Congratulations to Brother Leo Williams on his recent election to the Durham City Council in North Carolina. As a local small-business owner, Brother Williams hopes to translate first-hand entrepreneurial experience into positive change and greater prosperity for the Durham community.

In 2006, Leo was initiated into Phi Mu Alpha by the Rho Beta Chapter at North Carolina Central University. He is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., in which he participates in several of the organization’s mentorship initiatives. Brother Williams graduated from NCCU with his BA in Music Education and later on his Masters of Educational Leadership.

Leo credits wanting to fulfill a need in the business community as his inspiration to run for city council.

“I simply saw a need, and I stood up to advocate on behalf of that need. That’s why I’m here,” Williams said.

As a former educator and school administrator, Williams is no stranger to leadership roles. He began his career as a teacher, leading to positions as assistant band director, band director, and assistant principal in Durham Public Schools. He also served as senior district official for Warren County schools.

As a two-time Teacher Of the Year in Durham Public Schools, Brother Williams was recognized by The Triangle Business Journal’s esteemed 40 Under 40 leadership award for producing innovative practices in education that impacted the community economically. The Triangle Business community saw value in how “early investments in education and creativity can improve the economy over the long term.”

Williams devotes his spare time to several causes and to the Durham community. He has served in roles including chair of the North Carolina Association of Education, executive board member for the Durham Association of Education, member of the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce, and was an educational consultant for North Carolina governor Roy Cooper’s administration. He also co-founded the Durham Small Business Coalition, which coordinated during the coronavirus pandemic to raise $3 million to prevent the closure of small, locally owned businesses.

Leo and his wife, Zweli, own Zweli’s Kitchen, a full-service Zimbabwean restaurant. Zweli’s Kitchen recently expanded its cuisine offerings to Duke University students with a location in the university’s Divinity Cafe. 

“A vision that I share with my community is for a united Durham that provides safety and prosperity for all. That includes addressing issues of housing, community safety, land use, economic development, environment, public infrastructure, and racial equity. I’d like to see everyone equipped to create their own legacy here in Durham.”

Congratulations again, Brother.