Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr. & Kimberly Freeman Brown

Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr., is a minister, community activist, and one of the most influential people in Hip Hop political life. Firmly grounded in his Caribbean and Louisiana roots, Rev. Yearwood is a fierce advocate for human and civil rights in the 21st century. A powerful and fiery orator, Rev. Yearwood works diligently and tirelessly to encourage the Hip Hop generation to utilize its political and social voice.

He currently serves as President of the Hip Hop Caucus in Washington, D.C. The Hip Hop Caucus is a national, nonprofit, nonpartisan, organization that inspires and motivates those born after the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.

Rev. Yearwood was a co-creator of the 2004 campaign "Vote or Die" with Sean "P Diddy" Combs. He was also the Political and Grassroots Director for Russell Simmons' Hip Hop Summit Action Network, and a Senior Consultant to Jay Z's Voice Your Choice.

Rev. Yearwood was the National Director of the Letelier-Moffitt Human rights Award winning, Gulf Coast Renewal Campaign in which he organized a coalition of national organizations and grassroots organizations to advocate for the rights of Hurricane Katrina survivors. Rev. Yearwood has become an important figure in the peace movement as an outspoken critic of the war in Iraq and the Bush Administration. He was an Officer in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and led the "Make Hip Hop Not War" national bus tour to engage more young people in the movement for peace.

He is currently working with Grammy Award Winning artist T.I. and Platinum Selling artist Keisha Cole on Respect My Vote! which is a non-partisan voter registration, education, and mobilization campaign of the Hip Hop Caucus. This groundbreaking initiative focuses on the 18-29 year old demographic that did not attend college.

Rev. Yearwood, was born in Shreveport, Louisiana. He earned his undergraduate degree from University of the District of Columbia in 1998 and was awarded a Master of Divinity from Howard University in 2002. Rev. Yearwood has been seen on CNN, BET Tonight, XXL magazine, Newsweek, The Nation, MTV, AllHipHop.com, Al Jazeera, Streetz Magazine, BBC, C-Span, and Hardball with Chris Mathews and featured in the Washington Post, The New York Times and VIBE magazine.


******


Kimberly Freeman Brown is Executive Director of American Rights at Work, the nation's leading labor policy and advocacy organization dedicated to educating the American public about the barriers workers face when they attempt to exercise their rights to freely and fairly form unions and engage in collective bargaining.

Freeman Brown's tenure with American Rights at Work began with the organization’s inception in 2004, serving as its founding Communications Director and later as Deputy Director. Kimberly built American Rights at Work’s media operation and led the organization in exposing unionbusting in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal within six months of joining the staff. During the 2007 push for the Employee Free Choice Act in Congress, she authored American Rights at Work’s first series of fact sheets on the bill that were widely used to brief congressional staffers, members, and opinion leaders. Additionally, she has written and placed numerous opinion editorials for board members, academics, and allies that have helped frame the public discourse on labor law reform.

Before joining American Rights at Work, Kimberly served the progressive community as a senior communications strategist for more than a decade. She is the former Communications Director of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial, where she developed and managed national and international media campaigns on domestic social justice issues and international human rights. As an independent public relations consultant, she also designed national public relations projects for clients including the Children’s Defense Fund, the National Breast Cancer Coalition, the Peace Development Fund, and the Smithsonian Institution.

Kimberly currently serves on the board of the Grassroots Policy Project, a national nonprofit that resources a broad cross-section of progressive organizations across the U.S. with programs that combine political and popular education with strategic planning, leadership, and organizational development. She has previously served on the boards of Grassroots International and International Possibilities Unlimited, which resource social justice movements globally.