The Fashion Activist
Andre’ Wright is a designer, activist, visionary, community builder and world traveler who has dedicated his life to BIPOC. Since launching his own fashion brand out of the Midwest, Andre’ has grown Humanize My Hoodie into a global fashion activism movement, designing hoodies for rappers, Black liberation leaders, allies, and Black youth while staging fashion shows and workshops nationally, educating thousands about the power of fashion to inspire, empower and spark important conversations.
Andre’ is passionate about experiencing different cultures and building global communities. To that end, he has traveled to more than 20 countries within the past three years, weaving every conversation, meal, culture clash, connection, chaotic street, and beautiful vista into his creative direction and activism. His goal is for every interaction he has — from the Black youth he mentors to the corporate audiences he coaches — to spark a small moment of revolution and make people realize they have the power to change the world.
Jason Sole has been a criminal justice educator for a decade (served as an assistant professor at two academic institutions) and is currently an adjunct professor at Hamline University. He is a national keynote speaker and trainer. He’s the past president of the Minneapolis NAACP in which he launched several public safety initiatives (e.g., Warrant Forgiveness Day) that led to harm reduction in Hennepin County. Sole was a 2013 Bush Fellow who focused on juvenile delinquency and recidivism throughout the state of Minnesota. He helped launch Mayor Coleman’s Community Ambassador’s Program, which led to a 63% reduction in juvenile crime in the first year. In 2014, he published his memoir, From Prison to Ph.D.: A Memoir of Hope, Resilience, and Second Chances. In addition, Jason is the co-founder of the Humanize My Hoodie Movement in which he’s challenging threat perceptions about Black men through clothing, art exhibitions, documentary screenings, and ally workshops. His work has been recognized by John Legend, Bruce Western, and a host of others who center their efforts on reforming the criminal justice system.
The Humanize My Hoodie Movement originated from a demand to end the killing of Black and Indigenous People across the world. As descendants of slaves, we recognize how hoodies have been used to amplify the myth of Black criminality. Our mission is to debunk that stereotype by designing revolutionary social justice campaigns for Black and Indigenous People of Color to be HUMANIZED, not criminalized. Humanize My Hoodie empowers Black people to stand up against racial injustice.
Why a hoodie? The hoodie invites conversations and we are using the Humanize My Hoodie sweatshirt, as well as educational tools, to arm our marginalized communities with innovative ways to uplift humanity and fight against violence and racism. We do this by providing jobs for poor youth, providing hoodies for entire communities who’ve experienced hate; providing a platform for the formerly incarcerated to be seen as more than their criminal record. We also provide opportunities for others to become allies.
Humanize My Hoodie documentary: The Road 2 New York Fashion Week
The documentary captures the childhood (e.g., War on Drugs), adulthood (e.g., mental illness), and resilience (e.g., family life, college). Viewers are using the film to learn how to escape poverty while pursuing their dreams. For Andre Wright, the fashion industry was not welcoming of Black designers so he created a lane and it led to the biggest stage in the fashion industry. The film is educational and inspirational for people from marginalized communities. This 28-minute film is a blueprint for anyone who has a dream! Screen the film here
""As descendants of slaves, we recognize how hoodies have been used to amplify the myth of Black criminality. Our mission is to debunk that stereotype by designing revolutionary social justice campaigns for Black and Indigenous People of Color to be HUMANIZED, not criminalized.""
-Humanize My Hoodie
In April 2021, Andre' Wright spoke to AMIDST Creatives of the Midwest, an online community hosted by AMIDST magazine. Join the community to be part of the monthly conversations and view the recording of our discussion.
Photos & Videos from Humanize My Hoodie. Words by AMIDST + Humanize My Hoodie.
To learn more about Humanize My Hoodie and how to support their work, visit humanizemyhoodie.com. PLUS special offer for AMIDST readers, receive 20% off hoodies in their online store by using code HMH20 at checkout.