your vision for bridging the digital divide in Detroit?

As a native Detroiter, I believe this issue is just a symptom that points us to a much deeper problem which is enormous and complicated and can only be attacked with partnerships with government, business, educational institutions and everyday citizens. My vision is to be one of the voices in corporate America that can bring change to the attitude big business has concerning access to technology and the importance of community engagement. Rather than seeing this as a “they issue”, I hope to challenge leaders in corporate America to see this as crucial necessity and partner with them to bring the incredible power of technology to everyday citizens who can then embrace these as tools that can bring change to our great city and the future of our children.

 

Please share your current community activities and/or volunteer work.

I am currently the President for Amazon Black Employee Network in Michigan, member of Amazon Women in Engineer, community advisor and a board member for Code313 and founder of Michigan Employee Resource Group for Equity (MERG-E) an initiative created by the leaders of Black Employees Networks in Michigan withthe goal of amplifying our collective voices to address the issues facing blacks in Michigan.

 

Please share any of your current committee or Board memberships.

Board member of Code313 and President of Black Employee Network (BEN) at Amazon

 

Please share any skills, experience, or interests that you may have. 

Outreach / Advocacy

Community Service

Nonprofit Experience

Education / Training

Public Speaking

Relationship Building + Management

Leadership / Coaching Skills