Born in Brooklyn, New York, it seems that Monifa Bandele was always going to be an activist for maternal justice and food equality. Growing up, Monifa had a mother (a social worker) who eventually worked her way up to the directorship of the largest WIC (Women Infant and Children) program in New York City and a father who was a former Black Panther-an organization whose “Free Breakfast for Children” program somehow both inspired and terrified the American government and social worker.
It must be unsurprising then, that in her prime, Monifa is currently serving as the Senior Vice President of MomsRising.org, a multicultural organization working to increase family economic security and to end discrimination against women and mothers. At MomsRising, Monifa focuses on improving children’s access to healthy food, stemming from the overabundance of junk food marketing and ending the school-to-prison pipeline as well as stemming the increasing maternal mortality rate.
Monifa also works as an activist for the Black Lives Matter Movement and sits on the committee for Communities United for Police Reform. She has also worked with groups like The Brennan Center (where she helped to successfully change laws in five states to help over 250,000 formally incarcerated people vote), the People’s Hurricane Relief Fund, and the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation.
Monifa currently lives and works in New York City with her family.