Kayla Reed (she/her) is a 27 year old Black, queer, activist and organizer from St. Louis, Missouri. Prior to the killing of Michael Brown Jr in August 2014, Kayla worked as a pharmacy technician. The Ferguson Uprising catapulted Kayla into activism.
As a leading organizer of Ferguson October and other national days of action calling attention to systemic injustice, Kayla often led non-violent direct actions including Occupy SLU and teach-ins around issues of police brutality. She eventually became a field organizer with local black grassroots organization, the Organization for Black Struggle. There she worked on campaigns to redefine public safety from an oppressive policing force to a holistic investment model. She also worked on legislative campaigns resulting in the passing of civilian oversight and the city’s policy on racial equity. Kayla also founded St. Louis Action Council, a millennial Black-led collective working to build political power in the city of St. Louis through civic engagement and strategic political action. The collective has organized public debates with more than 1500 local community members in attendance and worked to elect St. Louis’ first black Circuit Attorney. Their most recent campaign was seeking to elect St. Louis’ first Black woman mayor.
Kayla has been published in the Washington Post and Huffington Post and was recognized as one of CNN's Disruptors and by Delux Magazine in their inaugural Power 100 List. In the fall of 2016, Kayla left her position at OBS to return to school and is currently a sophomore at Washington University studying Sociology and African/African-American Studies.