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DeRay Mckesson, Author, activist, organizer, and educator

DeRay Mckesson is an educator, acclaimed civil rights activist, podcaster, and author of the critically acclaimed memoir, On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope.

The cofounder of Campaign Zero and host of the award-winning weekly podcast Pod Save the People, DeRay works to connect individuals with the knowledge and tools necessary to change outcomes while also advising government policymakers on common sense measures that ensure equity.

A leading voice in the Black Lives Matter Movement, DeRay serves as a board member of Rock the Vote. He is a frequent guest on national media outlets including The Daily Show, NPR, MSNBC, and CNN, and has been featured in a range of publications including Vogue, The Advocate, Vanity Fair, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Baltimore Sun.

In 2015, DeRay was named one of Fortune magazine's "World's 50 Greatest Leaders," one of Foreign Policy magazine's "100 Global Thinkers List," and was awarded both the Peter Jennings Award for Civic Leadership and the Howard Zinn Freedom to Write Award. President Obama praised DeRay in 2016 for his "outstanding work" as a community organizer. That year, he was named one of the "30 Most Influential People on the Internet" by Time magazine.

Formerly, DeRay was a 6th grade math teacher; chief of human capital for Baltimore City Public Schools—the youngest chief in the history of Baltimore City Public Schools; and a leader with the Harlem Children's Zone and Minneapolis Public Schools.

DeRay travels internationally speaking at colleges, universities, forums, and conferences.

Current Program


Upcoming Program

Belonging & Unity
Show Up Summit
October 2 - 4, 2020
Crucial to our shared humanity and the future of society, a long overdue public conversation has finally entered the mainstream. Join Michelle Saahene and Melissa DePino, cofounders of From Privilege to Progress, and a host of celebrated racial justice advocates and influencers in a deep and honest conversation about creating the future we all need—one of equity, inclusion, and justice. Discover and activate the power within you for positive personal transformation and broad societal evolution.

Past Program