40 Under 40 Class of 2018

Jamie Daniels

Owner, Director, Polestar Therapy; Age 39; Education: BA, Mount Holyoke College; MSW, Smith College School for Social Work

Jamie Daniels

Jamie Daniels

Daniels is the owner and director of Polestar Therapy, a private psychotherapy practice in Amherst. She serves as the Diversity and Inclusion fellow at Smith College, where she also works as an academic advisor, and consults with various institutions on issues of race and inclusion. She is also currently a doctoral candidate at Smith. Daniels is the former director of a national youth organization and has years of experience serving on advisory boards and diversity committees. She is a daughter, sister, aunt, friend, and mother of three.

How do you define success? I define success by the quality of my relationships with others.

What three words best describe you? Black girl magic!

What are you passionate about? I am most passionate about issues of equity and justice. That, and ‘good enough’ mothering.

What fictional character do you relate to most, and why? LOL. Cookie Lion.

What goals have you set for yourself? I aim to complete my PhD program. When I’m done, I’d like to engage in public policy work and support the advancement of more socially just policies. I want to contribute a body of literature to my field about psychodynamic practice with people of color, clinical work with black women in particular. Of course, I want to continue to grow my practice and support those I serve. And be the best mom I can be every day — that goes without saying.

Whom do you look up to, and why? I look up to my mom, who is resilient and warm. Also to a small group of women who are talented and relentless, and whom I have the honor of calling my best friends, as well as the instrumental advisors and mentors who have supported my academic journey and professional pursuits. My work and life are also influenced by freedom fighters of the past, women in particular, including Sojourner Truth, Dorothy Height, Lucy Parsons, Anna Julia Cooper, Gloria Anzaldúa, Ida B. Wells, Luisa Moreno, Maida Springer Kemp, Fanny Lou Hamer, Shirley Chisholm, Dolores Huerta, Yuri Kochiyama, Audre Lorde, Marsha P. Johnson, Winona LaDuke, May Chen, Combahee River Collective, Inez Beverly Prosser, Marth Bernal, Mamie Phipps Clark, Reiko True, and Jennifer Eberhardt.

What will work colleagues say at your funeral? I hope they would say I worked tirelessly each and every day in the service of others.

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