J Matthew Williams

Dir/Mktg & Communication
Wake Forest University

J. Matthew Williams just needs a healthy dose of ideas or challenges to get him going. Not small ones. Ones that require you to mobilize people, inspire action, and catalyze change — ideas that make you high five your neighbor and fist pump (multiple times)!

For the past 8 years, Williams has developed and promoted campaigns for nonprofits, government agencies, and Fortune 500 companies to advance civic and social justice issues. Each of these efforts strengthened his abilities as an idea broker, relationship manager, creative problem-solver, and media professional.

His current role as a diversity educator and communication director at Wake Forest allows him to exercises these skills and more as he works alongside the university’s senior leaders to develop the intercultural competence and personal and professional capabilities of students, faculty, and staff.

Williams’ work has been nationally recognized by the Public Relations Society of America, National Public Radio, Rhetoric Society of America, National Communication Association, and at other industry events. He also speaks nationally on issues related to diversity and inclusion, systemic and institutional culture change, digital activism, and support for marginalized communities.

Williams is a native of LaGrange, GA and earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Communication from Wake Forest. His research focuses on how community organizers are using social media to challenge anti-Black racism and sexism. In his spare time, he enjoys kale smoothies, hip hop spin classes, and spending time with friends and family.