Co-Founder, Campaign Zero
DeRay McKesson is a protestor, activist, and educator focused primarily on issues of innovation, equity and justice. Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, he graduated from Bowdoin College and has advocated for issues related to children, youth, and families since he was a teen. DeRay has served as an educator, student leader, and founding director of an after-school/out-of-school program. He has also provided leadership to the executive teams of two large urban school districts. Spurred by the death of Mike Brown and the subsequent protests in Ferguson, Missouri, DeRay has become a leading voice in the effort to confront the systems and structures that have led to the mass incarceration and police killings of black and other minority populations. The cofounder of the Protestor Newsletter and Campaign Zero, DeRay has worked to connect individuals with knowledge and tools, and provide citizens and policy makers with commonsense policies to end police violence. As a civil rights activist, DeRay’s work has had national impact - leading Fortune Magazine to name him one of 2015’s 50 World’s Greatest Leaders, and the New School to award him an honorary doctorate in 2016.
Personal Democracy Media presents Civic Hall, a one-of-a-kind community center for the world’s civic innovators. Located in the heart of New York City, Civic Hall is your home for civic tech.