The keynote speaker for Laney’s Spring 2018 Graduation Ceremony is Cat Brooks.
Cat Brooks is an artivist and mother who has spent her life working on many social justice issues.
In 2009, Cat joined the fight for Oscar Grant and was instrumental in developing organizing and communications strategies and leading multiple demonstrations.
In 2013, Cat co-founded the Anti Police-Terror Project (APTP) whose mission is to rapidly respond to – and eradicate – state violence in communities of color. APTP has successfully developed a model for first response to police violence that is currently being replicated across the state of California and the country.
For two years, APTP successfully called for 96 hours of direct action over King weekend which culminated in the Reclaiming King’s Radical Legacy March; bringing thousands into the streets. In 2016, APTP successfully expanded this call to 120 hours of direct action to mark a week of resistance between the celebration of King Day to the inauguration of Donald Trump. Hundreds of people participated in over 60 acts of resistance across the Bay Area.
Cat is also the Executive Director of The Justice Teams Network. The JTN is a project in partnership with Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors that supports organizations and individuals across the state who are working to rapidly respond to state violence in their communities. Additionally, the JTN works on public information campaigns and policies geared toward reducing the community trauma and harm of state violence.
At the age of 8, Brooks found her voice on the stage as an actress and in her journals as a writer. In her early 20’s, she lived in Los Angeles working as an actress and communications professional. Since then, her life has been about impacting inequitable social dynamics through communications, organizing, advocacy, public speaking, and art.
Cat Brooks is also the co-host of the morning drive-time radio show “UpFront” on Pacifica’s KPFA Radio Network.
Cat is also a member of ONYX, the Black Power Network, Black Lives Matter-Bay Area and one of the Black Friday 14; a group of Black activists who locked down the West Oakland BART station on Black Friday in 2014.
Known for her passion, fervor and ability to inspire; Cat Brooks is a highly sought after public speaker on a myriad of issues. She recently wrote, starred and produced a one-woman show about the in-custody Tasing death of Natasha McKenna in a Fairfax County Jail in 2015. She lives in West Oakland with her daughter.