deray mckesson

deray@thisisthemovement.org // Activist. Organizer. Teacher. Author, On The Other Side of Freedom — get it today!

@iam.mek is the man — it’s always good to meet and connect with people who have good energy, see the world as a place of opportunity, and know that power is in the build, not the break. 2019, the year of good connections.
Baltimore, the city that raised me. [📸 @mikemorganphoto ]
We’re excited to be on tour again! Hopefully we will see you in one of these cities in the coming months. When we’re on the toad, we like to bring honest conversation that invites everyone to be a part of something. And we love to explore all the ways that issues of justice show up, especially in today’s climate. Go to Crooked.com/events to get a ticket today!
I spent the last three days in rural Haiti with Anseye Pou Ayiti, an organization that understands the classroom as the key to community transformation. I learned so many things about Haiti and was reminded of the link between education and liberation. Here are some of the things I learned/saw: 1. 20% of classroom teachers are trained. 1% of kids make it to college. & 80% of schools are private, requiring tuition. 2. Anseye Pou Ayiti is focused equipping new and existing teachers with the tools, resources, and mindsets to push students academically *and* to be change agents in community. 3. When we met with 5th/6th grade students, someone asked them their favorite subject. And they all responded with an understanding of the Haitian Revolution and its importance historically and today. It was awe-inspiring to hear them talk about the details of the Revolution, it’s leaders, and its strategies. 4. Importantly, Anseye Pou Ayiti makes its resources available to school leaders and other teachers in schools where their fellows are. They truly embody the idea that the school and classroom is the unit of community transformation. 5. I can’t wait to go back to rural Haiti. And I’m a wholehearted supporter of Anseye Pou Ayiti. In discussions with teachers, parents, students and seeing classrooms, I left with a renewed sense of purpose and solidarity. We have so much work to do.
The Spanish Steps. Rome. It was breathtaking to visit Rome and to see so much of the old world still standing, with the new world wrapped around it. I needed this vacation. I’m back. I’m ready. [📸 @Travon ]
Being in Paris to bring in 2019 was one of the best experiences of the past decade. And that’s because it was with @jt.flowers , @hazimhardeman , @travon , & @bbreaux. I’ve learned so much from each person & am proud to call each one of these guys a friend. I’ll also never forget the Basquiat exhibit & being with these friends as we processed, appreciated, and deconstructed his art will stay with me forever. JT is one of the most curious & constructive people I’ve ever met. Travon’s ability to craft narrative across genres is a gift. Brandon is able to see beyond the canvass. And Hazim’s ability to analyze and deliver an offering may help free us all. 2019. Paris.
Ready for 2019. Being in Paris allowed me to clear my mind. I needed this reset about two years ago and I’m thankful I’ve done it now. I’m being kinder to myself in 2019. these are my commitments: 1. Remain solution-oriented. 2. Continue to take the truth into every space. 3. Remember that I had a purpose before anyone had an opinion. 4. Imagination is a skill. And all skills require practice. 5. Never let the system off the hook. [📸@travon ]
It’s 5am in Rome. And I’m a little loopy because I’m tired. But it’s been great to travel for pleasure, to be around people I love, and to see the world. I’m thankful for 2018. I’ve learned a lot about myself, about friendship, about love, and about leadership, this year. And I’m still learning. Traveling for Xmas and New Years has been a reminder that I’ve got to be more intentional about experiencing joy along the way, too. We have so much work to do and that’s a big part of my life. But it can’t be the only part of my life. I get it now. I’m ready for it all. [📸@travon ]
Christmas Day 2018. Oxfordshire. [📸@Travon ] may the odds ever be in your favor.
There were only 22 days in 2018 where the police did not kill someone. visit joincampaignzero.org to learn about solutions. This graphic is a part of our year-end data analysis. We have much more work to do.
During @afro.tech , I hosted a panel with @patagonia at the first ever @patagonia store, in SF. It was such a good crowd and conversation about environmental activism and blackness. And yes, this was the first ever event I’d done with @patagonia. I learned a lot about new initiatives to increase access to the outdoors in communities of color and how a company can use its platform to fight. We have so much work to do. (Also, I’m not sponsored by @patagonia , this is #NotAnAd . I am a proud customer.) [📸@noyekim ]
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