Social worker Camesha Jones discusses social assistance through Sista Afya

Camesha Jones (Photo provided)

Camesha L. Jones, LCSW is a radical social worker and community mental wellness advocate who serves at the intersection of culture, community and social justice. She is the executive director of Sista Afya Community Mental Wellness, a social enterprise that provides low-cost mental wellness services centering on the experiences of Black women in Chicago.

Since Sista Afya’s founding in 2017, the organization has served over 1000 Black women in Chicago through its innovative, community-driven programs. Jones’ work at Sista Afya has been featured in the Chicago Tribune, Vogue, Allure, and Women’s Health Magazine. She is a licensed clinical social worker in Illinois who graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors from Spelman College with a Bachelor’s degree in sociology. She received her master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Chicago.

Jones works tirelessly to eliminate barriers in the mental health field that people of diverse cultural backgrounds experience and create affordable and accessible care that centers on the well-being of the whole person.

Do you feel your family dynamic had an impact on your career and how you approach what you do?

Everyone in my family has a lineage of wanting to support and help others in a variety of ways. Growing up with that influence from family members of doing work in the community, being active [and] serving others in different capacities, definitely influenced the work that I do. It’s something that feels very natural and easy for me.

Why did you decide to make Sista Afya about treating Black women?

Why not us? Black women continue to make contributions in all areas of our world. We deserve to be prioritized. I’m not saying that we deserve it more than any other group, but Black women are the people who have been the backbones of their community.

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