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Jane Williams, BSW '76, MSW '77, will present "Cultivating Hope to Impact Community" as part of the celebration of 100+ Years of Mizzou Social Work. Williams is the director of LOVE Columbia.

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About Jane Williams

Jane Williams graduated with her masters degree from the MU School of Social Work in 1977.

She is currently Executive Director of Love Columbia, a local nonprofit she founded in 2008. Love Columbia, formerly Love INC, has served over 14,000 individuals/families with programs that include: information/referral, case management, life skills coaching/classes, transitional housing, and a wide range of practical services. The organization’s staff has grown from one part-time employee (an accountant) to a staff of 30 full time and 20 part-time staff. The service model incorporates community volunteers, and in 2021 involved over 300 volunteers. The operation includes the downtown Love Columbia Center and The Love Seat furniture bank and resale store in north Columbia. Love Columbia started Love Coffee to provide supported employment to individuals with intellectual and physical challenges in 2019, which became its own independent nonprofit in 2021.

Jane spent the first 20 years of her social work career in medical social work, serving as Director of Social Services at Ellis Fischel Cancer Hospital and in various roles at Boone Hospital Center. The next 10 years were spent foster parenting, spearheading a wrongful conviction exoneration and working in the community to organize Hurricane Katrina relief and co-found two nonprofits: Granny’s House after school program and The Center for Women’s Ministries, a volunteer-based, peer-counseling organization.

Jane has received numerous local awards including: Griffiths Leadership Society for Women Outstanding University of Missouri Alumna among Professional Women 2012, University of Missouri School of Social Work Outstanding Field Instructor 2017, COMO Magazine 100 Most Influential Citizens 2017, COMO Magazine Woman of Excellence in Public Service 2021, and Inside Columbia Best Cultural Influencer 2021 and 2022.

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