ABOUT

“When people ask me who am I.. I can never give a short answer simply because of my complexity.

 

I am a Student, Organizer, Activist, Advocate, Writer, Traveler, a warrior and.. a rebel.

 

I serve as the Generational Progress Reproductive Justice Ambassador, a HBCU White House All Star Ambassador, an IGNITE National Fellow, The Founder of Reading for Liberation, Co Founder and President of The National Black Action Committee, and the Founder of the Barbara J. Harris Scholarship.

 

As an aspiring Pediatric Psychologist, I plan to merge mental health and community with programming aimed at those who do not have access to mental healthcare resources while advocating for mental healthcare policy reform and justice in every aspect, for all.

I first received my head start growing up in the historic community of Orange Mound in Memphis, TN.

 

However, the things that we were deprived of such as resources, health and justice, were the things that we needed the most.. and that, has become the root of my activism.

 

In October of 2018, I was unjustly arrested at a politically rally. 

 

That day, we made headlines and there was not a news channel in the entire state that you didn’t see our story on. 

 

Although the case was dismissed, life for me changed so drastically. 

 

But the work continued. 

 

Fast forward to February 2019, I was arrested, again. 

 

This time for my activism around the confederate statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest. 

 

People ask often “why put so much energy into a statue”

 

And my response is always, if we can not get something as simple as a racist statue removed, then issues like healthcare, reproductive justice and the fight for 15 are out of the question. 

 

This arrest also changed my entire world as the death threats and chaos increased.  

 

I was banned from the highest office in the State, the Tennessee State Capitol. 

 

And I still currently am. 

 

This is a case that I am still fighting to this day. 

 

In February of 2020,

 

I announced my immediate resignation from my position as Executive Vice President within the Tennessee Young Democrats and my position as the Ex Officio within the Tennessee Democratic Party. 

 

In addition, I announced my leave from the Democratic Party as I no longer identity with any political establishment. 

 

Before all else, I am an activist, first. 

And as an activist I realized that can not participate in the very organizations that contradict my work. 

 

Malcolm X reminds us that people who are involved in a revolution do not become part of the system, they destroy the system, so it gave me great joy to go.

 

I left in peace, love and in commitment to my community. 

 

Activism is not pretty. 

It is tough, draining and exhausting... 

 

Activism is an unpaid job that I clock into every time I walk outside of my door.. but I would not want to work anywhere else. 

 

Freedom is not free. 

It costs. 

 

For me, I’m paying with my time, energy, and my life. 

 

I am so thankful for my village of family, friends, mentors, loved ones, my therapist and the ancestors whose spirits cover me. 

 

They have stayed with me on this wild rollercoaster. I’ve wanted to get off so many times.. 

 

It goes up and down and I don’t know when it will end or where it will turn, but.. here I am. 

Still on it. Embracing every bump. 

 

From Fannie Lou Hamer, to Malik El Hajj El Shabazz, to Chairman Fred Hampton Jr., to Assata Shakur, and so many other ancestors who paved the way..

 

I give thanks, honor and endless libations to those who came before me. 

 

I can not talk about me without talking about them because I am because they were. 

 

We all are because of them. 

 

If I have not learned anything else from this journey, I’ve learned this..

 

Activism in this country, at this time, is not a choice. It is something that we all must do. 

 

Activism is the rent that I pay for living on this earth. 

 

And we all must pay to live, somewhere. 

 

Peace, love and black power. 

Forever. 

 

-Jeneisha”