Janaé Bonsu (she/her) is a Black queer feminist abolitionist from Columbia, SC by way of Brooklyn, NY. She attended the University of South Carolina where she received a bachelor’s degree in psychology and criminal justice. After graduating, she went on to work in social policy research at a NYC-based think tank until deciding to pursue a master’s degree in social work at the University of Chicago. While in Chicago, Janaé was among the first group of people to join BYP100 after the organization’s founding with little experience in social justice work. Since joining, Janaé has demonstrated a commitment to building organizational capacity and carrying major campaign, public policy, and direct-action projects to completion. She spent two years in chapter leadership before joining BYP100’s staff in 2016 as National Public Policy Chair. BYP100 became her first political home where she lives and builds today. Janaé currently serves on the board of directors at mRelief and Action Center on Race & the Economy (ACRE). She is a PhD candidate whose research focuses on state violence and Black women’s agency in their safety beyond policing. She is also a Pisces sun/Cancer moon/Sagittarius rising who loves to cook.
D’atra “Dee Dee” Jackson (she/her) is an organizer, trainer, big sister, and godmother of four. Born and raised in Southwest Philly, she moved to Durham from Miami. She attended Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, the oldest historically black institution for higher learning, where she obtained her B.S. in Recreation & Leisure Management, and Florida International University to obtain her Masters in Recreation and Sports Management. While attending FIU, she became active at the height of the murder of Trayvon Martin and Zimmerman verdict with an organization called Dream Defenders, founding the FIU chapter. Dee Dee is a trainer, leader, and respected party thrower here in Durham. She is currently the Co-Director of Ignite NC, which works with mostly Black, mostly queer, young organizers across to state to shift the culture of organizing in North Carolina. She is also Co-Founder of the Durham Chapter of Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100). Dee Dee has had her hand in efforts and actions such as bringing Participatory Budgeting to Durham, #DurhamBeyondPolicing, Justice for Reefa campaign, Black Mama’s/Black August Bail Outs, and some that shouldn’t be named. She is also an aspiring movement DJ, named DJ MerQueen Gangsta for the Revolution. She is moving through the world with Libra sun, Aquarius rising, and Taurus moon.