Intersectional Activism from Justin Hendrix
Black people in the United States have endured a long history of fighting systemic racism in this country. Notable figures would rise to fame when we list the names of Black people who have fought on the right side of humanity. Names such as Martin Luther King, Ella Baker, and Malcolm X are some of the prominent names that jump out when discussing the fight for liberation. Too often, however, are the names of LGBT+ Black activists mentioned, such as James Baldwin, Marsha P. Johnson, and Justin's inspiration, Bayard Rustin.
This exhibit is to showcase the activism of Justin Hendrix, a Black queer man who brings intersectionality to the forefront of his organizing. Hendrix was born and raised in Champaign, was a member of Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club, and was inspired to pursue activism and advocacy after participating in the Beats program, founded by Dr. William Patterson at the University of Illinois. There he found connections to education, art, and technology through hip hop, and learned the importance of representation.
He’s been involved in advocacy work statewide with Equality Illinois, and nationally with GLAAD, and has recently been very active in the Champaign-Urbana community through his organization HITNHOMEBOY. In a summer filled with marches and protests, Hendrix joined fellow activists in leading the charge here in C-U. In partnering with other justice-oriented organizations like Paign to Peace and the Champaign County Anti-Racist Coalition, he’s gone beyond marches to bring needed services to the community.