Memphis activist named one of 2022’s most influential Black Americans

One of the most influential Black Americans in 2022 calls Memphis home.

That’s according to digital news magazine “The Root.” The publication included activist Justin J. Pearson in its annual “The Root 100” list.

Pearson is co-founder of Memphis Community Against Pollution (MCAP), formerly known as Memphis Community Against the Pipeline.

MCAP advocated for the cancellation of the proposed Byhalia Connection oil pipeline project back in 2021. 

“The Root 100” list is said to honor innovators, leaders, public figures and game changers in categories of arts, activism/justice, business, entertainment, media, politics and more.

Candidates are judged by their community reach via social media and the impact of their work.

Pearson is the only Memphian on the list, joining other impactful leaders such as LeBron James, Tyler Perry, Jordan Peele and Solange Knowles.

The activist celebrated being honored with a post on Instagram, writing that he is deeply humbled and motivated to have been nominated and selected.

“To God be the glory,” he wrote. “I am the fourth son of teenage parents. I am the descendant of enslaved African Americans. I am a child of God. I am committed to serving people for the rest of my life. Thank you, Root 100. I’d never thought I’d be on a list with such amazing leaders and icons in our community as First Lady Michelle Obama, Serena Williams, and Simone Biles.”

The Root will host an event for its honorees at the Apollo Theatre in New York Thursday, Dec. 8.

The event will feature performances by Emmy-winning comedian Loni Love and Grammy award-winning gospel singer Naomi Raine.

The full list of honorees can be found here.

“This was originally published on “”

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