Dr. Willie Jolley has always been a doer. He has not just “talked the talk” he has “walked the walk” in his hometown of Washington, DC. He is a product of the DC Public School System graduating from Roosevelt High School. His mother taught for 42 years in the same system. Willie followed in her footsteps and became a substance abuse counselor for the school system. He had a higher calling and became a public speaker.
Willie is a rare breed of men from the inner-city, he is armed with common sense-street sense and book sense These three tools are difficult to find in brothers and sisters who have lived on the fringes of all three boundaries. He knows how to play the game with the best of them. His comfort zone has no limitations when it comes to people, walking into a boardroom in Silicon Valley would be no different from him taking a walk on Hanover Street in “The Hood” in NW DC.
You would think he grew up in a Boy Scout troop whose motto was “Be Prepared”. He holds a Doctor of Ministry degree in Faith-Driven Achievement from the California Graduate School of Theology, a Master’s degree in Theology from Wesley Theological Seminary and a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from American University. Willie understood the DNA of being Black in America, so he decided to be prepared and make it difficult for the system to say ‘NO’ and when they did say no he kept saying, ‘Yes I can.’ His best selling book “It Only Takes a Minute to Change Your Life” he talks about turning failure into success–failure is only a mindset. My favorite nugget, “A Setback Is A Setup For A Comeback” been there and done that!
Make no mistake about it, Dr. Willie Jolley is comfortable in his skin. For example, in April 2012 I found him holding court on a bright sunshiny day in front of the landmark Howard Theatre in Washington, DC. The theatre was having “Open House” after decades of lights out. It was a “Who’s Who” (old-timers and hustlers) hanging out to see who they could see and maybe get to take a tour of the theatre before the Grand Opening for DC’s movers and shakers (politicians and wannabes) arrived.
As I approached the group Willie spotted me and yelled: “Here comes my hero.” He disarmed me completely, all I could say was, “How in the hell are you, Dr. Jolley”? His greeting was just saying, ‘Be nice Harold Bell.’
Wille Jolley’s new recording “We’ll Get Through This,” could surely uplift the entire country. The song “hits home” along with a great video that shows the “heroes and sheroes,” the First Responders, and family keeping hope alive for their loved ones with as much tender loving care as possible. I start my day with this inspiring song. The first thing I open up on my computer each morning “We’ll Get Through This.”
Publisher’s Note: Dr. Willie Jolley offered to support me back in 1995 when I started my speaking career and wrote liner notes in my book. He supported me when I launched Black Men In America.com. He is as genuine as they come.
Gary Johnson, Founder & Publisher – Black Men In America.com