The cofounder of Smoke Signals Studio, phillip agnew is a nationally recognized educator, strategist, trainer, speaker and cultural critic.

Why you should listen

phillip agnew cofounded the Dream Defenders in 2012 after the murder of Trayvon Martin and has been dubbed "one of this generation’s leading voices" and recognized by both EBONY magazine and The Root as one of the 100 most influential African Americans in the nation. He emerged as a national activist when he helped to organize students from FAMU, Florida State University and Tallahassee Community College in the creation of the Student Coalition for Justice, which was formed in response to the Martin Lee Anderson case. 

agnew is the cofounder of Miami's Smoke Signals Studio -- a community based radical artistic space -- with his partner, poet Aja Monet. Smoke Signals Studio is a space where those invested in using art, sound and music as a meeting place for transformation and liberation can come to create together.

In 2018, agnew transitioned from his role as codirector of the Dream Defenders and now travels the country teaching and organizing outside of the movement bubble. He has spoken at colleges and conferences around the country and was a featured speaker at TEDWomen 2018 and SXSW in 2019. agnew is member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and a Board Member for Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

phillip agnew’s TED talk

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Live from TEDWomen

Gathering together: Notes from Session 4 of TEDWomen 2018

November 30, 2018

In a searching session of talks hosted by curator and photographer Deborah Willis and her son, artist Hank Willis Thomas (who spoke together at TEDWomen 2017), 12 speakers explored conflict, love, the environment and activism, and more. The session featured duet talks from Paula Stone Williams and Jonathan Williams, Neha Madhira and Haley Stack, Aja Monet and phillip agnew, Beth […]

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