D'Jaris 'DJ' James


D’Jaris ‘DJ’ James is a proud resident of Southwest Atlanta. For nearly a decade, Ms. James has been working as a Human Resources professional specializing in talent acquisitions. Throughout her career in HR, she has had the opportunity to partner with students to educate them on and guide them through creating post-graduation plans and the importance of both academic and social readiness. Training and motivating youth to succeed is a passion for D’Jaris, and was the purpose behind her founding, Secrets of a Southern Belle & Gent, a college and career coaching program designed to help students make more informed educational and career choices.

In addition to her many hats, D’Jaris is also the Founder of M.A.R.I.E Project, a community initiative created to motivate and broaden the viewpoint of students who are "at risk" educationally and struggling with their studies –this program allows students the opportunity to receive a free passport. She currently serves as the 1st Vice President of Johnson C. Smith University’s National Alumni Association, President of the JSCU Metro Atlanta Alumni Association, 2018 Rensselaerville Institute Community Spark Plug Grant Recipient and is the Immediate-Past President for the Arthur Blank YMCA Policy Council.

DJ, a native of Charleston, SC by way of Newport News, VA. was educated in the inner-city public school system herself. She made a promise to her grandparents that she would bring a degree home to “the village” who believed in her and afforded her that opportunity and that is what she did. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a concentration in Special Education at Johnson C. Smith University. She later went on to pursue a Master of Jurisprudence- Employment and Labor Law from Tulane University. 

 D’Jaris believes in the current and future potential of the Atlanta Public School system and wants to ensure that the system continues to work and for every student. D’Jaris is ready to take on the job to achieve academic success on the Atlanta Board of Education!


Equity Meets Opportunity

The key to a child's success is community and equitable education. It is time we put the emphasis on both to ensure that every child succeeds, becomes a high school graduate, and a productive citizen.


I intend to implement change through a 4-point plan P.A.C.E. Promoting Financial Literacy, Civics 101, and Career Planning & Development. Achieving higher overall ratings of APS along with increasing funding for Project-Based Learning (PBL). Collaborating with the community and local businesses to help establish partnerships for student enrichment/high school transition readiness. Equity will be the leading factor for guaranteeing transparency.