In a short time DeRay Mckesson has become known for a new brand of civil rights advocacy, based largely on digital activism. Along with other activists he has raised consciousness about police killings of unarmed black people in communities across the country.
While most of his followers know him for that work, fewer know the deep understanding his time in public education gave him for how human capital and classroom practices impact students, especially those in poor communities. He joins our show to talk about the importance of understanding school systems if we want to achieve educational justice.
DeRay Mckesson is an American civil rights activist. He is a leader of the organization We The Protesters, which organizes protests that center on African-American issues.Mckesson is known for his activism via social media outlets such as Twitter and Instagram and has been active in the Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, Maryland protests. In March 2015 the Los Angeles Times named him one of the “new civil rights leaders” for the 21st century. Aside from social media Mckesson has participated in discussions on CNN with Wolf Blitzer and has written for the Huffington Post. He, along with fellow activist Johnetta Elzie and WeTheProtestors.org, launched “Mapping Police Violence”, which collected data on people killed by police during 2014. Mckesson and Elzie were awarded the Howard Zinn Freedom to Write Award in 2015 for their activism. They were also named to Fortune‘s “World’s Greatest Leaders List” for their work with the Black Lives Matter Movement. Prior to becoming a full-time activist Mckesson worked as a school administrator in Minnesota. On March 4, 2015 he announced via Twitter that he had quit his job and had moved to St. Louis. He graduated from Bowdoin College in 2007. In June 2015, Mckesson was the focus of a Twitter campaign while he was in Charleston, South Carolina to protest the Charleston church shooting. The campaign featured the hashtag “#GoHomeDeray”, which was accompanied by statements demanding that Mckesson leave the city. Mckesson responded to the hashtag, stating that he was there as a sign of solidarity for the nine deaths and that the hashtag was proof that “Racism is alive and well in places like South Carolina, and in towns across America.” In autumn of 2015, he was offered a teaching position at Yale Divinity School as a guest lecturer. Mckesson and We The Protesters made news in October 2015 when they met with presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Source: Wikipedia