Brittany Packnett

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Brittany N. Packnett is an activist, the co-founder of Campaign Zero,[1] and a member of President Barack Obama's 21st Century Policing Task Force.[2] She was previously executive director for Teach for America in St. Louis.[3]


Packnett was born on November 12, 1984. She was raised as the daughter of a pastor and ordained Baptist minister in St. Louis, Missouri, which led to her commitment to social justice. Going to weeknight Bible studies caused her to view Jesus Christ as a representation of unconditional liberation and justice. She then went on to study African and American studies at Washington University in St. Louis.

In 2014, while Brittany was the executive director of Teach for America in St. Louis, Michael Brown was shot in the nearby city of Ferguson, Missouri. Brown was a black, unarmed eighteen year old, shot by a white police officer. In response, Brittany became involved in the demonstrations in Ferguson that were protesting police violence and local government. She used Twitter and other social media to fight back against the distorted narrative the media was painting surrounding the protests. Soon, Packnett became a significant member of Black Twitter, where she spoke out about education, voting rights, and equal pay. [4]

In the summer of 2015, Brittany cofounded Campaign Zero, a policy platform designed to end police violence. That same year she was appointed to Barack Obama's 21st Century Policing Task Force, which emerged at the height of the police violence crisis. In 2016, she was promoted to Vice President of National Community Alliances at Teach for America and began the organization's first ever civil rights and equality campaign. Since then, she has dedicated both her life and career to justice. [4]

The Washington Post described Packnett as "heavily involved in the planning and coordination of the Ferguson protest," and Missouri Governor Jay Nixon appointed her to serve on the Ferguson Commission established to respond to the unrest.[5] Time magazine named Packnett to a 2015 list of "12 New Faces of Black Leadership."[6] She was also named to The Root magazine's 2015 Root 100 list, wherein she was described as "the bridge over turbulent, troubled waters."[7] Ebony cited Packnett with Johnetta Elzie, Deray Mckesson, and Samuel Sinyangwe to its 2015 Power 100 list for their work on Campaign Zero.[8]

During the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Packnett endorsed Hillary Clinton for President, stating: "This is not about me. This is about the work. The best way I can use my platform is to support Secretary Clinton." [9]

In a 2017 NPR interview, Packnett encouraged white people to use the essay White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh as a tool for recognizing and combating their white privilege.[10]


  1. ^ Cornish, Audie (August 26, 2015). "Black Lives Matter Publishes 'Campaign Zero' Plan To Reduce Police Violence". All Things Considered. NPR. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  2. ^ Rhodan, Maya (July 8, 2016). "Why Obama's Police Reform Is a Work in Progress". Time Magazine. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  3. ^ Pearce, Matt (November 22, 2014). "Women find their voice in Ferguson protest movement". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  4. ^ a b Imani, Blair (2018). Modern Herstory. California: Ten Speed Press. p. 42. ISBN 978-0-399-58223-3.
  5. ^ Lowery, Wesley (December 18, 2014). "Obama names task force to examine trust between police and minority communities". Washington Post. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  6. ^ Staff, TIME (January 16, 2015). "Meet 12 New Faces of Black Leadership". Time. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  7. ^ "The Root 100 – 2015". The Root. Archived from the original on 19 September 2016. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  8. ^ "2015 Power 100". Ebony. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  9. ^ Melissa Harris-Perry (October 2016): "Black Lives Matter Activist Brittany Packnett on Why She's Finally #WithHer", Elle
  10. ^ "Combating Racism After Charlottesville". NPR. August 16, 2017.

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