Diversity & Inclusion: Hope Happens Here
After his empassioned testimony from the heart amid the Black Lives Matter protests in his hometown of Atlanta, rapper MICHAEL 'KILLER MIKE' RENDER has been a sought after voice to ignite social justice. He encourages us to stand - no, act - next to each other, and do the work on an everyday basis that changes mindsets, builds something beautiful, and converts the vision of equity into actual progress. A natural storyteller, Killer Mike tells the stories of the past and present and personal lessons learned, and interweaves facts that make the stories irrefutable and important lessons.
Social Activism and Community Engagement
In this talk, Grammy-award winning rapper MICHAEL 'KILLER MIKE' RENDER shares why he's more focused on cultivating his community than a fan following. Render was raised in the Adamsville/Collier Heights neighborhood on the Northwest side of Atlanta, and made a name for himself as a community activist well before he recorded a single song. Render heavily invests himself into youth programs, black businesses, and local culture, and he lobbies against systemic issues such as mass incarceration. It would be easy for someone of Render’s stature to focus exclusively on his career, but Render believes service to the community is the rent he pays for existing.
Michael 'Killer Mike' Render and Andrew Young collaborate on a Black-Owned Bank To Combat Systemic Racism
MICHAEL 'KILLER MIKE' RENDER, a well-known rapper and activist and ANDREW YOUNG, a former member of Congress, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and Mayor of Atlanta are collaborating to run a successful Black-owned bank that works to combat systemic racism. The bank is a digital banking system that focuses on Black and Latino communities, named Greenwood. The name is a nod to the Tulsa community, which was known as “Black Wall Street” before being destroyed by a white mob back in 1921. Greenwood aims to tackle discrimination and inequality in banking, such as home ownership by offering education on mortgages and loans, securing loans for new businesses by providing $10,000 a month in grants, serving those who live in banking deserts, recircling money back into the Black community, and more. Michael 'Killer Mike' Render frequently speaks on diversity and inclusion, social activism, and community engagement. He encourages us to stand - no, act - next to each other, and do the work on an everyday basis that changes mindsets, builds something beautiful, and converts the vision of equity into actual progress, including Greenwood. He shares why he's more focused on cultivating his community than a fan following - he made a name for himself as a community activist well before he recorded a single song, and his talks reflect that.
The successful bank is frequently making headlines in the mainstream news, featured in ABC News, ADWEEK, Bloomberg, Black Enterprise, Revolt, and more. The bank is so popular, the launch had to be delayed multiple times due to high demand to ensure the platform can uphold the demand when it does launch.
Virtual Programming: Rapper Killer Mike is a social activist, igniter, and thougtful voice on social justice and equity. He leads by example in doing the work to convert turbulence into progress, and helps audiences understand the imperative to stand together in hope and action
KILLER MIKE is a Grammy-winning rapper, community activist and important voice for social justice and equity. Since his empassioned testimony amid the Black Lives Matters protests in his hometown of Atlanta, he has appeared in virtual interviews everywhere from The Colbert Show to Rolling Stone online to MSNBC, and has appeared in print everywhere from GQ to Bloomberg. He was named to NME's "The Ten People Who Defined 2020" list for his powerful lyrics and activism and his album, RTJ4, made Variety's "Best Albums of 2020" list alongside Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, and more. And because he is a fan favorite, he was chosen to give a virtual commencement address on Adult Swim - an outlet known for being fun and irreverant - during which Killer Mike discussed the poignant messages of knowing who you are, having patience, and standing for something. A natural storyteller, Mike shares with audiences why he invests so heavily in his community and black businesses, the hope it brings to do the work, and how to ignite progress within a community or organization.
Michael Render, pka Killer Mike, is a Grammy-award winning rapper, businessman and activist. He is one half of the hip hop duo, Run the Jewels, host of the Netflix series, “Trigger Warning with Killer Mike,” and co-owner along with Tip ‘T.I.’ Harris of famed Atlanta restaurant, Bankhead Seafood.
A native of Atlanta, Render made his musical debut on “Snappin’ and Trappin’” from OutKast’s 2000 LP Stankonia, and later appeared on the Grammy-award winning song “The Whole World,” from Outkast’s greatest hits album. He has since released five full-length albums as a solo artist and four albums for Run the Jewels. His fourth album will be released on June 5.
Render was raised in the Adamsville/Collier Heights neighborhood on the Northwest side of Atlanta. He began organizing at the age of 15 and made a name for himself as an activist well before he recorded a single song. In addition to advocating for the decriminalization of marijuana, and restorative justice programs for young people, Render has worked locally with the anti-violence organization, Black Teens for Advancement and the Atlanta/Fulton Commission on Children and Youth through its Kids 4 a Change program.
A fierce advocate for black businesses, in July 2016, Render used his considerable influence to urge citizens to move their money to Black-owned banks. The Bank Black program is estimated to have moved more than $60 million to black-owned banking institutions. He was later presented with the James E. Young Visionary Leadership Award by the National Bankers Association for his impact.
It would be easy for someone of Render’s stature to focus exclusively on his career, but Render believes service to the community is the rent he pays for existing. Through his SWAG Shop barbershops, which he co-owns with his wife, he’s held back-to-school events offering free haircuts, braids, and school supplies for Atlanta children.
He has also used his platform to champion a love for the arts. His commitment to arts and culture was recognized recently when he was appointed to a three-year term for the prestigious High Museum of Art in Atlanta.
The pride of Atlanta, the city dubbed an $11.6 million boring machine, “Driller Mike,” in his honor. He was named to NME's "The Ten People Who Defined 2020" list for his powerful lyrics and activism, his album, RTJ4, made Variety's "Best Albums of 2020" list alongside Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, and he was named as the recipient of 2020's Billboard Change Maker Award.
Of all his roles and responsibilities, recognition and celebration, Mike is most proud to be called “husband” to Shana, and “father” to two sons and two daughters.