Alumna an advocate for Tallahassee’s neighborhoods

Leann Watts-Williams. Photo courtesy Watts-Williams

“Be the change you wish to see in the world. Be the change you want to see happen. We must be the change we wish to see in the world” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Leann D. Watts-Williams lives by this quote every day.

She was born and raised in Titusville and is the eldest of a set of twins.

“I knew I was a FAMU Rattler before I officially became one. I come from a legacy of Rattlers,” Williams said.

Williams earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Florida A&M University. She majored in criminal justice and minored in legal studies, later receiving her master’s degree in public administration.

While at FAMU, Williams interned with the Neighborhood Justice Center, which is part of Leon County government. She was introduced to issues neighborhoods face such as landlord-tenant disputes and family law matters. The center provides pro bono services to citizens to assist them in those matters.

Eventually, she met a colleague who introduced her to city government and from there she began her career working with small and minority businesses’ economic development.

Over the course of her career with the city, she served in several capacities including working with former city manager Anita Favors Thompson and assisting in the department of budget and policy, community relations. She currently serves as the supervisor in the Neighborhood Affairs Division with the City of Tallahassee.

All her work has been community focused, dealing with community organizing, empowerment and enhancing the quality of life of residents in Tallahassee.

“Working with the City of Tallahassee has groomed me into the successful professional that I am today to be of service to the Tallahassee community,” Williams said.

“Mrs. Leann has really helped me grow my public speaking and networking skills in the workplace. She has had a tremendous impact on local communities and is a great mentor to everyone she meets,” Tatiana Daguillard, a co-worker, said.

The current division is seven individuals who serve as liaisons to more than 250 registered neighborhood and homeowner associations. They create programs to help these associations empower their communities.

“One of my strongest influences is my family. They have instilled in me the importance of service to your fellow man and provided the support I need to be successful in my educational and professional pursuits,” Williams said.

“My wife has had a positive impact on my life through her love for our family and always remaining faithful. Her dedication to the community she serves is a demonstration of her passion for empowering others to live their best life,” Wakili Williams said.

“My husband and children inspire me to take on any task as well as my church family. My spiritual foundation has always been at the forefront of anything I do to guide my actions,” Williams said.

Given the opportunity to help guide her children through life and see them grow into their own  is one of her proudest accomplishments.

“Professionally, my career has allowed me to be of service to the community in the capacity that will have an impact on generations to come,” Williams said.

“I am a lifelong learner and always eager to enhance my knowledge in certain areas,” Williams added.

Williams’ vision for the future is to teach others to never forget the importance of keeping human relations first while investing in future generations.