Transgender Rights Activist; Executive Director of the Marsha P. Johnson Institute; Co-Founder of the Global Black Lives Matter Network
Elle Moxley, born in Columbus, Ohio, and raised in a single-parent home with two sisters, is an influential activist, writer, and speaker. A graduate of Central State University, she draws inspiration from Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, and Marsha P. Johnson.
Moxley has been active in various capacities, from being a youth organizer to co-founding the Black Lives Matter Global Network in the aftermath of Trayvon Martin's tragic death. Her work is deeply rooted in combating anti-Blackness and affirming the dignity of all Black lives. She also served as an organizing coordinator for this network and has been associated with GetEQUAL, a group advocating legal and social equality. Her activism extends to her role as an ambassador for the Trans Women of Color Collective (TWOCC).
Furthering her commitment to the rights of Black trans people, Moxley founded The Marsha P. Johnson Institute, which she currently leads as the executive director. In response to the alarming rate of murders of Black trans women, she organized the first National Day of Action in 2015 to raise awareness. Moxley has been instrumental in the creation of significant initiatives, including the Marsha P. Johnson Safety and Wellness Act announced in 2019. This act was designed to provide Black trans women with a platform to design a national model for policies, legislation, and laws prioritizing their safety and wellness.
Being a prominent voice for the rights of Black trans people, Moxley has taken her message to reputable institutions like Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, NYU, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Aside from her activism, Moxley has also made a mark in media. She directed and featured in the 2022 short documentary film Black Beauty and has appeared on shows, including "Democracy Now!" and "All Things Considered," discussing important events like the shooting of Tamir Rice. She has also contributed to major publications such as the CUNY Law Review, Ebony magazine, and the San Francisco Examiner, where she wrote about her personal experience of changing her name post-transition.
In recognition of her tireless efforts, Moxley has received numerous accolades. In 2017, she was recognized as one of Essence’s 'Woke 100 Women' and was included in The Root’s list of '100 Most Influential African Americans.' Her work continues to inspire and create meaningful change in the fight for equality and justice.
Moxley's profound impact extends beyond her activist work. She has been involved in music, film, and literature, showcasing her multifaceted talents and determination to use every platform possible to communicate her powerful messages. It is in this transformative work that Moxley's influence truly shines - urging others to practice self-love and self-reflection, organize within their communities, and above all, “just show up."
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