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Michael K. Williams*

Michael K. Williams, Artist Ambassador for Smart Justice (deceased)

Pronouns: he/him/his


Michael Kenneth Williams (1966-2021) was an ACLU Artist Ambassador for ending mass incarceration. Williams was best known for his remarkable work on The Wire, which ran for five seasons on HBO. The wit and humor that Williams brought to Omar, the whistle-happy, profanity-averse, dealer-robbing stickup man, earned him high praise and made Omar one of television’s most memorable characters. For his work, Williams was nominated in 2009 for an NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.” Williams also co-starred in two more critically-acclaimed HBO series: Boardwalk Empire and Lovecraft Country. In 2012, Boardwalk Empire won a Screen Actors Guild Award for” Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series” and, in 2021, Williams won a Critics’ Choice Award for “Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series” for his work on Lovecraft Country. Giving back to the community played an important role in Williams’ off-camera life. He established Making Kids Win, a charitable organization whose primary objective was to build community centers in urban neighborhoods that were in need of safe spaces for children to learn and play.