DeRay Mckesson is a civil rights activist focused primarily on issues of
innovation, equity and justice. Born and raised in Baltimore, he graduated
from Bowdoin College and holds honorary doctorates from The New School
and the 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 Campaign Zero, DeRay has worked to connect individuals
with knowledge and tools, and provide citizens and policy makers with
commonsense policies that ensure equity. He has been praised by President
Obama for his work as a community organizer, has advised officials at all
levels of government and internationally, and continues to provide capacity
to activists, organizers, and influencers to make an impact.
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 the award-winning weekly podcast Pod Save The People –
which creates space for conversation about the most important issues of the
week related to justice, equity and identity.
DeRay frequently appears on national media outlets including The Daily
Show, The Colbert Report, NPR, MSNBC, CNN, among many others. He has
also been featured on the cover of The Advocate, Adweek, and Attitude
Magazine and has been highlighted in a range of publications including
Vogue, Vanity Fair, Interview Magazine, VICE, The New York Times, The
Washington Post, and The Baltimore Sun. He is a board member of Rock The
Vote, was named one of the World’s Greatest Leaders by Fortune Magazine
in 2015, one of the 30 Most Influential People On The Internet by Time
Magazine in 2016.