Kei WilliamsBrooklyn, NY Award Year: 2022
Kei Williams (they/them) is a queer transmasculine organizer, artist, and historian. Williams is a founding member of the Black Lives Matter Global Network and Movement Netlab — a decentralized training network. Through their organizing, Williams is not only shaping powerful campaigns and movements, but also developing accessible, practical tools that grow the capacity, scale, and impact of the most dynamic, emerging social movements of our time. In recent years, they have applied these tools to their work with the People’s Climate Movement, the Marsha P. Johnson Institute, and NEW Pride Agenda, and as a Community Fellow with Mellon Initiative for Inclusive Faculty Excellence Launches Fellowship for Emerging Scholars at The New School, they have been able to continue honing these tools to help others understand and shape their own organizing work. Williams is not a single-issue organizer, with their work spanning the intersections of racial justice, abolitionist, queer liberation, gender equality, and climate justice movements. Their work has shaped dozens of campaigns, such as No New Jails NYC, Safety Beyond Policing, Swipe It Forward, Trans Liberation Tuesday; and the culture producer and designer for the Black Gotham Experience, an immersive visual storytelling project celebrating the impact of the African Diaspora on New York City. They also serve as a board member for Queer|Art in service to the diverse and vibrant community of LGBTQ+ artists across generations and disciplines.