Published May 17, 2021 by Tom Porter

Honorary Degree Recipient DeRay Mckesson '07 in Conversation

Among this year’s honorary degree recipients is civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson '07. Mckesson rose to national prominence in the Black Lives Matter movement beginning with the 2014 protests in Ferguson, Missouri, after Michael Brown was killed by police.

The former math teacher and school administrator is the author of last year’s On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope. He continues his activism with his podcast, “Pod Save the People,” with Campaign Zero, an organization focused on policy solutions to end police brutality in America, and in his role as director of the Council on Criminal Justice Task Force on Policing. He regularly undertakes speaking engagements across the country. 

On May 12, Mckesson took part in a fireside chat moderated by his classmate Beth Kowitt ’07, senior editor at Fortune.

Rewatch the conversation: