Maurice Mitchell first became an organizer almost twenty years ago. After a Howard University classmate of his was killed by police officers, Mitchell began campaigning against police brutality and for divestment from private prisons. He would go on to help build the Movement for Black Lives, and today he serves as the national director of the Working Families Party, which works to elect progressive candidates to offices across the country.
But Mitchell’s sense of the problem has changed over the years. He used to think if he could just mobilize enough support and change enough minds, that would be enough to make progress on the issues that mattered most to his community. Now he knows that was wrong. If you want to change the outcomes the political system produces, you need to change the political system itself.