Before she could even read a picket sign, Angela Hanks was marching in protests.
“The fight for economic justice and racial justice has always been a part of my life.”
“I grew up in a very movement- and action-oriented household. My grandparents and relatives in Detroit were activists and union members deeply engaged in fights for civil rights and expanded worker power, and solidarity was always a theme,” said Hanks. “The fight for economic justice and racial justice has always been a part of my life.”
Those images from her childhood in Michigan made an indelible impression on Hanks and informed her decision to move to Washington, D.C. at age 18. After studying political science at George Washington University and earning her J.D. at the University of Maryland School of Law, Hanks served on Capitol Hill as a legislative assistant to Congressman Elijah Cummings. Her subsequent work at various nonprofit organizations and her most recent position as an acting assistant secretary at the Department of Labor built upon her already-solid foundation in the fight for equity. In each role, she learned more about challenges facing the nation.
“The more you dig into the most pressing racial justice issues in our country, the more concerned you have to become,” said Hanks. “Before our very eyes, we’re seeing marginalized people’s rights eroding before they even fully came into fruition.”
Nevertheless, Hanks believes the work of progressive organizations like Demos and its Inclusive Democracy Project partners is a source of hope. She is eager to take on her new role as Chief of Programs, in which she will manage Demos staff working on litigation, policy research, and movement building.
“Our fight for economic justice, racial justice, and a just democracy are all intertwined,”
“Our fight for economic justice, racial justice, and a just democracy are all intertwined,” said Hanks. “Demos is an organization that understands that building power for Black and brown communities requires work on all three of those fronts.”