KENOSHA, WI — Activist Porche Bennett-Bey is now in elite company. She was named TIME Magazine’s “Guardian of the Year” alongside others who fought for racial justice worldwide in 2020.
She said there’s still much work to be done in that fight, however.
A mother, Bennett-Bey quit her job in the middle of the pandemic to continue the fight for justice and a better future for Black and brown people.
Her “Guardians” cover joins LeBron James, athlete of the year and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ “Person of the Year” covers.
“Porche Bennett-Bey and the fight for racial justice... that’s me... That’s me,” she said.
Bennett-Bey is Kenosha’s own. She knew she’d be featured but wasn’t aware she’d be on a cover. She found out while sitting on her couch.
“I’m at home and I click on TIME Magazine and I’m just like, ‘Holy shhh,” she recalled as she saw the cover.
The excitement is a sliver of happiness at the end of a year littered with heartache in her community. She even quit her job to dedicate time to the fight.
“This may be the first time I’ve ever saw you smile,” TMJ4 News’ Tony Atkins noted.
“Because everything is all rallies and protests. It’s nothing happy about it,” Bennett-Bey replied.
Worlds collided with the eventual Person and Guardian of the Year honorees in September. Then-candidate Joe Biden visited Kenosha following unrest and the Jacob Blake shooting. She spoke up at a community conversation the former Vice President held.
“I’m just going to be honest with you,” she said, while expressing frustrations about social issues in Kenosha and nationwide.
“It doesn’t really matter whose the face. It matters if they hear you,” Bennett-Bey said.
Bennett-Bey said she feels the movement is heard, but still acknowledges there is still much more work to be done on behalf of other ‘guardians’ who can’t be heard anymore.