Civil Rights Activist and Organizer
DeRay Mckesson is a civil rights activist focused primarily on issues of innovation, equity, and justice. Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, he graduated from Bowdoin College and holds honorary doctorates from The New School and Maryland Institute College of Art. DeRay has advocated for issues related to children, youth, and families since he was a teen. As a leading voice in the Black Lives Matter Movement and a co-founder of JoinCampaignZero.org, MappingPoliceViolence.org, OurStates.org, and ResistanceManual.org, DeRay has worked to connect individuals with knowledge and tools, and provide citizens and policy makers with commonsense policies to ensure equity.
Spurred by the death of Mike Brown and the subsequent protests in Ferguson, Missouri, and beyond, DeRay has become 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. He is also the host of critically acclaimed Pod Save The People, a weekly podcast creating space for conversation about the most important issues of the week. The podcast is also about making sure people have the information they need to be thoughtful activists and organizers. DeRay was named one of the World's Greatest Leaders by Fortune Magazine in 2015 and as one of the 30 Most Influential People On The Internet by Time Magazine in 2016.