Monifa Akinwole-Bandele is a blogger, human rights activist and community engagement consultant. She is a co-founder and coordinator for 10 years of the Black August Hip Hop Project, an international activist/artist alliance, with ties in Cuba, South Africa, Tanzania, Venezuela and Brazil. Black August is one of the many programs of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM). As an activist with MXGM, Monifa works on issues of police brutality and political prisoners. MXGM’s Cop Watch project, along with a coalition of organizations, filed suit against the New York City Police Department after the 1999 shooting of Amadou Diallo. That suit helped lead to the end of the NYPD Street Crimes Unit, which was responsible for the killing.
Monifa has also worked on numerous film campaigns as an outreach coordinator, including Black Power Revisited (2013), Soul Food Junkies (2012), Emmy® winning Freedom Riders (2010), Pray the Devil Back to Hell (2006), Banished (2006) and the critically acclaimed Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes (2006).
She is currently the food and economic security campaign director for MomsRising.org, an organization of more than one million members, and the senior training advisor for the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP). Prior to joining NCBCP Monifa led a national campaign to expand voting rights to people with felony convictions in 15 states as the national field director for the Brennan Center for Justice Right to Vote Campaign (RTV) expanding voting rights to more than 250,000 people. She serves on the board of directors for the Brooklyn Movement Center, a direct action, community-organizing group for residents of Bedford Stuyvesant and Crown Heights. Monifa has a Master of Human Services degree from Lincoln University.