Civil Rights Activist
DeRay Mckesson is a civil rights activist, focusing primarily on issues of innovation, equity, and justice. While he began organizing as a teenager around issues related to children, youth, and families, it was not until the death of Mike Brown in 2014 that McKesson became a key player in the work to confront the systems and structures that have led to mass incarceration and police killings of Black and other minority populations. As a leading voice in the Black Lives Matter Movement and a co-founder of Campaign Zero, Mckesson has worked to connect individuals with knowledge and tools as well as provide citizens and policymakers with commonsense policies that ensure equity. In 2016, he was part of a civil rights leaders meeting at the White House with President Obama for a Black History Month event and has since been praised by Obama for his work as a community organizer. McKesson frequently appears on national media outlets and has been highlighted in a range of publications.
“I think of protest as confrontation and disruption, the end of silence.” DeRay Mckesson