Jamal Harvey, was born in Oakland, CA but grew up in Portland, OR. While he was raised in the Pacific Northwest, he had touches of southern roots, as his parents were from Mississippi and Texas.
When Jamal was 12 years old his older brother, a 31-year-old Marine Corps veteran, was killed by the Portland Police in what came to be known as the “Don’t Choke’em, Smoke’em Case”. It sparked protests and marches across Portland and changed the course of history between the citizens and police in the city.
That incident sparked Jamal to be part of the solution. In his early 20’s Jamal went to work for the Metropolitan Public Defender’s office as a Legal Assistant and helped vigorously defend people’s constitutional rights, and aid them in getting a clean start to their lives.
In 2007, Jamal and his family moved across the country to Charlotte, NC. The Queen City was a rapidly growing city that reminded him a lot of his hometown.
For the last 10 years Jamal and his wife have raised their family and he has immersed himself in all things Charlotte culture; including volunteering with organizations from the Girl Scouts to The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Jamal also serves on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Access Corporation Board.
When the tragic events and ensuing civil unrest unfolded on September of 2016 in Charlotte, Jamal knew that he couldn’t stand by without taking action. He had seen this before with the officer involved death of his brother and needed to step up and help the city that he had grown to call home.
That's when he helped launch Queen City Unity; a group that had a pivotal message that he found as an extreme necessity.
Jamal prides himself on being a family man and a positive leader for the young people in the community. He recognizes there is a cultural divide in Charlotte, and with the help of Queen City Unity collaborating with other organizations, he believes that we can all come together to bridge the gaps of division. It is his goal for Charlotte to become the next great American city that embraces its rural beginnings and urban future.