Brittany Packnett doesn't care how you got woke - she cares that you stay woke


Brittany promised to give us a little bit of Sunday at The Arena Detroit. And she delivered.

Brittany rallied the audience with an impassioned plea to give voice to those who are marginalized across American society.

Brittany is the Vice President of National Community Alliances for Teach for America, co-founder of Campaign Zero, a police reform campaign that emerged through the Black Lives Matter movement, and served as a member of President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. She is a renowned activist and, as evident from her keynote, is the daughter of two preachers from St. Louis.

Brittany discusses the privilege of the activist, that those who are most in need of support are burdened by the necessity of working to put food on the table or cannot voice their truth for fear of political or religious persecution (“privilege is not hyperbole; it is a reality”) (2:03); her upbringing in an activist household where “justice was the family business” (3:28); how marginalized groups like African Americans, immigrants, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community are in “the arena,” whether they like it or not (“even if we aren’t interested in racism, racism is interested in us” h/t Ta-Nehisi Coates) (3:51); how it doesn’t matter if this is your first taste of activism or if you are a veteran, we need to push forward together (“I don’t care how you got woke, I just care that you stay woke”) (6:03); and how we must stay fierce in our fight against oppressive forces (“aim to become an enemy of injustice so powerful that the orange man in the White House will tweet about you”) (7:31).

Thank you again for your words and your energy, Brittany.

EXPERTRavi Gupta