2016 Najya Williams
Milken Scholar 2016
Scholar Profile

Najya Williams



Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Najya Williams is an undergraduate student at Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Throughout her academic career, Najya has committed herself to academic excellence, community involvement and social activism. She is an alumna of School Without Walls High School and The George Washington University via the GW Early College Program. One of her research articles was published in Penn State Berks' Undergraduate Journal of Service Learning and Community-Based Research in January 2016.

Beyond her academic endeavors, Najya advocates for prioritizing self-care and self-preservation, especially in the Black community. Some of her commentary and personal reflections can be found on her blog and several online publications, including ForHarriet, We are the 94 Percent, MissMillennia Mag and Healing Points. Additionally, Najya has remained on the front lines of social activism inside and outside of the Black community as a protester, writer and most notably as a spoken word artist. In August 2017, she published her debut poetry chapbook, Cotton, a collection of original poems about her experience as an Afro-Caribbean woman. During the 2016-17 school year, Najya was honored by The Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations and Harvard Black Men's Forum for her empowerment efforts in the Black student community on and off the stage. As she enters the 2018-19 academic year, she is actively working on her debut, full length collection, The Give and Take, several literary journal and media publications, and her on-campus writing community for students of color, Cocoa Café.

Looking ahead, Najya aspires to become a pediatrician or neonatologist, and continue her activism via spoken word poetry. A born leader, fearless community advocate, and woman of faith, Najya plans to allow nothing to stand in the way of her dreams, and she hopes to continue
changing minds, hearts and souls one word at a time.

High school:  School Without Walls Senior High School


College Year Degree
George Washington University
Washington, DC
2016 A.A. General Studies
Harvard College
Cambridge, MA
2020 B.A. Public/Global Health

News and Highlights

Najya Williams (MS '16)

New Ideas, New Research: Najya Williams, MS '16, received the Stephen Rose Undergraduate Research Fund Award! Najya plans to use the Rose funds to study the emotional labor distribution amongst Black activists in Boston and DC.