History of Gay and Lesbian Life in Milwaukee, Wisconsin - People - Bios



Primary Involvements:

Writer/ Editor





Jamakaya is an award-winning journalist, historian and progressive activist based in Milwaukee. She has been a regular contributor to virtually every LGBT publication in Milwaukee's history, beginning with several stories for GPU News in 1977-79; countless feature articles for In Step and Wisconsin Light; served as Publisher and Editor of Amazon: Milwaukee's Feminist Press from 1979 thru 1983; plus articles written for Q-Life and other publications. She is regarded as an historian of the first order on Milwaukee's lesbian and gay past, and writes insightful articles on news stories and contemporary issues.

Jamakaya was one of the founders of the Milwaukee LGBT History Project, and conducted some of its first Oral History interviews, also developing interview guidelines. She has also been an active member of Lesbian Alliance of Metro Milwaukee (LAMM) and various other groups.

For a living, Jamakaya has worked as a journalist and historian, and in non-profit management and development for almost 30 years. Jamakaya writes excellent proposals, and has researched and written the histories of several local organizations, including Ironworkers Local 8 and the Women's Coalition of Milwaukee. She has published a book on women labor union pioneers in Wisconsin, "Like Our Sisters Before Us: Women of Wisconsin Labor," and won numerous awards for writing and research.

Jamakaya was born in Milwaukee as J. M. Dombeck.

View Jamakaya's web site at www.jamakaya.com.


at Women's Studies lecture, UW-Milwaukee, 1989
(photo by Doreen Riley)

at PrideFest, 1995
(photo by Doreen Riley)

Credits: initial page creation by Don Schwamb;
Last updated: September-2007.