Jeremiah Ellison: The Artist-Activist On Forging Real Change
This month, events in Minneapolis captured the world’s attention. The recent death of Daunte Wright and the conviction of Derek Chauvin sound a significant shift in the civil rights movement and the country at large.
Today, artist, activist, and politician Jeremiah Ellison is here to help us make sense of this historic moment.
As some of you may know, I spent the week of April 13th, 2021 (pre-Chauvin verdict) in a very tense Minneapolis. Motivating my visit was an intention to better understand the events and circumstances that brought the world’s focus upon this city—not from what I read online or saw streaming endlessly on cable news—but rather from a first-hand, experience-based perspective.
In addition, my objective was to conduct meaningful, nuanced conversations with Minneapolis civic leaders who are grappling with the important issues that have recently dominated national news coverage. Issues that include police misconduct and public safety reform; the roots of civil unrest and the purpose of protest; and of course the role social activism has played in all of this.
This conversation, the first in a series of Minneapolis-themed episodes that I will be releasing over the coming weeks, is one powerful result of that good faith inquiry.
Representing Ward 5 on the Minneapolis City Council, Jeremiah sits at the vortex of the many complicated issues that concern his community, and from the start has been one of the leading and most prominent voices calling for the reimagination of public safety.
On the one hand, Jeremiah is a very unlikely elected official. An artist at heart and painter by trade, he’s both a muralist and a comic book illustrator. He’s into Silver Surfer. And Batman.
On the other hand, he is the son of former 6-term Congressman Keith Ellison. Currently Attorney General for the state of Minnesota, the Ellison elder was also in charge of the Chauvin prosecution. In other words, it’s fair to say that Jeremiah was born for the role he currently inhabits.
My week in Minneapolis was extraordinary. There were so many experiences I will never forget. I learned much. I’m better for the trip. And my time with Jeremiah has much to do with that. I’m grateful that he took the time to share his truth and for his trust in my ability to share it.
This is a powerful exchange. My only ask is that you welcome Jeremiah and his testimony with an open mind and an open heart.
Peace + Plants,
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- Connect with Jeremiah: Website | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook
- City of Minneapolis: Jeremiah Ellison
- Campaign Zero: About
- New York Times: Ten Months After George Floyd’s Death, Minneapolis Residents Are at War Over Policing
- New York Times: ‘Woe Is You,’ White People Say. What We Need Is a Remedy.
- NPR: Minneapolis City Council Member On New Rules For The City Police
- CNN: How Minneapolis became the epicenter for the BLM movement
- CBS: Issues surrounding Chauvin trial go “far beyond Minneapolis,” city council member says
- MSNBC: All In with Chris Hayes: Elie Mystal, Jeremiah Ellison, Jeff Storms, Jason Crow, Katie Benner
- Star Tribune: Minneapolis chief: Each agency has own standards for use of tear gas and projectiles to control crowds
- Star Tribune: From activist to authority, Jeremiah Ellison navigates Minneapolis’ civil rights fight
- Daily Planet: A seat at the table: Jeremiah Ellison uses artist lens and collaboration to reimagine representation in Ward 5
- Bring Me The News: Councilors: ‘We’re going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department’
- MPR News: After pledging to defund police, Mpls. City Council still rethinking public safety
- MSP Mag: Jeremiah Ellison on Making Real Change in His City
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Thank The Team: I do not do this alone. Send your love to Jason Camiolo for production, audio engineering and show notes; Margo Lubin and Blake Curtis for video, editing and graphics; portraits by Ali Rogers & Davy Greenberg; copywriting by Georgia Whaley; and theme music by Tyler Piatt. Trapper Piatt & Hari Mathis. Special thanks to talented Minneapolis local photographers / videographers Bennie Wilson and Jordan Lundell for portraits & an upcoming video we are are working on.
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