Jamia Wilson grew up reading books from the Feminist Press, so she’s proud to be the literary publisher’s executive director (the youngest person, and the first woman of colour, to lead the 47-year-old press). When she became director, Wilson was already an outspoken activist and writer whose work had appeared in the Feminist Press titles Slut and I Still Believe Anita Hill.
We talked to Wilson in print and on video about her work habits, her inspirations, and the concrete ways the Press fosters teamwork.
Current Gig: Executive Director at the Feminist Press at City University of New York
One word that best describes how you work: Thoughtfully
Current mobile device: A gold iPhone 6 and iPad
Current computer: Macbook Pro and Apple Desktop
Take us through a recent workday.
Here’s a snapshot of a recent workday from my planner:
- Morning prayers
- Get my blood pumping by jumping on my rebounder
- Read the news and check Twitter to stay up to speed on the #resistance
- Send edits in on a personal book project
- Subway to work
- Staff meeting
- Review cover art and go over editorial checklist
- Follow up with donors to our Giving Tuesday appeal
- Planning for upcoming staff annual reviews
- Meet with Instagram book bloggers from Australia
- Teach at John Jay College of Criminal Justice
- Debrief with co-prof
What apps, gadgets or tools can’t you live without?
I can’t live without my label maker. I’m also a big believer in handwritten notes in the digital age. I keep a stack of stationary ready at work and at home. Expensify. Voice memo. Evernote. Dropbox. Google Suite... and of course, Venmo.
What’s your workspace setup like?
I keep my space pretty open and spacious. I have a desktop Mac, a phone, files, oodles of books, and a ficus plant that my board gave me as a gift.
What’s your best shortcut or life hack?
The Instant Pot has changed my life. I have food allergies and need to prepare a lot of my own food. It’s nice to have one appliance that can do seven things efficiently.
Who are the people who help you get things done, and how do you rely on them?
The Feminist Press team is super collaborative. Everyone is passionate about our mission and ready to roll up their sleeves to achieve our goals.
How do you keep track of what you have to do?
Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map Planner Weekly keeps me on focused on enlivening my purpose through my tasks. Google Calendar helps me manage my schedule.
What’s your least favourite thing to do, and how do you deal with it?
I don’t love the subway. I wish I could beam myself to work and back everyday. Manspreading is a real phenomenon. Luckily, I can hold my own.
How do you recharge or take a break from work?
Walking meditations help me release stress. I also enjoy listening to my husband play classical piano, binge-watching The Crown and She’s Gotta Have It on Netflix, and curling up with a good book.
What’s your favourite side project?
Writing, writing and more writing.
What are you currently reading, or what’s something you’d recommend?
I’m currently reading Your Art Will Save Your Life by Beth Pickens.
Fill in the blank: I’d love to see ____ answer these same questions.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.” — Audre Lorde
Next, check out Jamia’s advice on public speaking.
We've asked heroes, experts and flat-out productive people to share their shortcuts, workspaces and routines. Want to suggest someone we should feature or questions we should ask? Let us know.