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KILLER MIKE

Business owner, Grammy award-winning rapper, and political & social activist Michael Santiago Render, better known by his stage name Killer Mike has made many strides toward uplifting his community through social inequality, police brutality, and systemic racism. He has used his many platforms to create change, empower, and uplifting the underserviced black community. Like many artists before him Killer Mike has used his rap career to inspire revolutionary action. In June of 2020, he co-released an album titled ‘Run The Jewels 4’ with EI-P. It questions the school system, biased news reporting, unruly religious mobs, and police brutality. After the killing of George Floyd, Mike had a simple message, “It is your duty not to burn your own house down for anger with an enemy. It is your duty to fortify your own house so that you may be a house of refuge in times of organization. Now is the time to plot, plan, strategize, organize, and mobilize.” 

 

In 2020 Mike partnered with Andrew Young and Ryan Glover to transform the banking system. Together they have created a digital bank called the Greenwood Bank Initiative, geared toward serving the Black and Latinx communities. Greenwood hopes to embody the same principles as its namesake, the 1900s Greenwood community of Tulsa where Black wealth and Black businesses thrived by circulating the dollar within its community. Greenwood Bank plans on doing this with: grants of $10,000 every month to a Black or Latinx small business, feeding five families every time an account is created, and providing donations to UNCF and NAACP through a spare change round-up.

 

His community activism and connection to the hip hop world have earned him a seat on the prestigious board of directors at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA. His work with the confronting of topics surrounding income equality, police brutality, and systemic racism through various art mediums made him a great match for The High. Killer Mike would like to use his seat to broaden The High’s scope of fine art by including more involvement with members of Atlanta’s infamous hip-hop and R&B community providing a deeper look into the city’s culture. He would also like to include more graffiti art, for its principal role in hip-hop's foundation. To Killer Mike including these aspects and highlighting artists from different mediums who’ve played an important part in hip-hop culture are long overdue. Killer Mike hopes these additions will help diversify attendance and reach more children.

 

In an article from GQ, writer Donovan X. Ramsey asked Killer Mike what policies he would enact if he were running the city of Atlanta? Donovan proposed the question of what Killer Mike’s platform would be? Mike responded that he’d insist that a city that is more than 50 percent, Black, like Atlanta, do more than 50 percent of its business with a Black-owned bank and create incentives for graduates of Atlanta public high schools to go to the city's historically Black colleges. He'd also help city employees finance homes in Atlanta to keep them from moving to the suburbs, and he'd make the 16 Fortune 500 companies that call Atlanta home commit to public works. His stance on police reform was, “In Atlanta, I would focus less on creating a police state and go more back to the community policing.… I would make sure that our police are involved in our communities in a non-police way, meaning coaching, assistant coaching. I would strengthen the Police Athletic League dramatically because my interaction with police should be more like the Police Athletic League and less like you're stopping me because three of us are standing on this corner.”

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NOMINATE SOMEONE FOR

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BOYD MELSON

ACTIVIST • RAPPER• ENTREPENUER

Retired boxer and Army Public Affairs Officer, Major Boyd Melson believes he was put on this Earth to help cure spinal cord injuries. His calling started after meeting his former girlfriend and now best friend, Christan Zaccagnino who suffered a spinal cord injury that left her paralyzed at the age of 10. After hearing her story he knew he had to help her walk again.

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