Dream Defenders Co-Executive Director Jonel Edwards Mickles Is Looking To The Future, Now

Dream Defenders x NewsOne

Source: iOne Digital Creative Services

As NewsOne embarks on a new partnership with Dream Defenders, we’re privileged to spotlight the organization’s Co-Executive Director, Jonel Edwards Mickles.

Mickles began social justice work in 2012 while attending the University Of Florida. Majoring in political science at the time, she became motivated to get involved after the execution of Troy Davis and the killing of Trayvon Martin. 

“I hadn’t really been to a protest before, but I knew that I needed to do something, said Mickles. “I just linked up with a few people on campus, planned a march and I’ve been at it ever since.”

A few months later, Mickles was invited to be a part of Dream Defenders.  

Dream Defenders - Jonel Edwards Mickles

Jonel Edwards Mickles. | Source: Dream Defenders

Since then, Mickles and her team have been dedicated to creating a space where folks can organize around that has a clear vision.

“My primary responsibility is to support the building of an organization that can be a home for people across the country who want to take action in their communities, who want to make their communities better,” Mickles added.

The organization, which has been Florida-based for 10 years, is looking to expand nationally and create a broader reach to local Black communities all over the country.

“Over the last year or so we’ve started to grow the organization nationally, so one of our big focuses over the next few years is what it looks like for Dream Defenders to exist nationally,” Mickles explained.

In 2017, the team created the “Freedom Papers,” an online document that delivers poignant yet eloquent messages creatively tailored to the cause. 

“After being in our communities talking to folks and realizing that we had great ideas but actually our communities weren’t there with us yet and we needed a way to better communicate what it was that we were for, what we were fighting against and the experiences that grounded that,” said Mickles.

Mickles credits Dream Defenders for helping her find her voice in the movement. 

“Entering a space of activism allowed me to show up in a different way and allowed me to say things that allowed me to shed some of that fear that I had about using my voice,” said Mickles.

Who Are the Dream Defenders?

Dream Defenders was founded in April 2012 after the tragic killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. The group was marching and fighting for justice for Trayvon and so many like him.

For deeper insights into the ethos of Dream Defenders and its dynamic partnership with NewsOne, we invite you to watch the video above.


Still On The Journey: The Women Who Are Defending Black America’s Freedom Dream

Reclaiming Journalism: Dream Defenders And NewsOne Announce Partnership For Media Justice

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The post Dream Defenders Co-Executive Director Jonel Edwards Mickles Is Looking To The Future, Now appeared first on NewsOne.

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