Protest personalities: YahNe Ndgo

    YahNe Ndgo of the Bernie or Bust group. (Dana DiFilippo/WHYY)

    YahNe Ndgo of the Bernie or Bust group. (Dana DiFilippo/WHYY)

    “There’s a lot of judgment around poverty, the wrong idea that poverty is a reflection of the person rather than the society.” Each day, we profile a protest leader to give you a peek at the personalities behind the chants and signs.

    City officials expect as many as 50,000 protesters a day to hit Philadelphia’s streets and a demonstration zone at FDR Park, across from the Democratic National Convention taking place at Wells Fargo Center.

    Each day, we’ll profile a protest leader to give you a peek at the personalities behind the chants and signs.

    Want to participate in or watch a protest march? Or would you prefer to dodge protests — and the traffic congestion they could cause — altogether? The DNC Action Committee has a protest master schedule online.

    Cause

    Bernie Sanders and “a future to believe in.” She’s a spokeswoman for the Bernie or Bust campaign and DC to DNC March for Democracy. She’s also helping to organize a festival called The Climate Revolution Sunday in Germantown.

    Strategy

    Public speaking, organizing, speaking, and performing at rallies.

    Age

    44

    Home base

    Germantown

    Day job

    Founder of Deep Blu Womyn, a company that uses arts and activism to transform communities.

    Bet you didn’t know

    Ndgo is a singer and musician who also writes literary nonfiction and poetry and got a master’s of fine art degree from Bennington College in Vermont. (Her 19-year-old daughter inherited her writing and singing talent, she said.) Her activism stretches back into childhood, when her uncle nicknamed her “mother of all mothers” because she mothered anyone and everyone.

    “I’ve always just naturally been an advocate,” she said. “If one of the adults was fussing at my cousins for something, I would stand up for them. If my cousins were suffering and bouncing from home to home, I would ask my mom if they could stay with us. If I saw a kid having trouble with homework, I would sit and tutor them. If there’s something that’s happening that needs support, it’s very difficult for me to just walk by. It’s also difficult for me do something if I don’t see meaning to it. Just typing in data entry, I can’t do, when I could be making sure someone eats or has a home.”

    In her words

    “There’s a lot of judgment around poverty, the wrong idea that poverty is a reflection of the person rather than the society. Bernie Sanders talks a lot about the issue of wealth and inequity. Even though he wasn’t always connected to the battles he was fighting because he’s not a part of those communities, he was willing to fight and trust the people and their voice. He was trying to understand enough to make transformation happen for them. He’s not doing something because of what a lobbyist said. That makes him unique as an elected official. His intention is to accomplish a world of peace and equity.”

    More protest leader profiles

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