Co-founder and director of Black Visions Collective
Kandace Montgomery co-founded the Black Visions Collective to transform the Minneapolis community and lead the call to defund the police.
After George Floyd's death, a national spotlight shined on Minneapolis activists like Kandace Montgomery. Montgomery gained the national spotlight when she made Minneapolis May Jacob Frey do the walk of shame for refusing to support defunding the police, but she'd already spent years uplifting the Black community and working to dismantle systems of violence through Black Visions Collective, a Black-led, trans- and queer-centered nonprofit she founded in 2017 with Miski Noor and Oluchi Omeoga. Outrage over Floyd's unjust killing inspired support from celebs like Lizzo and $30 million in donations. They also granted over $1 million to 19 partner organizations with the shared mission of creating a police-free future. "Defund the police" has been dismissed as a trendy catchphrase, but Black Visions relentlessly fought to make it a reality through protests and policy changes. In June 2020, they convinced the Minneapolis City Council to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department, remove police from the city charter requirements, and create a new community safety model. Pro-police bureaucrats were able to stall a 2020 ballot measure to defund MPD, but voters got a chance in November to vote on a "first-of-its-kind" amendment to limit the size and scope of the police force's power. "A world without police means that everybody has what they need to survive and what they need to live healthy lives, Montgomery told the Intercept. "It means we have the money that we need for education, health care, housing, workers' rights. It is a total transformation away from a racist and violent system into one that truly fosters our safety and well-being."