Nekima Levy Armstrong is a Minneapolis-based civil rights lawyer, legal scholar, activist, community leader, and executive director of the Wayfinder Foundation. She now adds author to her lengthy resume.
Although her book was just released, it is already number-one for new releases on Amazon. Like Joy, the character in the book, young Black and Brown kids can see themselves, their family, and their community on each beautifully illustrated page. “‘J is for Justice,’” teaches readers what justice means and how to achieve it, despite being young,” said Levy Armstrong.
The book is written to highlight her baby girl Assata Joy Armstrong who was born into the movement, carried along in mommy’s tummy and then held up by the hand as she comes of age. Forming her own thoughts and opinions around the things she sees, Joy requests to come along with Mommy and has some questions of her own along the way.
Kicking off her tour, Levy Armstrong partnered with Tonica Abdur Salaam, head of school at Legacy of Dr. Josie R. Johnson Montessori Elementary in Levy Armstrong’s hometown of North Minneapolis.
Young, impressionable faces lit up as they received the very first exclusive copies of the book. They sat for the reading and stood in line for her signing, but most powerfully, they marched the halls with hand-drawn signs in a display of exercising their civil right to fair treatment and justice for all.
More interactive school visits and book signings are scheduled in various cities, including Minneapolis/St. Paul, Brooklyn, Boston and Los Angeles.
Levy Armstrong previously served as president of the Minneapolis NAACP and as professor of law at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, where she founded the Community Justice Project, an award-winning civil rights legal clinic.
She is known for her work advocating for justice in the police killings of Jamar Clark, George Floyd and Amir Locke, and has pledged to donate 1,000 copies of her book, “J is for Justice,” to children of color from under-resourced communities to inspire youth to continue social justice and advocacy work.
Despite facing her own life challenges such as battling a life-threatening brain tumor, Levy Armstrong also fought and won a $600,000 settlement against the City of Minneapolis on behalf of protesters brutalized by the police.
Paving the way as one of today’s leaders, Levy Armstrong’s passion for social justice has been recognized by the likes of Oprah Winfrey with a bouquet of hand-selected flowers. She’s also spoken alongside Tamika Mallory, Rev. Al Sharpton, and Civil Rights Attorney Benjamin Crump, with guest appearances on Roland Martin’s show and many primetime platforms.
With the height of social media reflecting new #hashtags daily, it’s important to have the necessary conversations with Black children about social justice, as well as with their White peers to bridge gaps in understanding and to promote empathy, compassion, and the power of using their voices to effect change.
In addition to her new book, to further the cause of justice, Levy Armstrong’s upcoming “Justice & Power” podcast explores conversations between Levy Armstrong and social justice experts, influencers, artists, community members, practitioners and leaders. Launching on Feb. 28, with episodes released every Wednesday, the podcast will explore a different topic through the lens of others.
“Justice & Power” leverages the powerful medium of audio storytelling to ask thought-provoking, tough questions and seek even tougher answers to overcome a system of injustice while challenging long-held beliefs and societal norms.
For more info on “Justice & Power,” visit www.wayfinder.foundation. “J is for Justice” is illustrated by Tiffany Baker, published by Wise Ink Creative Publishing, and is available on Amazon.com, Red Balloon, and Barnes and Noble. The official book release is February 21, 2023. A book launch party will take place on March 3 from 4-8 pm at the Capri Theater, 2027 W. Broadway Ave., Minneapolis. For more info, visit bit.ly/JusticeBookLaunch.
Jiccarra N. Hollman welcomes reader responses to email@example.com.
Leave a Reply