38 Role Transitions & Visible Leadership with Phillip Agnew

Phillip Agnew, former Executive Director of the Dream Defenders and leader in the Movement for Black Lives, joins us to talk about his recent leadership transition and what it's like to evolve in public.

He touches on so much: movement celebrity culture, the limitations of highly visible leadership, what it means to have a clear leftist ideology, what he would have done differently in his own transition, collective responsibility for mental health, and his own name change to Umi Selah and then back to Phillip.

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Referenced in the episode

About our guest

Phillip Agnew co-founded the Dream Defenders in 2012 after the murder of Trayvon Martin and has been dubbed “one of this generation’s leading voices” and recognized by both EBONY magazine and The Root as one of the 100 most influential African Americans in the nation. In 2018, he transitioned from his role as co-director of the Dream Defenders and now travels the country training and organizing where “the movement” hasn’t touched.

He is the co-founder of Miami’s Smoke Signals Studio – a community based radical artistic space - with his partner, poet Aja Monet.  Smoke Signals Studio is a space where those invested in using art, sound and music as a meeting place for transformation and liberation can come to create together.

Find Phillip & Aja Monet's TEDxWomen talk called "A love story about the power of art as organizing.”

Practice: Claiming Our Ideology

Check out the corresponding practice episode where we share a practice based on Dream Defenders' Freedom Papers that focuses on Claiming Our Ideology, along with one of Phillip's original poems. Subscribe to this podcast to make sure you don't miss it.

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