30 Around 30: Young Black Changemakers for 2022
Across the county, young Black changemakers are shaping the cultural landscape to create a more just and equitable society. NextGen America is celebrating Black History Month by highlighting 30 young organizers, activists, artists, and voices for change with our “30 Around 30: Young Black Changemakers” list. From climate justice advocates to spoken word poets, we’re proud to recognize these outstanding individuals and shine a spotlight on the world they’re creating.
Trinity Miracle, also known as Afroetic, is a spoken word poet, artist, organizer, and healer. They use poetry and art to make statements to amplify their political action and speak to the societal issues that impact young people, especially people of color. As an organizer, they inspire their generation to take action. Afroetic performs across Arizona and shares their art online. You can find them on Instagram at @afroeticjustice.
Ahmed Diabate worked in operations at Integral Studio, Inc. for the last four years. Diabate is passionate about music, technology, and education reform and works to fuse the three to make a better world. He graduated from Bentley University with a bachelor’s degree in finance in 2015. He is based in Los Angeles, California. You can find him on Instagram at @its.ad_.
Ashley Robinson is the principal at the BLUE Institute, which recruits and trains young people of color in southern states to become leaders, strategists, and staffers on political campaigns. Prior to her leadership at BLUE, she served as chief of staff to Stacey Abrams, among other key political roles in Georgia. You can find BLUE Institute on Instagram at @theblueinstitute.
Bridget Todd is a digital activist, strategist, and voice for change. She is the director of communications for Ultraviolet, a national women’s advocacy organization, and hosts “There are No Girls on the Internet,” a podcast highlighting how Black women, communities of color, and marginalized voices have always driven critical online conversations and movements. She is also the founder and CEO of Unbossed Creative, a mission-driven studio that seeks to uplift digital content that addresses social issues. You can find her on Twitter at @BridgetMarie.
Cacje Henderson is the movement governance director at TakeAction Minnesota, a multi-racial people’s organization that works to change who decides and who benefits in our democracy and our economy. Henderson’s work is focused on building people-centered governing power in partnership with elected champions, candidates, and movement organizations. You can find her on Twitter at @cj_hende.
Camonghne Felix is a poet and political strategist. In 2019, while Felix was serving as a senior communications aide on Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign, her debut poetry collection, “Build Yourself a Boat,” was long-listed for the National Book Award. In addition to her work in politics, she has two more books in the works, and writes about culture for The Cut. You can find her on Twitter at @CAMONGHNE.
Celeste Cornelius is an electoral organizer and the GOTV coordinator at Advance North Carolina. Celeste has several years of experience organizing in North Carolina, previously working for Carolina Federation and Common Cause. She graduated from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in 2020 and recently received an M.A. in government from Johns Hopkins University. You can find Advance North Carolina on Twitter at @advancecarolina.
Christian D. Menefee
Christian Menefee is Harris County (Texas)’s youngest and first Black county attorney. Serving the nation’s third largest county, he practiced business litigation, commercial litigation, and bankruptcy matters in federal and state courts. Christian has also focused heavily on pro bono work, advising the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and advising immigrant families during the discriminatory travel bans. You can find him on Twitter at @CDMenefee.
D’Shawna Bernard is a national political strategist committed to progressive values and equity, accessibility and justice in politics. Her experiences range from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation to the Democratic National Convention Committee to numerous major candidate campaigns. She currently serves as director of political partners at Hustle, a peer-to-peer texting tool widely used in progressive politics. You can find her on Twitter at @itsdshawna.
Dakota Hall is the first Black and Indigenous executive director of Alliance for Youth Action. From Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he has spent a decade organizing and mobilizing young Black and Brown students to advocate for the top issues impacting them across the state. In 2017, Hall founded Leaders Igniting Transformation (LIT), an organization that uses advocacy, organizing, and leadership training to empower students to advocate for social, racial, and economic justice. You can find him on Twitter at @makoganzh.
Delilah Agho-Otoghile is a political strategist, activist, and organizer dedicated to ensuring that the diversity of our country is reflected in our electorate. Her campaign experience stretches from Iowa to Georgia and beyond, but her home and her passion lie in Texas, where she is executive director of the Texas Future Project, co-founder of VoteSimple, and has played critical roles at key organizations focused on registering and mobilizing young people and communities of color. You can find her on Twitter at @delilah_agho.
Devontá Dickey is the strategic communications and engagement manager for Cleveland (Ohio) VOTES, a nonpartisan democracy building and mobilization entity that aims to strengthen civic power to ensure we have a more informed, participatory, and cohesive community. Devontá and Cleveland VOTES work to expand voter registration, accessibility, and participation by integrating the practice of equitable civic engagement through outreach efforts. You can find Cleveland VOTES on Instagram at @clevelandvotes.
Dominique (Domii) Beachum
Dominique (Domii) Beachum is a Texas-based organizer and aspiring rapper currently working with NextGen America as a Field Organizer in the Denton area. Soon to graduate from the University of North Texas, he’s working on campus and in his community to build relationships, mobilize young people to vote, and work towards the issues he cares about most. You can find him on Instagram @domiibbeachum.
Edwith Theogene is an advocate, South Florida native, and proud Haitian American currently working as the director of advocacy for Generation Progress, the youth engagement arm of American Progress. Prior to her time at Generation Progress, she worked with Act for Women at the Center for Reproductive Rights to build congressional support and advocate for reproductive rights. You can find her on Twitter @WhoIsEdwith.
Indira Sheumaker is turning community activism into political power. A leader in the Des Moines, Iowa, Black Liberation Movement, she spent much of 2020 demonstrating on the streets and demanding action at City Hall. She attended her first Des Moines City Council meeting as a constituent in June, 2020, announced her candidacy in February, 2021, won election over a two-term incumbent that November, and was sworn into office the following January. You can find her on Twitter at @Indira4DSM.
Isaiah Martin is a TikTok influencer and advocate based in Houston, Texas. With over 10,000 followers, Isaiah uses his platform to educate viewers on political issues in the digital space with the goal of building a movement to redefine Texas values. He was previously the president of For the Students at the University of Houston. You can find him on TikTok at @IsaiahMartin.
Jerome Foster II
Jerome Foster II is an American climate justice activist, voting rights advocate, and founder of OneMillionOfUs, a nonprofit that empowers young people to rise to the political stage locally and globally. He is the youngest-ever White House advisor in United States history, serving on the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council within the Biden administration. You can find him on Instagram at @Jeromefosterii.
Jervontae “Tae” Edmonds
Jervonte “Tae” Edmonds is the founder and CEO of Suits For Seniors, Inc., an organization that mentors at-risk youth by providing them education on economic mobility, life skills, and entrepreneurship. Edmonds prides himself on being a public speaker, entrepreneur, educator, author, and philanthropist. He received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Florida Atlantic University in 2015.
Leah Thomas is an climate activist and eco-communicator based in Southern California trying to make the world a little more equal for everyone. Thomas is the founder of eco-lifestyle blog, Green Girl Leah, as well as Intersectional Environmentalist, a climate justice community and resource hub that aims to center people of color and historically excluded voices in the environmental movement. You can find her on Instagram at @greengirlleah.
Lynae Bogues is an activist, historian, and political educator. She uses her social platforms to share her weekly “Parking Lot Pimpin” videos on Black history, politics, and social issues to engage with her audiences and start meaningful conversation online. With her master’s degree in African American Studies, she uses her knowledge and research to challenge others to think critically about the status quo in a way that brings people together. You can find her on Instagram at @_lyneezy.
Malik Sulieman is the vice president of creative at SoundCloud and is a producer and partner at Sunday School, a creative agency focused on Black innovative visual stories and experiential programming. Malik believes in creating stories that inspire and motivate young kids, especially those in the African diaspora.
Mondaire Jones, Congressman from New York’s 17th District, is the youngest member of the Democratic House leadership team. Rep. Jones’ activism began in high school with his involvement in the local NAACP’s Youth Council, and he went on to become a co-founder of Rising Leader, Inc., a nonprofit that focuses on empowering underserved middle school students by teaching them professional skills. He has served on the NAACP’s National Board of Directors, the board of the New York Civil Liberties Union, and is now a member of the House Judiciary Committee. You can find him on Twitter at @RepMondaire.
NaQuetta Mitchell is the founder and CEO of the non-profit Women of Endurance — an organization that works to provide resources and support for single mothers in need — and Higher Than This, which is dedicated to relationship coaching. Mitchell is also the site coordinator for the Communities in Schools program that helps at-risk youth stay in school and perform well. She’s on the board of the Virginia NAACP Richmond chapter and was appointed to serve on the Virginia state Advisory Board on Service and Volunteerism. You can find her on Twitter at @NaQuetta86.
Ociele Hawkins is a Black nonbinary queer femme organizer, poet, and performer from Philadelphia. Her work has been focused mainly on community organizing and public education, while her creative work, specifically her poetry and prose center her Blackness and poor and working class upbringing. She is currently working as a Neighborhood Organizer for Durham For All in Durham, NC. You can find her here for more info!
Rahhel Haile is the co-founder and executive director of the Minnesota Youth Collective (MNYC), an organization that centers development for the new generation of movement leaders. Haile is a first generation Eritrean-American and founded MNYC with the hope it would be a political home for young people — particularly those who don’t see themselves traditionally represented in leadership positions. You can find Minnesota Youth Collective on Instagram at @mnycollective.
Taelor Bakewell is the Vice President of Influence Marketing at Edelman, the largest public relations firm in the world. She was recently appointed by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to serve as a board member for the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA). Established in the 1930s, HACLA is the nation’s largest and leading public housing authority, providing the largest supply of quality affordable housing to residents of Los Angeles.
Tiffany Loftin is a human rights organizer and is the former national director of Youth & College Division for the NAACP. She has done significant work in training the next generation of Black youth by developing national leadership conventions and developing curriculum for organizing and digital advocacy. You can find her on Twitter at @Tiffanydloftin.
Vincent Evans is the executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus — the top staffer on one of Congress’ most influential member groups. The Florida A&M grad came up through Florida politics before joining Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign and then serving as deputy director of public engagement and intergovernmental affairs for Vice President Kamala Harris. You can find him on Twitter at @ VinceEvans.
William J. Barber III
William J. Barber III is the director of climate and environmental justice at The Climate Reality Project, founder of The Rural Beacon Initiative, and a member of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality Secretary’s Environmental Justice and Equity Advisory Board. He has nearly a decade of community organizing experience as an environmental and climate justice scholar and advocate. You can find him on Twitter at @WilliamBarberJD.
Zayneb Mohamed, a Somali immigrant from Minneapolis, Minnesota, is an activist, organizer and policy advocate representing her working-class Black Muslim immigrant community. At 24, she is the community advocacy director at the Minnesota chapter of the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN). In that role, she lobbied the state legislature following the murder of George Floyd to increase public safety through police accountability.
DISCLAIMER: This publication is for informational and educational purposes only and is not an endorsement of any political issues, parties, candidates, or elected officials.