Elle Hearns – Founder and Executive Director
Elle Hearns is an artist, community organizer, speaker, and writer from Columbus, Ohio. She is the Executive Director and Founder of The Marsha P. Johnson Institute and was a co-founding member and former strategic partner of the BLACK Lives Matter Network. In her role as interim Organizing Director, she successfully led campaigns such as, “Raise The Debate” and the #SayHerName National Day of Action. She is credited for organizing the first ever National Day of Action for BLACK Trans Women in 2015 in response to the consecutive murders of BLACK trans women. Prior to founding The Marsha P. Johnson Institute and the BLACK Lives Matter Network, Elle worked for GetEQUAL where she led many campaigns including, More Than Marriage and Year Without Tamir.
Elle has delivered keynotes and talks at The Movement for BLACK Lives inaugural convening, Harvard University, Columbia University, the Schomburg Center for Research in BLACK Culture, The Public Theatre, and the The National Lawyers Guild. She has been honored by the Women’s Information Network and BLACK Women’s Blueprint. In 2017, she was named to Essence’s Woke 100 and as one of the most influential African Americans by The Root 100. Elle’s writing has been published by The CUNY Law Review and Ebony. Her work has also been featured in TIME, CNN, MTV, The New York Times, Democracy Now, and more.